I was invited by the Butler County Visitors Bureau to experience the Donut Trail. Actually, it was more than the Donut Trail, it was an entire weekend in Butler County. My experience was fantastic and I plan on featuring this adventure in my next couple of posts but believe it’s best served to have an entire post dedicated to the Butler County Donut Trail. Yup, a whole post on donuts!!! Grab a few napkins to wipe the drool because the donuts you are about to see will make you get in your car and drive immediately to Butler County! Happily, I didn’t travel alone and was able to adhere to the suggestion below with my partner-in-crime, my husband Kevin by my side.
Instead of trying to complete the entire trail in one day, we broke it into two, stopping at 5 shops the first day and 4 the second. Although to be clear, there are 10 stops on the trail and we only did 9 because we weren’t scheduled to hit the Oxford Donut Shop. Unfortunately, due to their hours and our packed schedule, we didn’t get the chance to hit them up BUT that’s ok because it gives us an excuse to go back – not that we needed one.
Stop 1 which turned out to have my very favorite donut on the trail, the glazed donut at Ross Bakery. Not surprising that Ross is known for their glazed donuts and has been stated to be the best-glazed donut in the county (and I would whole-heartedly agree). Pictured in the bottom right below is their klunker which is another popular Donut Trail donut – it’s a cake donut that is made with a little more water and a little less oil so it’s fried crispy.
What surprised me the most was not that they had my favorite donut but out of all the donuts we ate, my favorite donut was a plain old glazed donut. But these were no plain old glazed donuts, these were melt-in-your-mouth, shout from the rooftops, glorious glazed donuts. I’m not kidding when say, I would drive the 90 minutes for this donut.
Kelly’s Bakery is famous for its creative fun donuts like the birthday cake above or the Buckeye below. At Kelly’s we were also treated to Kelly’s Bread which was my first experience with a donut of this kind. It’s a perforated donut that is meant to be eaten with a friend and has literal perforations so it can be pulled apart. Expect to be licking your fingers clean of the cinnamon drizzled icing. In addition, Kelly has some fun specials like Tiger Tails only available Thursdays and apple fritter bites only available on Friday’s.
The Donut Trail spans 80 miles and if you were to complete it in one day, would take about 3.5 hours.
The trail can be completed at your leisure. Along the way, we met many new friends. Some were doing the entire trail in one day (and stuffed by the time we ran into them), many were spreading it out over the weekend, and we ran into a few families that were hitting a new shop every weekend to make it a summer activity. All that’s needed is collecting a stamp at each required location to fill out your passport. Grab a passport from your starting donut shop OR download it online.
Upon completion, you can redeem your passport for a complimentary Donut Trail T-shirt. When you wear that shirt and visit participating businesses, you’ll be able to unlock donut trail discounts.
Butler County started this now famous Donut Trail in January 2016 and includes 10 locally owned, mom + pop shops. What really blows me away is that Butler County has the highest number of donut shops per capita in the entire Midwest (basically it’s one donut shop for every 17k residents). With my love of donuts, I would be lying if I didn’t say a move came to mind.
A lot of the shops have Donut Trail specialties. Everything from s’mores, orange juice, fruity pebbles, raspberry cheesecake, tiger tails and the Ugly. Another favorite of mine was a donut in the box below called a Cinnamon Square or its official name “little piece of heaven.” It’s the square crumb cake donut in the upper right corner. Do not miss this one at Central Pastry Shop.
People literally come from all over to complete the trail. Over 5900 have since completed it including visitors from seven countries, and 40 different states including Alaska and Hawaii (so those that live in Ohio have no excuse NOT to complete this trail).
Mimi’s Donuts + Bakery believes that the Donut Trail really helped get them on the map. The owner Sherry decided to retire from the Hamilton County police department and open a bakery to feed people donuts like this blueberry lemon donut – one of their most popular.
We were also big fans of their Mimi’s minis – especially that Reese’s Cup on the right.
We were treated to so many donuts. Literally, couldn’t eat another donut… but then we ran into these little donut holes and figured we could have one since they are so little and all… 50 holes later we were ready to pop.
10 donut shops are featured and combined they have 307 years of donut-making.
Download the Donut Trail map so you can plot your adventure.
Nom Nom Cronut Crusher is my donut alter ego, what’s yours? Post it in the comments and you can be entered to win some goodies from Butler County.
Travel, Find, Devour
5 sweet things to note:
- Most donut shops will close when they sell out – and these guys sell out. Some shops have even closed as early as 10a due to this so if you plan on completing in one day, start early.
- The t-shirt design changes annually so you should start your collection now and collect a new one each year.
- Pictures posted on social media should use the #donuttrail so your adventures can be documented.
- The Donut Spot is Kelly’s (of Kelly’s Bakery) Aunt and taught Kelly “how to make the donuts.”
- There is a fun giveaway hidden in this post. Did you miss it?
Featured shops include:
***This post was sponsored by Butler County but this in no way affects my review of each donut or donut shop. I’m always upfront and honest about my experience and if you think otherwise, we probably haven’t met.