The Competitors' Best Doughnut Recipes

From root beer to rum, Sriracha to citrus, the Donut Showdown competitors truly go big or go home. Check out the best of the batch.

Photo By: Natalie Chitwood ©2014, Natalie Chitwood

Fried Chicken-Skin Donuts with Maple Glaze

Waffles aren't the only pastry to welcome a crispy chicken garnish. Chrysta Poulos, pastry chef at St. Cecilia in Atlanta, gives her simple sugar doughnut the state fair treatment with a thick maple glaze and fried chicken-skin topping.

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken Skin Doughnuts with Maple Glaze

Nutella Doughnuts

The doughnut craze gets nuttier with this double whammy. Rachel Crampsey, of the Montclair Bread Company in New Jersey, crafts a smooth praline glaze that delights the taste buds before the rush of oozing chocolate-hazelnut spread.

Get the Recipe: Nutella Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Vincent Brian Marsden, of the Vincent Van Doughnut truck in St. Louis, infuses his doughnut batter with apple cider and cinnamon for an authentic apple cake below the cinnamon-sugar coating.

Get the Recipe: Apple Cider Doughnuts

Yogurt Parfait Cruller

Mary Wood, founder of the Toronto-based Midnight Snack Co., whips up a cruller that is as much a breakfast delicacy as it is a dessert. The warm cruller is coated in cinnamon and nutmeg, filled with a strawberry Greek yogurt creme and sprinkled with homemade pumpkin spice granola. 

Get the Recipe: Yogurt Parfait Cruller

Root Beer Float Doughnuts

This spiced doughnut is a soda fountain classic gone solid. Heather Morris, founder of Destination Donuts in Columbus, Ohio, infuses the mixed spice dough with root beer inside and coats the top with a root beer reduction outside, before adding a final touch of whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

Get the Recipe: Root Beer Float Doughnut

Camo Chocolate Mint Doughnuts

You might have to go into hiding to keep this doughnut to yourself. With a chocolate shortbread base topped with a mix of mint glaze and chocolate ganache, this doughnut by Mark Tagulao, of Marked Edible Designs in Vancouver, British Columbia, has a rich chocolate current running through the refreshing mint flavors.

Get the Recipe: Camo Chocolate Mint Doughnuts

Cocoa Chocolate Doughnuts with Deep-Fried Marshmallow

Toronto's Lindsey Bakes takes s'mores night to new heights with a chocolate buttermilk doughnut base, layers of chocolate and melted marshmallow glaze, and a large fried-marshmallow topper.

Get the Recipe: Cocoa Chocolate Doughnuts with Deep Fried Marshmallow

Classic Diner Doughnuts

These classic sugar-and-spice doughnuts from Dorie Sperry, of Dottie's Diner in Woodbury, Conn., serve as a sweet slate for any topcoat, be it cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or chocolate icing.

Get the Recipe: Classic Diner Doughnuts

Bananas Foster Doughnuts

Kris Wallace, of Buy the Dozen Donuts in Moscow, Idaho, prepares a pastry that's one part doughnut, one part bananas Foster and one part ice cream sandwich. With buttermilk banana cake doughnuts bookending the buttery banana slices in banana rum sauce, you might just have to take a fork to this masterpiece.

Get the Recipe: Bananas Foster Doughnuts

Sriracha Peanut Butter Crunch Doughnuts

If pad thai and pho had a dessert baby, it would look something like this treat by Josie Rudderham of the Cake & Loaf bakery in Hamilton, Ontario. The buttermilk cake provides a mild base for the hot peanut butter glaze and Sriracha nut brittle, subdued slightly by crushed pretzels, peanut butter chips and drizzles of chocolate sauce.

Get the Recipe: Sriracha Peanut Butter Crunch Doughnuts

Fried Chicken and Old-Fashioned "Waffle" Doughnut

Katy Gerdes, of the Angel Food Bakery in Minneapolis, has the griddle meet the frying pan with her maple sour cream doughnut dipped in a maple-Tabasco glaze and topped with peppery fried pickles and crispy chicken strips.

Get the Recipe: Fried Chicken and Old-Fashioned "Waffle" Doughnut

Amy's Triple Chocolate Bangers

Nick Benninger, of Nick & Nat's Uptown 21 in Waterloo, Ontario, sculpts a doughnut on the rise with its increasing sophistication toward the top. The buttermilk yeast doughnut sports a dark chocolate glaze and a tasteful garnish of cocoa meringue and dark chocolate shavings.

Get the Recipe: Amy's Triple Chocolate Bangers

Cherry Cake Doughnuts with Pink Peppercorn Buttercream Icing

Kathy Aldridge, co-owner of Hot Cream Holes in Ottawa, Ontario, puts a cherry on top and in the middle with her cherry-packed cake doughnut and pink peppercorn-infused frosting.

Get the Recipe: Cherry Cake Doughnuts with Pink Peppercorn Buttercream Icing

Magical Tiger Doughnuts

Rocky Culver uses all-natural ingredients for his vibrant and exotic doughnut. Turmeric powder lends the passion fruit glaze its bright hue and more pungent flavor, which tickles the tongue atop the rich chocolate cake.

Get the Recipe: Magical Tiger Doughnuts (Chocolate Cake Doughnuts with Passion Fruit Glaze)

Wasabi-Glazed Cake Doughnut

Baden Walter Cunning's confection is part spiced cake doughnut, part sesame seed bagel with a buttery nutmeg cake base, wasabi powder glaze and panko-sesame seed crumble topping.

Get the Recipe: Wasabi-Glazed Cake Doughnut

Les Dijonnaises Doughnuts

Torrence O'Haire, of Propaganda Doughnuts in Grand Rapids, creates a French variety that is both spiced and spiked with coriander and cloves, a cognac citrus glaze, and a blue cheese and thyme garnish.

Get the Recipe: Les Dijonnaises Doughnuts (Pain d'Epices Doughnuts with Orange, Thyme and Bleu d'Auvergne)

Vegan Coconut Doughnuts

Sharon Wilson, of Tiger!Tiger! in San Diego, prepares a soy milk yeast doughnut that is a lighter and dairy-free take on the creamy confection. With a vanilla-coconut milk glaze and toasted coconut topping, all these doughnuts need is a slice of pineapple and some sunshine for a pina colada party.

Get the Recipe: Vegan Coconut Doughnuts

Puffed Cereal Treat Doughnuts

Jaime Podgorny, of Fritz Pastry in Chicago, makes it even harder to argue against doughnuts for breakfast. These baked almond milk doughnuts with a vanilla bean glaze and a rice cereal topping are also vegan. With a flour swap, they could easily be made gluten-free!

Get the Recipe: Puffed Cereal Treat Doughnuts

Pistachio Doughnut

Rachel Elias incorporates many Mediterranean flavors and ingredients into her Greek-inspired doughnut. This baklava turned doughnut sports a spiced orange cake base, an orange blossom syrup coating, and a ground pistachio and phyllo cracker topping.

Get the Recipe: Pistachio Doughnut

Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Union Square Donuts makes a caramel sauce that is a simple game changer, with heavy cream and bourbon whisked into the bubbling caramelized sugar.

Get the Recipe: Bourbon Caramel Sauce