Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Donut Fest Cleveland

This girl loves donuts. So much so, we had a donut truck at our wedding. Best. Idea. Ever. You know else is a great idea? A donut festival. An even better idea? Bringing it to Cleveland!

donuts, cleveland, Jack Frost, Peace Love and Little Donuts
Donut Fest was started in Chicago by a former NE Ohioan and has only also been held in NYC up until now. This year they debuted in our very own CLE. When I heard about it, I knew immediately it was a Must Do. And a lot of other people felt the same way because it sold out in 3 1/2 hours. Faster than both other cities. Yep, CTown loves its donuts. 

And we have a lot to choose from. Twelve great bakeries were represented at the inaugeral festival and we still have many others that weren't. (maybe next year!) Donut lovers united at Red Space to experience one of the sweetest food buzzes around. There was donut themed art and lots of people wearing clothing to match. People in CLE are serious about their donuts.
donut, Red Space, Cleveland, Prince, art, coffee
The true test of a donut is the traditional glazed yeast version in my opinion. It's always my favorite but I love interesting flavors too. It was nearly impossible to pick a winner. Thankfully I wasn't a judge but here are my top picks. 

Classics
Jack Frost may be known for their over the top filled donuts but the glazed are amazing. If you haven't tried them, what are you waiting for?? These guys have been showing off their donut skills for years and it shows. Texture, chew and sweetness are perfect. They offered a huge variety of donuts so everyone could choose their favorite and got bonus points for handing out full-sized instead of the typical 1/4 donuts samples. The canoli donut even had a teeny tiny cannoli on top.

George's has guts and it shows. They ONLY entered a glazed donut. Boom! Get to Twinsburg early if you want to try these because they always sell out early. Pro tip: place an order the day before.
donuts, Cleveland, festival

Road Trip Worthy
MaryAnn Donuts Cafe in Canton and Holey Toledough of Toledo may not be in Cleveland but they would both make for a fun Sunday drive. MaryAnn's entry was filled with Strawberries and Cream, but the powdered donut itself was magical on its own. I will be paying them a visit. Plus they spelled out "Donut Fest Cleveland" in donuts for major style points. 
cleveland, donuts, Donut Fest

Holey Toledough also featured a fruity filling. Their "Best Donut Ever" cake donut with raspberry jam, white chocolate ganache and crushed macadamia nuts was decant and delicious. I also liked the small size.


donuts, Donut Fest, cleveland, festival

Most Unique
Brewnuts is known for their beer infused donuts and they went all out for their entry. The classic raised donut was filled with a chocolate malted mousse, glazed with salted beer caramel sauce and topped with crushed sour dough pretzels and Maldon flaked salt. The flavors were amazing - I could have eaten a bowl of the glaze! Mine was missing the filling and I didn't miss it. If only their donuts had a better texture, this would have been my winner with no competition. If you ever see them selling this flavor, make sure you try it. Knock people out of your way if necessary. (joking!)
donuts, Moxie, cleveland, festival
They also brought the must have accessory to the fest:
Donut Fest, Cleveland, donuts, donut mess with cleveland, Brewnuts
Biggest Surprise
Moxie is normally known for their fine dining but owner Jonathan Bennett is a huge donut lover and it shows. His Vanilla Bean Glazed with Caramelized Krispies was one of my top picks. (put these on the menu please!)

A special shout out for the chocolate ganache on Bloom Bakery's donut hole. Dark and rich it was the real deal.

Here are the official winners:

Judges Picks
1. Peace, Love and Little Donuts of West Park - Raspberry Coffee Cake
2. Holey Toledough - White Chocolate, Jam and Macadamia Nut
3. Brew Nuts - Salty Malty


Fan Favorites
1. Jack Frost - Glazed
2. Brew Nuts Salty Malty
3. George's (Twinsburg) - Glazed
It was a great place to see and make friends at the event! Who doesn't love a photo booth with a giant donut prop?!
Cleveland, Donut Fest, donuts, photo booth, Ohio Festivals, Lisa Sands


And don't you just love @momona_moproblems outfit? She's even more obsessed with donuts then me! I think someone needs to start a donut blog...
donuts, donut earrings, donut leggings, cleveland, donut fest
Thankfully they had lots of coffee from City Roast, Rising Star, Erie Island, Solstice, Heartwood and Joe Maxx plus milk from Hartzler's to wash all the sugary treats down with. A truly unique and surprising delicious beverage was Donut Infused Nitro Cold Brew from 46 and 2 Brewing. The only thing missing was water. We desparately needed water. As we were leaving we found a lonely pitcher and some plastic cups by the exit. I thankfully chugged a glass and headed home in a sugar induced daze.

Good news! If you missed out on the fun they WILL be back next year. Follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or sign up for their mailing list here.


*** Disclosure: I was invited to attend the event and share 
my opinions. As always, all thoughts are my own. ***



2 comments:

  1. Awesome, I will definitely attend next years. Great pics by the way. Love to see all the coffee vendors supporting this, I'm a big fan of Solstice so I was excited to see them mentioned!

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  2. This is so cool!!! I'm always out in the suburbs for some appointment, and living downtown, I never know the go-to hot donut spots. So now I know where to hit up for donuts!! Thanks!!!

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