J-D Middle School Journalists Review Dunkin’ Donuts Classics

Photo shows Lifestyle Editor Grace Evans with Rachel Pettiford and Zoey Huseman (left to right). Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Although Dunkin’ has strayed away from its association with donuts as the main focus of its menu, many still know the chain as Dunkin’ Donuts. The RamPage editors enlisted the help of the Jamesville-DeWitt Middle School newspaper staff to review some of the most popular donuts from the northeastern coffee and donut staple.

Boston Kreme

Beginning with a fan-favorite option, the Boston Kreme Donut was nearly universally loved by the middle school taste testers. The confection features a chocolate frosting and a custard filling, and it is meant to resemble a Boston cream pie, which was invented in Boston in 1856. The custard was sweet and creamy, but it didn’t permeate the entire interior; rather, it only covered a small area in the center.

According to sixth grader Aditi Gornale, “It’s pretty good, but it’s really sweet, so I can only deal with a bite.”

Gwendolyn Holt (sixth grade) saw the donut even more favorably. “This donut has a nice balance of chocolate and cream.”

Sixth grader Jude Harris summed up the Boston Kreme donut nicely. “It’s so unique yet so basic and simple. It is one of the most classic donuts, and it really doesn’t surprise me.”

Photo shows News Editor Sophia Caputo walking past Aditi Gornale and Sofia Koenig. Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Glazed Blueberry

Reviewers across the country have mixed opinions on the Glazed Blueberry donut, with Spoon University writer Sara Klimek calling it “my favorite donut offering at Dunkin’ and for good reason,” and Delish bluntly stating, ​​”It’s like they dipped already sweet blueberries into a sugar bath and then baked them into a sugar donut.”

At J-DMS, though, the donut received mostly negative feedback. “It tastes artificial, odd, and funky,” says eighth grader Michelle Ifeonu.

Sixth grader Rachel Pettiford disliked the donut as well. “It tastes like a blueberry bagel. I would give it a six out of 10. It’s a little too sweet.”

On the flip side, sixth grader Eloise Alexander thought the donut struck a perfect balance. “This donut was delicious! The blueberry didn’t overpower the glaze.”

Glazed

The classic Glazed offering at Dunkin’ has received praise for its fluffy texture and even coating of glaze. Of course, it cannot compare to Krispy Kreme, but considering we don’t have Krispy Kreme, we have to settle. Luckily for Syracuse, the Glazed donut received nearly unanimous positive feedback in our taste test.

Sixth grader Layla Al-Mudamgha stated, “I loved the donut. The glaze was super good! It wasn’t too dry or too moist.” Overall, 9.5/10.”

“The moisture was perfect and it was really sweet. I would give it a 9/10,” remarked staff writer Nozila Alibekova (sixth grade).

Sixth grader Cate Wells declared the donut to be “sweet and sugary. Perfect moisture. 9.5/10.”

Photo shows Culture Editors JoJo Meskos and Nora Gross, and Editor-in-Chief Isaiah Steinberg standing in front of Eloise Alexander, Jude Harris, and Gwendolyn Holt (left to right). Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Jelly

As a Jewish person, I can appreciate a good jelly donut. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad one. Dunkin’s Jelly donut received rave reviews, with the powdery coating and sweetness of the jelly playing key roles in the especially sweet flavor profile.

Sofia Koenig (sixth grade) proclaimed, “Jelly donuts are the best thing on this planet. The jelly is usually in the center, and I’d have to spread it out more.”

Sixth grader Meghan Malay observed, “The powder was good flavoring. I definitely liked it, but the jelly was a little sweet. It’s overall an 8/10.”

According to sixth grader Aditi Gornale, “It’s actually pretty good! I like the fact that it’s not that sweet,” an interesting comment that contrasts with Malay’s assessment, demonstrating the subjectivity of taste.

Vanilla Headlight

The Vanilla Headlight donut, often overlooked amongst Dunkin’s vast array of delectable desserts, consists of a donut base textured like a croissant, with the same chocolate frosting as the Boston Kreme. What makes the Headlight unique is the addition of a vanilla frosting flower in the center with more vanilla poking into the center. I have a personal bias toward these donuts, and it seems the J-DMS Times staff agrees.

“The frosting overpowered the actual donut,” stated Malay.

Koenig noted, “I think the vanilla and chocolate frosting is a great mix.”

Al-Mudamgha added one criticism. “I liked the donut. The frosting did overpower the actual donut. Overall, 7/10.”

Photo shows Editor-in-Chief Isaiah Steinberg and News Editor Sophia Caputo handing out donuts to Jude Harris and Gwendolyn Holt. Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Old Fashioned

While I’m not sure who would willingly order the superfluous Old Fashioned donut at any establishment, Dunkin’ has been serving it for decades. It’s the plainest of plain. Lacking glaze, frosting, filling, or any semblance of flavoring besides added sugar, it’s basically overpriced bread.

Pettiford voiced her concern for the donut’s consistency. “It has a rough texture, but it’s overall okay. It tastes a little of lemon. 6/10.”

Eighth grader Nicole Chen expressed disapproval for the plain, bread-like donut, simply stating, “No.”

Eighth graders Evelyn O’Brien and Rachel Dong said the donut was “too plain” and had “almost no flavor,” and they ultimately gave it a 4/10 score.

Powdered

Drier than the Sun yet sweeter than most Wegmans cakes, the Powdered donut is yet another simple, cheap confection that has presumably languished on Dunkin’s shelf due to its overabundance of starchy powder that makes you cough. At least it tastes good and it’s phenomenal for dipping into coffee or apple cider.

“The powder instantly came into flavor effect,” Harris stated. Did he mean his comment in a positive or negative way? No one will ever know.

Isaacs elaborated, “It’s messy and kind of plain-tasting.”

Meanwhile, Holt enjoyed the neglected pastry. “The powdered donut bursts with the flavor of powder, which has a sweet flavor.”

Photo shows Culture Editors Nora Gross and JoJo Meskos getting feedback from Catherine Wells, Meghan Malay, Nozila Alibekova, and Layla Al-Mudamgha (far side of table to closest). Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Vanilla Frosted with Sprinkles

The Vanilla Frosted with Sprinkles donut is everything it promises to be – nothing more, nothing less. The frosting is almost glued onto the top of the donut, and it’s consistent with Dunkin’s trend of dry donuts. While the frosting is nothing special compared to other local donut establishments, it adds a subtle pop of flavor to an otherwise standard donut. The sprinkles make it messy, but that’s part of the fun.

Ifeonu complimented the classic offering. “It was surprisingly good. 8.5/10.”

O’Brien and Dong agreed. “We really like sprinkles so it is a personal favorite. We prefer the vanilla flavor. 8/10.”

“I don’t love the frosting,” Chen remarked.

Strawberry Frosted with Sprinkles

The Strawberry Frosted with Sprinkles is identical to the Vanilla Frosted with Sprinkles in every way, save for the arguably superior frosting choice. Delish and Spoon University both ranked this donut the lowest of all classic Dunkin’ donuts, due to its artificial strawberry flavor (Spoon asserted that it tasted like ChapStick). However, I must say that I, along with several J-DMS Times staff members, disagree.

Holt rebuked the reviewers, stating, “This donut was delicious and you could taste the strawberry.”

Alexander further supported the despised donut. “The strawberry was a little overpowering, but otherwise it’s very good. 8/10.”

Pettiford, siding with the general public, explained, “It was very smooth but it tasted like toothpaste. A little too artificial. 2/10.”

Photo shows Culture Editor Nora Gross discussing donuts with Aditi Gornale and Sofia Koenig (left to right). Photo Credit: Matt Phillips

Double Chocolate

A Dunkin’ donut with soft, gooey, seemingly fresh frosting is a rare sight, and certainly one to behold. The Double Chocolate donut did just that. Spoon University loved the dense, cakey donut with a thick layer of frosting, but the J-DMS Times writers did not share the positive sentiment.

Fifth grader Carly Fisher stated, “It was dry and the chocolate flavor was kind of strange.”

Alibekova complained, “It was too dry and didn’t have much flavor. It tasted like a protein shake. 4/10.”

Al-Mudamgha took the middle ground in the donut debate. “I liked the donut. I was not a huge fan of chocolate on chocolate. Overall, 6/10.”

Glazed Chocolate

A slightly less overkill donut than the Double Chocolate, the Glazed Chocolate donut is the perfect alternative for those who prefer a more understated, less intense flavor. It features a dense, cakey interior, much like the Double Chocolate, but with a light chocolate glaze rather than a thick coating of frosting. Spoon University liked the donut overall and Delish ranked it #1.

Alibekova praised the donut for its widely-loved cake texture. “It was really good. It tasted like a birthday cake. 7/10.”

Malay gave the donut a standout rating despite noting a slight imperfection. “I love the chocolate but the donut was a bit dry. 9/10.”

“It’s not my favorite; the flavors didn’t go together and it tastes too chocolatey. I didn’t know that was possible,” said Gornale.

With the conclusion of the Dunkin’ taste test, it’s safe to say that out of all the donuts, the J-DMS Times staff prefers the standard Glazed donut, with the Boston Kreme and Jelly donuts falling closely behind. On the other side of the spectrum, the middle school confectionary connoisseurs detested the Old Fashioned and Double Chocolate donuts. We wanted to try more esoteric donuts like the Cherry Blossom Festival donut and the Apple Crumb donut, but unfortunately, not all Dunkin’ locations keep them regularly in stock. Regardless, next time you go to Dunkin’ in search of a classic donut, you can feel confident with the rankings of the J-DMS Times writers and editors.

I’m Isaiah Steinberg, editor in chief of the RamPage. I’ve been a writer since I was a freshman, and I greatly enjoy journalism. I am very excited to be working with the wonderful RamPage staff this year!