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Written by Suzanne Johnson
Photos by
Tambi Lane

How to Find the Best Donuts in Bend and Central Oregon

6 round donuts with sprinkles by Sweetheart Donuts

Maple bars oozing with custard. Pink glazed rings with sprinkles, Homer Simpson style. Cinnamon twists and rolls heavy with frosting. Got your mouth watering yet? Donuts are a classic comfort treat, but they’re not just for breakfast anymore. A fresh batch of Central Oregon bakers are taking donuts to the next level of dessert decadence, just right for special events or for everyday indulgence.

Sweetheart Donuts
Sweetheart Donuts of Bend’s famous ring donuts with sprinkles.

Celebrating with Donuts

When Shelbi Bloc added a breakfast pastry to her menu at Too Sweet Cakes, her boutique bakery in Bend, she knew no ordinary donut would fit. She developed her own croissant donut, a tall, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth ring dusted with sugar and dripping with glaze. The buttery dough is folded 100 times, to create steamy pockets that keep the layers airy and light.

It’s no wonder her creation transcended the breakfast crowd and landed in special occasions. “Donuts are so popular for weddings and events because these days people seek the familiar. Donuts remind us of home and of childhood—and they’re even better when they are really special,” said Bloc.

Too Sweet Cakes
Lavender almond, vanilla sprinkle, cherry chip, maple, and chocolate croissant donuts at Too Sweet Cakes.

Since launching Too Sweet Cakes in 2018, Bloc has opened locations in Lake Oswego, Oregon, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Black Rock Coffee shops throughout Oregon also carry her pastries.

Gourmet Flavors

Chalk to Flour
From top to bottom: birthday cake: vanilla cake with vanilla glaze and sprinkles; Aztec: chocolate cake with spiced chocolate glaze and sugar; churro: vanilla cake with cinnamon and sugar; Elvis: banana cake with peanut butter glaze, strawberry jam and bacon crumbles.

At Chalk to Flour, a cottage bakery in Bend, owner Kristina Serhan agrees that the gourmet donuts trend stems from cravings for comfort food, beautifully crafted. Serhan began with a high-protein donut that reflected her passion for CrossFit training. Currently she focuses on mini- and full-size cake donuts that are baked, not fried. “The minis are just right for baby showers or any event needing a little delicious treat,” said Serhan.

Serhan bakes desserts to order, and sometimes the requested flavors are surprising. She recently created an Elvis-themed donut modeled after his favorite sandwich: banana and bacon, with peanut butter and jelly. And her own current favorite? “Definitely the Aztec chocolate donut—the spice glaze has cinnamon, chipotle and cayenne. Just enough kick to complement the sweet,” she said.

Twists on the Classics

Traditional donuts range from glossy, yeast-leavened pillows of dough to dense cake donuts covered in sprinkles to fritters cobbled together with fruit. At The Dough Nut, a Bend take-out donut shop with midtown and westside locations, owners Kirk and Sidonie Heppler offer all the classics, plus add a few unique twists. “We have fun with toppings and seasonal flavors, like pumpkin chai in winter and strawberry shortcake in summer, but we make our signature donuts year-round,” said Heppler.

The Dough Nut
Clockwise: cake with chocolate sprinkles, Oreo, cake with peanut topping, cake with colored sprinkles, salted caramel, blueberry sprinkle.

Heppler’s favorite is their PB&J donut, jam-filled and topped with peanut butter frosting. Another signature combo is the French toast donut: a raised donut drenched in an egg wash, grilled, and drizzled with maple glaze. For a more substantial snack, they slice the French toast donut, add ham and swiss, and grill it again for a Monte Cristo sandwich.

Occasionally, the Hepplers team up with other Bend establishments. Their donuts are the foundation for J-Dub’s breakfast sandwiches, and they’ve collaborated with a local brewery on stout-infused donut holes. Homespun recipes mean the donuts are made from scratch with no trans-fats or corn syrup.

Wickiup Junction
A Wickiup Junction apple fritter for two, but we won’t tell if you don’t share.


At Wickiup Junction in LaPine, roadtrippers stop to fuel their vehicles while filling their bellies with supersized handmade donuts. Sarah Maurer, the pastry baker, arrives at 2:30 each morning to begin the lengthy proofing process.

She keeps an eye on the weather—humidity and temperatures impact how yeast behaves, and she’s looking for maximum rise. By 6 a.m. she begins frying what she describes as “all-day donuts, meant for sharing.”

The display case soon fills with apple fritters and cinnamon rolls the size of dinner plates, bear claws and donut rings big enough for two…and then come the bacon maple bars. Maurer drops hot grilled bacon bits into the maple glaze, melting into the topping. “My favorite part is hearing people’s reactions when I bring out a full tray of these bars,” said Maurer.

Just a Nibble

For donut lovers who crave just a bite, Grandma B’s Mini-treats in Redmond fills a unique niche. Emily Brattan, owner and baker, uses her own recipes to re-create pastries she loved as a child, such as powdered mini-donuts, whoopie pies and Pop-Tarts. “A mini-treat is a small commitment—it’s just enough to feel good about,” said Bratton.

Grandma B's
Grandma B’s mini-donuts in powdered sugar, vanilla with lemon glaze, cinnamon and sugar, and vanilla with chocolate glaze flavors.

Her version of the Pop-Tart folds a crunchy buttermilk crust around traditional fillings like strawberry, brown sugar, and s’mores. Grandma B’s Mini-treats are available at the Honey & Pine Coffee kiosk in Redmond, or by special custom order.

Donuts for the People

Donut fans in Bend never need to travel far to get their fix. On the north end of town, in the Bend River Promenade, Delish Donuts stands out for their generous donut toppings and their old-fashioned buttermilk bar, shaped to dunk in coffee (see on page 130). And at Sweetheart Donuts, an easy stop centrally located on Business 97, every box
of donuts should include a Big Foot, their Bismarck-style donut shaped like a Sasquatch footprint.

Richard's Donuts
Old fashioned, cruller, donut holes and the cherry tiger tail twist from Richard’s Donuts.

Fan Fave

Ask any long-time Bendite where to find great donuts, and they’ll surely mention Richard’s Donuts Bend’s longest-running donut shop. “We’re pretty traditional with our donuts and how we make them,” said Joy Khamphanh. Her parents, Thong and Kham Khamphanh, own and operate the business, and Joy manages the shop. It’s no surprise the shop has thrived for more than two decades: the atmosphere is inviting, the donuts are consistently delicious (Khamphanh’s favorite is the cherry tiger-tail twist) and the owners love their customers. “Making the donuts is fun, but for my mom it’s all about the customers. She knows all the families who come in, and has watched kids grow up. This community means a lot to her,” said Khamphanh.

Because bringing a little sweetness into customers’ lives is what the donut business is all about.

See more articles on the best restaurants, breweries, bars and food carts in Bend and Central Oregon.

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