Donut or Doughnut?

In ninth grade, I had a math teacher who one day wrote something that wasn’t an equation on the whiteboard. Instead, he jotted down perhaps the most perplexing question facing humanity.

“Donuts or Doughnuts?”


Raise your hands if you know how to spell “donut.”

For what it’s worth, the AP Stylebook cites “doughnut” as its preferred spelling of the word but do you really think I am going to defer to a stuffy and archaic grammar guide as my authority on such an important manner? Please!

My preference is “donut” and that is the spelling I would choose if I could only use one version for the rest of my life. However, I do understand that exceptions are sometimes necessary so I can excuse and sometimes even use “doughnut.” Here is my quick breakdown:

Sloan holding her “worms in dirt” donut from Casual Friday Donuts.

The pastry treats topped with sprinkles and filled with jelly in the bakery section of your supermarket are donuts. The homemade maple bars served with chili at the elementary school I attended are donuts. Those mini bites from Hostess that come in powdered and chocolate form are donuts. In my mind, the word “donut” describes a mouth-watering, calorie-rich, blue collar treat that is a staple of morning meetings and Saturday family breakfasts.

On the other hand, I equate a “doughnut” as the gourmet and prettier version of its “donut” brother. You might order a doughnut in a bougie café and eat it with a fork.

But if this question doesn’t weigh as heavily on your mind as it does for me and you don’t have a preferred spelling in the donut/doughnut debate, I would offer this advice: just be consistent. In your written communications choose one and stick with it.

I don’t always heed my advice when it comes to staying consistent with my donut/doughnut spelling

Funny enough, the above advice isn’t necessarily heeded by this blogger. A quick search of Don’t Blink will reveal that I have used both terms over the years, although the usage of “donut” is much more prevalent. I hope to make it the exclusive spelling of my blog from this point forward.

Donut or doughnut? Although I have a preference, if you are giving me one (make it an apple fritter, please), you can spell it however you want. Don’t Blink.

One thought on “Donut or Doughnut?

  1. It’s fairly straight forward, Brent. If a donut business offers any item that is of the “cake” variety, they should NEVER refer to themselves as a “doughnut” shop because cake donuts aren’t made with “dough”, but rather from “batter’, just as you would bake a cake (or cookies) at home. There is NO DOUGH in old fashioned, blueberry or other cake donuts served across the country. If a business ONLY served items made with yeast, fermented, rolled, cut, proofed and fried, they could consider themselves “doughnuts”, but they should NEVER, if they also offer cake donuts.

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