It’s hard to mess up a doughnut—from cake doughnuts, to yeast-raised doughnuts, to doughnut holes, they’re all delicious. Doughnuts are always a treat in their traditional form—a vanilla cake doughnut, a chocolate Long John, or a simple glaze—but it can also be exciting to mix it up. While doughnut shops across the state excel in serving up classic favorites, many also offer some of the most creative, unique, and crazy doughnuts.
What makes a doughnut crazy? Some have unusual flavors, others are unfathomably massive, while still others are decked out with show-stopping decorations. No matter what you consider to be a wild choice, there’s bound to be something in the state that will impress you. Here are some of the craziest doughnuts that you can find throughout the state.
Taro Mochi Donut at Mochinut
5753 N. Bayshore Drive, Glendale
A taro doughnut might seem a bit out of the ordinary in Wisconsin, but it’s far more commonplace in Hawaii, where Mochinut was born. Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that’s regularly used in desserts, and the doughnut chain Mochinut combines the popular Japanese treat with American doughnuts. The result? A doughnut that’s crispy on the outside, bouncy and airy on the inside, and topped with a wide variety of flavorful glazes—including taro, a root vegetable that’s eaten most frequently in South Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Founded in 2020, the chain has more than 148 locations throughout the United States, including one in Wisconsin. The state’s sole Mochinut opened up in July at the Bayshore mall in Glendale, a suburb of Milwaukee.
Puppy Chow Pow Wow at Happy Dough Lucky
6300 W. Mequon Road, Mequon
You haven’t really experienced the Midwest until you’ve had a bite of puppy chow, a homemade candy that combines cereal, melted chocolate, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. The delightful concoction can be found in many homes throughout the region, but it’s less frequently found atop a doughnut. The Puppy Chow Pow Wow, along with Happy Dough Lucky’s other unique flavors, helps to set the Mequon-based doughnut shop apart. The creative doughnut is topped with chocolate, homemade puppy chow, and powdered sugar, making it a delicious tribute to a Midwestern classic.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough at Donut Squad
2264 N. Prospect Ave., Milwaukee
What could possibly make a chocolate chip cookie any better than it already is? Donut Squad figured combining the classic recipe with one of the shop’s cake doughnuts couldn’t hurt, resulting in the chocolate chip cookie dough doughnut—a vanilla doughnut topped with a mound of chocolate chip cookie dough in the center, then topped further with chocolate frosting. Donut Squad is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, making the chocolate chip cookie dough doughnut the perfect weekend treat. The shop has two locations, one in Milwaukee and one in nearby Waukesha.
Samoa at Cranky’s
6901 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa
It’s a shame that Girl Scout cookies are only available to order for a small part of the year. There are always alternatives, though, and if your favorite cookie is the Samoa, Cranky’s has your solution. This doughnut shop in Wauwatosa offers up the Samoa doughnut, inspired by the beloved Girl Scout cookie. Cranky’s Samoa is a raised doughnut with chocolate frosting, toasted coconut, and a caramel drizzle.
Cyclops at Paielli’s Bakery
6020 39th Ave., Kenosha
The Cyclops doughnut at Kenosha’s Paielli’s Bakery might not look that crazy. Upon first glance, it looks like any other chocolate doughnut with frosting. Like the Cyclops that the doughnut is named for, however, it’s more than meets the eye. The beloved treat is filled to the brim with buttercream, representing the eye of the mythical creature. The craziest part about the doughnut, though? The old-school bakery, which is celebrating 100 years in business this year, also offers a giant version for approximately $6 that barely fits in a box made to hold 12 normal doughnuts.
Fritter at Greenbush Bakery
1402 Regent St., Madison
There’s nothing extraordinary about ordering a fritter at most doughnut shops, but most doughnut shops aren’t Greenbush Bakery, and most fritters aren’t the size of a human head. The Madison-based bakery and coffee shop, which has been open since 1996, serves up mammoth-sized fritters that weigh up to 15 ounces and are the size of a small pizza. The fritters are kosher-friendly, as Greenbush Bakery is the only certified kosher bakery in Madison, and come with three filling options: apple cinnamon, cherry, and blueberry.
Tutti Frutti Nerds at Hill Top Bakery
100 E. 7th St., Kaukauna
Hill Top Bakery has been serving the Kaukauna community for more than 100 years, but that doesn’t mean that it’s all about tradition at the old-school bakery, especially when it comes to its Tutti Frutti Nerds doughnut. The bakery’s creative concoction is covered in a tutti-frutti glaze and topped with Nerds candy. The pastel pink doughnut is topped with even more tutti-frutti frosting in the middle. Not a fan of Nerds? The bakery is constantly working on creative new doughnuts, so there will be something to satisfy every sweet tooth.
Dole Whip at Sunday Dough
1402 S. 8th St., Sheboygan
Dole Whip has been served at Disney theme parks since the ’80s, and has developed a cult-like following in that time. The pineapple soft serve has cultivated a massive fanbase, inspiring a whole host of new treats, like the Dole Whip doughnut that’s sold at Sunday Dough in Sheboygan. The doughnut is made of the bakery’s brioche dough and topped with a pineapple glaze, a heaping swirl of pineapple sherbet frosting, and garnished with a pineapple wedge.
Banana Split at A Dozen Excuses
1112 Tower Ave., Superior
There are only two doughnut shops in Superior—A Dozen Excuses and Dunkin’. The city’s first doughnut shop, A Dozen Excuses didn’t have to work hard to set itself apart from the competition. And yet they did. The shop has a lot of doughnuts to choose from, but its star is the banana split doughnut, which is exactly what you’d expect: a doughnut cut right down the middle with a banana and cream filling, then topped with strawberry and chocolate icing. If a banana split isn’t your thing, the doughnut shop has 12 other specialty options available for order at just $2 each, plus a whole host of more traditional offerings.
Lucky Rainbow Donut at Bloomer Bakery
1415 Main St., Bloomer
There is so much on Bloomer Bakery’s Lucky Rainbow doughnut that upon first glance you might not know what you’re looking at. Take a second and it becomes obvious that the bakery has creatively made a rainbow of clouds with treasure underneath. The Bloomer-based bakery covers its doughnuts in a green icing with multi-colored sprinkles forming the rainbow on one half of the doughnut and frosting clouds marking the base of the rainbow. The treasure that’s lying in the middle of the doughnut hole? Lucky Charms marshmallows, of course. If you missed the doughnut shop’s Lucky Rainbow doughnut, stay tuned all year long—Bloomer Bakery has unique and creative seasonal and holiday-themed doughnuts that they rotate throughout the year.
Turtle Long John at Augusta Bakery
144 W. Lincoln St., Augusta
With a combination of sweet caramel, chocolate, and crunchy pecans, turtles have become a beloved dessert throughout America. There are turtle brownies, cakes, and pies—and at Augusta Bakery, a turtle Long John. What sets Augusta Bakery’s turtle Long John apart is how it’s made. The bakery only uses homemade caramel, and freshly-toasted pecans to top the turtle doughnuts, as well as semi-sweet chocolate chips, of course.
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