Krispy Kreme stores and kiosks can easily be found across SA and so, we decided to look at cinnamon sugar doughnuts to see how they compare across retail brands in South Africa.
Global retailer, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, first ventured into the African market with the opening of their first store in Rosebank, Johannesburg in November 2015, bringing an American doughnut staple to South African homes!
Today, Krispy Kreme stores and kiosks can easily be found across SA, and whether it’s an original Krispy Kreme doughnut you’re after or a local favourite, doughnuts should always be fresh, light and fluffy!
So naturally, we decided to look at cinnamon sugar doughnuts from some of our local supermarkets, to see how they compare to the giant global brand. And as it turns out, cinnamon sugar doughnuts are harder to find than one might think! Not all supermarkets have them readily available, which is understandable because a doughnut is only really as good as it is fresh.
We did, however, manage to round up a few worthy cinnamon-coated samples and asked the Food24 tasting team to judge each sample blind to find out how SA supermarkets’ doughnuts compare to Krispy Kreme. Each sample was judged on freshness, texture, flavour and of course, whether the cinnamon sugar coating was to satisfaction or not!
While it came as no shock that none of the SA supermarkets managed to beat the cinnamon sugar doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, the results were interesting.
Krispy Kreme: 4/5
The tasting panel felt that this sample was fresh, light and fluffy, scoring the cinnamon sugar Krispy Kreme doughnut the highest in the Taste Test.
They had a weightless feel to them, which undoubtedly adds to their easy-eating scrumminess, and most tasters felt that the cinnamon sugar coating on the outside added a lovely crisp texture to the overall experience.
One taster found the cinnamon sugar coating a bit overwhelming and would have preferred a doughnut with more substance, noting: “Tastes good, but a tad too much sugar ’n spice. And a bit too skinny. It needs more substance to balance the sugar.”
Other comments tasters left: “This one was well balanced! Light and fluffy in the centre and coated well with enough cinnamon and sugar. Loved this one!” and “Super light, fluffy and airy. Really nice flavour, moreish. Light crisp cinnamon sugar coating on the outside.”
Cost: R80.80 for 4 ring doughnuts. Samples purchased from Krispy Kreme at the Kloof Checkers in Cape Town.
Food Lover’s Market: 3.3/5
Tasters enjoyed this sample, finding it was crisp on the outside whilst still being light and fluffy in the middle. The only thing the sample was marked down on was that it was notably oily.
Comments tasters left: “I can taste the oil in this one, which is a pity because the texture is light and fluffy and there’s a good enough amount of sugar. It could also use more cinnamon, though,” and “Love how crispy it was on the outside, enough cinnamon and sugar, but the oil that it was fried in can DEFINITELY be tasted still,” and lastly, “I like the fluffiness of this doughnut and the cinnamon sugar level is spot on. Pity about the ‘old oil’ aftertaste though.”
Cost: R39.99 for 9 doughnuts. Samples purchased from the Willowbridge Food Lover’s Market in Cape Town.
Pick n Pay: 3/5
Most tasters ultimately marked this sample down because they found it too dry and a tad too heavy.
One taster found the doughnut itself also had more of a savouriness to it, leaving the comment: “The actual dough is pretty salty and distracts one from the cinnamon and sugar. However, I am glad that it was not too sweet either. Not too light in weight and was pretty dense for a cinnamon doughnut.”
Other comments tasters left: “Found it very dry but possibly could go well with a coffee dip,” and “This sample tastes more like a sweet bread. It’s not light and fluffy… not my fave,” and “The cinnamon sugar is on point but the consistency is quite dense. Flavour is okay. Would I buy them? Probably not.”
Cost: R40 for 4 ring doughnuts. Samples purchased from Pick n Pay Gardens in Cape Town.
Overall, tasters weren’t blown away by this sample even though it was light and fresh, labelling it an average cinnamon sugar doughnut. Based purely on appearance, this sample looked most similar to the Krispy Kreme original, but tasters felt it lacked on the flavour front.
Tasters felt the sample was bland, noting: “It’s giving ‘bread’ vibes,” and “The dough is quite bland and you’re left with a slight bicarbonate aftertaste.”
Other comments tasters left: “The dough had a very yellow colour to it. It was light and airy but had a bit of an artificial flavour to it,” and “This is very average. Texture is somewhere between bread and doughnut. And the cinnamon-to-sugar ratio is off (too much sugar). It’s not bad, though… just not great.”
Cost: R39.96 for 4 ring doughnuts. Samples purchased from the Foreshore Woolworths in Cape Town.
Tasters found the cinnamon to be overpowering on this sample, with a few tasters finding the sample itself had a “funny” flavour to it, which ultimate caused the sample to be marked down.
Comments tasters left: “Sooo much cinnamon here! Someone was CLEARLY having a bad day when making this batch! It’s a noooo from me. Dough texture was not toooo bad though,” and “The doughnut had a funny flavour to it. Not my favourite and very heavy on the cinnamon.”
Cost: R40.00 for 6 small doughnuts. Samples purchased from the Sea Point SPAR in Cape Town.
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– All tasters tasted and scored all samples. Each individual taster’s preference impacts the score they give.
– The samples were tested without packaging and were not easily identifiable.
– The samples were not labelled and were tasted in random order.
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I was given a Krispy Kreme donut once – waaayyy to sweet for my taste, but I guess that is to be expected from an American product. Also at over R20 each I would rather go to Food Lovers; a similar score at half the price.
Thanks for the article but do yourself a favour and do have a taste of Cedar Spar, Bothasig’s cinnamon donuts (to be eaten on the day of purchase). They are hands down *the* best thing eva!