Great Debate: cake vs. yeast donuts

I’m torn.

I have fond memories of my grandfather picking me up from school and hanging me a brown paper bag containing two chocolate-covered cake donuts from Shirokiya. It was the kind of treat that make dividing decimals bearable.

But my dad loves glazed yeast donuts, and on some special Sundays, there would be a box of them on the kitchen table for breakfast. Sometimes from Liliha Bakery, other times on sticks from another bakery in Manoa.

I grew up on the fence.

A dough is basically fried dough, usually sweet and usually made from a flour dough. You can shape them into rings or stuffed them with cream, jellies and custards or top them — like the ones above from Regal Bakery — with sugar glaze, cinnamon, chocolate, cereal, marshmallows — anything you can think of. You can even bake donuts now.

Most decorated donuts tend to be of the denser cake variety. But yeast donuts have that fluffy, airy texture — like the ones from Kamehameha Bakery, shown here — that we can’t seem to get enough of.

So which is it: cake or yeast?

Or to put it in more specific terms, Dunkin’ Donuts (cake) or Krispy Kreme (yeast)?

Let the Great Debate begin!

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29 Responses to “Great Debate: cake vs. yeast donuts”

  1. M August 25, 2011 at 7:34 am #

    Hello Cat! I’m not choosey, I’ll take both types…

  2. Lavasusan August 25, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Cake. Cake cake cake cake cake. My grandfather had a bakery, and we grew up on his delicious crullers. They tore down his bakery many year ago for a freeway, and I miss those doughnuts so. Cake.

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 10:49 am #

      Got a favorite place for cake donuts? I want to learn how to make ‘em, actually. Maybe that’s my new Weekend Dish…!

  3. The Chicago Cuz August 25, 2011 at 8:54 am #

    The Chicago Cuz is partial to the cake donuts, mainly because of my childhood and how we would always get them as a treat if we were good. Don’t get me wrong though, I have been known to eat a yeast donut or 12 in my time, but honestly after eating them I just feel bad (mainly because of the sugar).

    So my vote on today’s earth shattering topic is CAKE DONUTS!!!!!!

    Kudos on the topic today, the brain isnt working so well so this is perfect for me to ponder.

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 10:50 am #

      LOL! I know. I think the last two blogs I wrote were a bit heavy, even for me. I needed something light. Could you guess what I was craving???

  4. rayboyjr August 25, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Hey Cat: … there is no debate … hands down, it’s the yeast doughnuts … called me old-fashioned or just call me old … but a doughnut brings to mind something “light and airy”, whether sugar-coated or glazed … and those chocolate frosted or with swirled chocolate center are fricken awesome too …

    … the cake-type doughnuts remind me of Love’s boxed powdered sugar doughnuts … and the cake-type doughnuts just have too much sprinkles and “stuff” on it … looks like a mini cake … c’mon, if I wanted cake – I would eat cake …nawh, they’re ok, just not my preference …

    … as I’m sitting here, I could probably eat 10 of those glazed yeast doughnuts … yum … a cake-type doughnut? … 1 would be enough …

    … a tough one for me would be … Doughnut vs Malasada … wait a second … is a malasada a type of doughut? … no matter, I’ll take a couple of each please …

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 10:51 am #

      I’m impressed how easy it is to pick between the two! I can’t. I keep going back and forth. I love those Love’s powdered (cake) donuts. But I can’t stop eating the chocolate-glazed (yeast) donuts from Kamehameha Bakery, either. It’s a tough call.

      Now, donuts vs. malassadas — I’d have to go with my Portuguese heritage there!

      • MaxMaxMax August 25, 2011 at 11:58 am #

        Well, they’re both certainly ono, but Cat, those malasadas are Messy with a capital M to eat… granulated sugar everywhere, LOL!

  5. NeilYamamoto August 25, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Both!!! Although, I have a special affinity for Cake Donuts, especially the Dunkin’ Donut type… they tend to keep longer, and don’t get all weird after a day or 2… (yes, I can make a dozen donuts last that long in my house) also, I’m a dunker, so the cakey texture of the dunkin’ donut lends itself to sopping up whatever it is i’m drinking at the time, whether it be milk, coffee, or yes, even the occassional dunk into a cold glass of coke… CAKE DONUTS FTW!!!

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 10:52 am #

      Cake donut dunker! Maybe that’s another Great Debate topic: do you dunk? I don’t. But that’s because I don’t drink coffee. Not so tasty to dunk donuts in Diet Coke.

      • MaxMaxMax August 25, 2011 at 11:56 am #

        I’ve never known a single person to have ever dunked a donut. Maybe it’s regional thing.

      • NeilYamamoto August 26, 2011 at 11:38 am #

        yeah the aspartame in dietcoke is gross w/ the real sugar in donuts…

  6. hawaiiobsessed August 25, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Yeast, Definately. I am with Rayboyjr. If I wanted to eat cake…. doughnuts have to have dough in them no?

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 10:53 am #

      So far, the cake donuts lovers are winning this debate.

      Guess what I’m having for my pre-lunch meal…!

  7. Eric August 25, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    Cake for me…. more filling.

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      True, can’t really fill a yeast… Or can you…?

  8. MaxMaxMax August 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    YEAST!!! But I gotta agree with you that Shirokiya’s chocolate-covered cake donuts rock the house!

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

      See? It’s a tough call! I like what Regal Bakery did with its flavored yeast donuts, though, but I think the owner/chef stopped making them because the cake ones were the hot items.

  9. WildeOscar August 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    Kake is King. My favorite doughnut of all time is toasted coconut from Dunkin Donuts, but it isn’t one of the top sellers, so some shops have it and some don’t. What is under the sugary mix of beige coconut is a cake doughnut.

    • Catherine Toth August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Toasted coconut… Mmmm. We don’t have any more Dunkin’ Donuts here anymore, right?

  10. oldshoes August 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    oh my…i never knew der were 2 kinds. *sigh* But, thats ok. its a brave new world out there, and i’m gonna find out all about the different donouts!i really like e-clairs with creamy filling though…

  11. David Jackson August 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    I believe this question needs more testing… so I think I’ll buy a dozen Krispy Kreme and a dozen Dunkin Donuts and evaluate further… But you know a dozen Agnes malassadas would also have to be tested. Do you think I can get a grant to study it?

  12. uncleb August 25, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    Even though I can no longer eat them (health reasons), my tried and true favorite are the glazed yeast donuts. Never could get into the cake donuts.

  13. DIO August 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    Debates like these can’t be resolved through posts on a blog. Therefore, I suggest a scientific study involving doughnut samples from several different bakeries and a panel of judges to give their opinions. :lol:

  14. donutlover August 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Sooo…I consider myself to be a bit of an expert when it comes to donuts (LOL) and think that anyone can make a cake donut. Raised donuts are where the artistry comes into play! Regal Donuts’ are the best!

  15. J August 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    Cake doughnuts from Craig’s Bakery in Kailua. Too bad that place is gone now. Found a good blueberry cake doughnut on the mainland in Escondido, Calif. at Peterson’s Donut Corner. But when it comes down to it, I’d rather have andagi or malasadas.

  16. Kim December 31, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Yeast donuts for me. There was a little donut shop somewhere in North Jersey. Owned by a Korean family for many years. They sell all kinds of donuts, special flavors. PBJ donut, filled with peanut-butter & topped with grape jelly. Pumpkin cream in the fall. Pina-colada filled donut topped with coconut in the summer. Pistachio-cream filled in December. Cherry & cream in February. Egg-nog filled all winter. French-toast donuts. Every month they have a special flavor. The specials are usually filled yeast donuts.


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