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How Many Calories Are in Popular Flavors of Donuts?

How Many Calories Are in Popular Flavors of Donuts?

When it comes to figuring out the calories in donuts, there are many factors that come into play.

Is it a cake donut or a yeast donut? Is it filled? What it is topped with? Is it baked or fried?

Well, we’re going to break it all down to make sense of it all.

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How do you estimate calories in donuts?

If you find yourself grabbing a fresh donut from a local spot, how do you figure out how many calories there are?

This is where estimating comes into play.

My preferred strategy is finding somewhere that does say how many calories are in their donuts and using their donut calories as a reference. In this case, we’re going to look at Krispy Kreme donut calories and Dunkin donut calories.

Calories in popular flavors of donuts

How exactly can you use Dunkin and Krispy Kreme to figure out the donut calories of a local spot?

Let’s say you’re hitting up District Doughnut in DC (I tried their donuts when traveling and they were incredible, for the record) and you get a glazed donut.

With no nutritional info available, you’re left to guess how many calories are in that donut.

When we do a quick search, we find that Dunkin’s glazed donut has 240 calories and Krispy Kreme has 190 calories. There’s a bit of a difference here, but not much!

I simply use the average of the two to estimate my donut calories at local spots.

In this case, I’d count the glazed donut as having 215 calories. If the donut is gigantic, of course that will change things a bit. But if it’s a standard-sized donut, I feel comfortable using the average to estimate the calories.

Sure, it’s not going to always be accurate, but it beats taking a completely blind guess at how many calories are in the donut!


Cake donuts vs yeast donuts: what’s the difference?

When looking at the donut calories guide above, it probably seems very strange that a plain donut has 100 more calories than a sugar donut.

I mean, adding sugar should add more calories, right?

The reason is that the plain donut is a cake donut, whereas the sugar donut is a yeast donut.

Cake donuts are dense and buttery. They use a leavening agent such as baking powder to get their rise, and they’re similar to a cupcake/muffin texture. A traditional powdered sugar donut is an example of a cake donut. If you bake donuts at home, you’re likely baking cake donuts.

Yeast donuts are light and airy as they use yeast to get their rise. Any donuts with a glaze, icing, or filling are typically yeast donuts.

If you’re interested in the history of these doughnuts and the differences, there’s a great breakdown here.

Airy Yeast Jelly Donut

Why do cake donuts have more calories than yeast donuts?

It comes down to density. If you were to hold a cake donut in one hand and a yeast donut in the other, you’d feel how much heavier the cake donut is.

If calories are a concern, I would opt for a yeast donut. Although the difference is fairly minimal, the light & airy dough of these doughnuts is going to bring the calories down a bit.

Just be on the lookout for fillings: many yeast donuts will have a filling of some kind, which can bump up the donut calories quite a bit.


Calories in specific flavors of donuts

Let’s look at some of the most popular flavors of donuts and how the calories stack up at Dunkin vs Krispy Kreme.

Of course, there are other donut shops out there, but with these two the most popular, it makes sense to use ’em as our examples here. Remember, it’s all about estimating.


Plain/Cake Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 310 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 290 Calories
Estimated Calories: 300 Calories

The plain donut may also be referred to as a “traditional cake” donut. It’s slightly less sweet than most of the other donuts you’ll find, but it’s still rich and dense, and perfect for dipping into coffee. Remember, the plain cake donut is going to have slightly more calories than if you had a plain yeast donut due to the density and slightly different ingredients vs a yeast donut.


Sugar Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 210 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 190 Calories
Estimated Calories: 200 Calories

The sugar donut is a yeast donut that is tossed in sugar immediately after frying (or in the case of Krispy Kreme, tossed in cinnamon & sugar). You typically won’t find a “plain” yeast donut, so this is the next best thing! Since the sugar coating is only sugar, and not something heavier like a glaze, this is the lowest calorie yeast donut you will typically find.


Glazed Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 240 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 190 Calories
Estimated Calories: 215 Calories

My personal favorite: the glazed donut! It was shocking for me to find that a glazed donut is only around 200 calories- I would have assumed it would be higher.

I’m a sucker for a light & airy yeast donut, and the hardened sugar glaze on the outside creates the perfect texture in my eyes. The glazed donut is also the reason for that “Hot Light” at Krispy Kreme- when the light comes on, it means they have fresh glazed donuts ready for you.


Glazed Chocolate Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 360 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 250 Calories
Estimated Calories: 305 Calories

What’s the difference between a glazed chocolate donut and a regular glazed donut (outside of the obvious answer of “chocolate”)? A typical glazed donut is going to be a yeast donut, which is lower in calories. The chocolate version is going to be a cake doughnut, making it much more dense and rich. If you’re in the mood for a sweet donut but calories are a concern, choosing an original glazed over a chocolate glazed can save you nearly 100 calories!


Frosted or Iced Donut

Photo courtesy of Dunkin
Dunkin: 270 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 210-250 Calories
Estimated Calories: 250 Calories

Growing up, the frosted donut with sprinkles from Dunkin was always my favorite. More specifically, the strawberry frosted donut. These donuts are very similar to glazed, with the difference being the slightly thicker frosting on top and the addition of the sprinkles.

Dunkin serves up a vanilla frosted donut, but Krispy Kreme only has chocolate & strawberry on their menu.

What if you leave the sprinkles off? If you were to order a chocolate iced doughnut from Krispy Kreme, the calories would drop from 250 calories to 240 calories. Not a huge difference, but worth noting!


Powdered Sugar Donut

Powdered Sugar Donut Property of Krispy Kreme

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 330 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 310 Calories
Estimated Calories: 320 Calories

Much like how a sugar donut is simply a yeast donut tossed in sugar; the powdered sugar donut is a cake donut tossed in powdered sugar!  This one is another classic, and for very good reason: they are absolutely delicious. I mean, who doesn’t love powdered sugar?


Coffee Roll / Cinnamon Bun

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 390 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 270 Calories
Estimated Calories: 320 Calories

This is where things start to get a bit tricky. The coffee roll from Dunkin is very similar to the cinnamon bun you can get from Krispy Kreme, but clearly there is a difference in calories- 120 calories to be exact. While they’re certainly similar, the Dunkin version is on the larger side.

If calories are a concern for you, this one may not be your best bet. Between the glazed outside and the brown sugar & butter on the inside, this is a bit higher in calories than many other donut options.


Boston Kreme Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 270 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 350 Calories
Estimated Calories: 310 Calories

The boston kreme donut is many people’s favorite donut. Personally, I’m not a fan of filling in donuts, but I can see the appeal!

Much like the cinnamon roll above, there is quite a discrepancy in the calories of these doughnuts. Since every donut shop uses its own unique filling with different ingredients, it’s no surprise that the calories differ. If you’re trying to estimate the calories in a boston kreme filled donut at a local spot, keep in mind that this one can vary quite a bit.


Jelly Filled Donut

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 250 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 270 Calories
Estimated Calories: 260 Calories

The jelly-filled donut is another classic that you’ve most likely tried (or at the very least, seen). Depending on where you order from, the filling can be a variety of different flavors and not just strawberry. But note that this is different than anything with cream filling and will typically have slightly lower calories.


Glazed Cruller

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 230 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 240 Calories
Estimated Calories: 235 Calories

What is a cruller, you ask? It’s basically just a fancy way to shape a donut! They take a donut, make the shape all funky, then glaze it. You’ll find these as either cake donuts or yeast donuts depending on where you are!

At Dunkin, it looks like they use a yeast dough for the crullers, as the calories are very similar to their glazed donut. At Krispy Kreme, the description says that they use a cake doughnut, which explains the slightly higher calories.


Chocolate Glazed Cruller

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 280 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 240 Calories
Estimated Calories: 260 Calories

What happens when you take a cruller, but add some chocolate frosting instead? Well, at Dunkin, I guess it adds 50 calories! The chocolate cruller at Krispy Kreme is the same as their original, though. If I had to guess, I would say that Dunkin is using much more sugar in their chocolate frosting, because cocoa powder tends to need extra sweetener. But, that’s just a guess!


Apple Fritter

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 510 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 350 Calories
Estimated Calories: 430 Calories

Apple Fritters are a tough one to estimate calories for, because they can vary so much. Not only can the size differ (Dunkin has a larger fritter than Krispy Kreme), but the amount of glaze, apples, brown sugar, butter, etc, can also vary! The Dunkin apple fritter has 160 more calories than Krispy Kreme, so if you are absolutely craving an apple fritter but want to save some calories, visit Krispy Kreme!


Donut Holes / Munchkins

Photo courtesy of Krispy Kreme
Dunkin: 90 Calories
Krispy Kreme: 50 Calories
Estimated Calories: 70 Calories

Donut holes are exactly what they sound like- they’re the little balls of dough that are cut out of the donuts when they make them! They’re typically cake donuts, but you may find lighter yeast donut holes as well. I used to eat Pop’Ems as a kid, which are glazed donut holes sold by Entenmann’s, and they’re incredible. When I checked the calories of those, each donut hole is 60 calories, making this estimate seem quite accurate!


Should you count the calories of donuts?

All in all, I don’t expect you to be too concerned with the calories in donuts you’re ordering. They’re donuts after all, and they exist for your enjoyment!

But my take is that it never hurts to know.

If you find yourself on a road trip and passing a Krispy Kreme, but you want to stay mostly on track with your calories or macros, then knowing which options better fit into your day can be very helpful.

However, donuts are a treat, and I hope you can enjoy them as such! Even if you eat an extra 500 calories worth of donuts, you won’t ruin your progress. No matter what your goals are, you can enjoy a donut sometimes.

Should you eat the donut

If you enjoy them, then it is totally worth it.

I firmly believe in flexible dieting and eating the foods we love. As long as we can follow moderation, nothing should ever be off-limits!


Can you make healthy donuts at home?

You can, and they’re actually much easier than you might think!

Sure, yeast donuts require quite a bit of work (who wants to mess with letting the dough sit and rise?) but cake donuts can be made quite easily at home!

If you want to explore all of my donut recipes, be sure to check them out right here.

The best protein donuts

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