With the number of Baltimore bakeshops on the rise, so to speak, diners don’t have to look far to find doughnuts covered in a shiny glaze or layers of rainbow sprinkles.
Among the many small-batch bakeries that have sprouted in the area recently is Donut Alliance, which will officially open its doors on Harford Road in Lauraville later this month. The new brick-and-mortar from husband-and-wife owners Jeff and Emily Arenberg started in 2017 as a wholesaling business out of Govans food incubator B-More Kitchen.
“We’re vegan, so we wanted to create a vegan option that was sorely missed in Baltimore,” Emily says. “We worked really hard to get the doughnut perfect.”
Though creating a dairy-free doughnut might seem like a daunting task, the duo perfected their yeast-raised recipe using an egg replacer and non-dairy milk.
“Yeasted doughnuts are difficult whether you’re vegan or not,” Emily says. “We had to do more trial and error with learning how to work with yeasted breads, more so than actually getting the doughnut where we wanted it to be from a vegan perspective.”
Emily mentions Donut Alliance’s pink lemonade, Boston cream, and maple facon (coconut bacon) flavors as customer favorites. Throughout the past year, she has enjoyed providing an alternative to vegans and customers with egg and dairy allergies, but also introducing the product to diners who don’t have any dietary restrictions at all.
“Obviously the vegan community has really supported us,” she says. “But other people who have been open to trying it see that it’s just a great doughnut.”
Though the Arenbergs are still putting the finishing touches on their new shop, there are plenty of other local eateries to indulge in honor of National Doughnut Day on Friday, June 1. Here, we round up some of the hole-iest spots in the city:
Diablo Doughnuts: It’s practically a sin to discuss doughnuts in Charm City without mentioning this favorite, which opened in Fells Point in 2015 with flavors like cinnamon toast crunch and maple bacon, and recently moved to Federal Hill. On Doughnut Day, the Light Street location will donate all proceeds from special $2, Maryland-inspired doughnuts to Ellicott City relief efforts, while a pop-up at the Harbor Market in the Inner Harbor will offer their classic six varieties, including crowd-pleaser Unicorn Farts, starting at 11 a.m. 1035 Light. St., 410-892-3251
Full Circle Artisan Palace: Full Circle, which opened in the former home of Center Cut Doughnuts in Hampden, specializes in filled pastries, including their own doughnut interpretations of French toast and Berger cookies. This year, they’re trying something even more inventive for the holiday—a unique twist on the classic soft-shell crab sandwich. The sweet and savory treat includes a doughnut bun, roasted corn relish, Old Bay slaw, and a whole soft-shell crab, just in time for crab season. 3528 Chestnut Ave., 410-235-1808
Hoehn’s Bakery: A family-owned staple in the heart of Highlandtown since 1927, Hoehn’s offers way more than just doughnuts, but they certainly excel at those, too. Their pastries are all made from scratch inside the corner store, and at a dollar each (or $8.95 for a dozen), celebrating the holiday won’t set you back much—even if you choose to bring in a few for the office. 400 S. Conkling St., 410-675-2884
Donut Stop Believin’: Ever since hosting their first pop-up shop just over a year ago, this pun-obsessed confectioner has been building a loyal fan base in Baltimore with their cleverly named sweets. (We’re fans of Natty Boh Nut and Shut Your Pie Hole.) Founded by Doug Wetzel, the executive chef of Gertrude’s, Donut Stop Believin’ will be making an appearance at Little Baby’s Ice Cream at R. House in Remington this Friday, featuring cronuts inspired by classic Smith Island cakes for $2 each. 301 W. 29th St., 410-599-9982
Harmony Bakery: Grown from humble beginnings at Waverly Farmers Market, this vegan-friendly restaurant offers a selection of entirely gluten-free doughnuts in a cozy corner location. Choose one of a few vegan varieties—including chocolate glaze and cinnamon sugar—and grab a seat outside for a healthy start to your Friday. 3446 Chestnut Ave., 410-235-3870
Paradise Donuts: Linthicum’s Paradise Donuts is commemorating the holiday with a collaboration with Baltimore brewery Heavy Seas. The result is a blueberry pancake doughnut that’s glazed with maple and the distillery’s Blackbeard’s Breakfast porter. (Don’t worry—it’ll be reduced, so it’s non-alcoholic.) Try to place your order online before Friday, as an early sell-out is expected. 501 S. Camp Meade Rd., Linthicum, 410-487-6969
Batch Bake Shop: One of the newer bakeries in Baltimore, Batch Bake Shop has already made a name for itself with simple, made-from-scratch offerings like French macarons, scones, and, of course, doughnuts. The shop offers a pared-down selection of just four classics, including glazed and Boston cream. Batch is also the first stop on Saturday’s Donut Bike Crawl, which showcases the best bakeries in the city. 5414 Harford Rd., 410-800-2722