National Doughnut Day – First Friday of June

National Doughnut Day is a beloved occasion that pays homage to the delightful confection loved by many around the world. This day not only serves as a celebration of the sugary treat but also holds historical significance dating back to World War I.

From the origins of National Doughnut Day to the diverse array of flavors and varieties available, this article delves into the history, traditions, celebrations, and impact of this sweet day on both individuals and local businesses. Join us as we explore the doughnut-filled world of National Doughnut Day and uncover the delicious festivities that take place each year.

1. Origin and History of National Doughnut Day

Origins of National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day has its roots in the Great Depression era when The Salvation Army created the holiday to honor the ‘doughnut lassies’, women volunteers who provided donuts to soldiers during World War I.

Connection to World War I and the Salvation Army

Back in 1917, a group of amazing women from The Salvation Army were sent to France to help out on the front lines. Their mission? To boost the spirits of the troops by setting up field bases near the action. These makeshift huts became a place where soldiers could grab essentials and take a breather from the chaos of war.

Little did anyone know, these Salvation Army Lassies would end up making history by creating one of the most beloved food holidays. Instead of just restocking supplies, these women decided to whip up some homemade meals for the troops. They wanted to give the soldiers a taste of home, something comforting amidst the turmoil of battle.

And that’s when it happened – the birth of The Salvation Army Doughnut. Legend has it that these sweet treats were cooked up in the soldiers’ helmets, earning them the nickname “doughboys.” Thanks to the Donut Lassies, we now have National Doughnut Day to celebrate this delicious piece of history.

2. Significance and Celebrations

Importance of National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day serves as a tribute to the charitable works of The Salvation Army and celebrates the joy and comfort that a simple doughnut can bring to people.

How National Doughnut Day is Celebrated

On National Doughnut Day, people across the country indulge in their favorite doughnuts, and many doughnut shops offer special deals and promotions to mark the occasion. It’s a day to enjoy a sweet treat and spread happiness through a delicious fried pastry.

3. Popular Doughnut Recipes and Varieties

Here are a couple of delicious doughnut recipes you can try at home:

Classic Yeast Doughnuts


  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 cup warm milk (about 110°F)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.
  2. Prepare the Dough: In a large bowl, mix the milk, sugar, salt, butter, vanilla extract, and eggs. Add the yeast mixture and 2 cups of flour, and mix until smooth. Gradually add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Shape the Doughnuts: Roll the dough out to about 1/2-inch thickness on a floured surface. Use a doughnut cutter or two round cutters (one large and one small) to cut out the doughnuts and holes.
  5. Second Rise: Place the cut doughnuts on a floured baking sheet, cover them with a clean towel, and let them rise for another 30 minutes.
  6. Heat the Oil: In a large, deep pot, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Fry the Doughnuts: Carefully place a few doughnuts at a time into the hot oil. Fry each side for about 1 minute, or until golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried doughnuts to a wire rack lined with paper towels to drain.
  8. Make the Glaze: In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  9. Glaze the Doughnuts: Dip the warm doughnuts into the glaze, turning to coat. Place the glazed doughnuts back on the wire rack to let the glaze set.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Coating:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a doughnut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Mix Wet Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine Ingredients: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  5. Fill the Pan: Spoon the batter into the prepared doughnut pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake: Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the doughnuts are a light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the doughnuts to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Prepare the Coating: In a shallow bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon. Place the melted butter in another shallow bowl.
  8. Coat the Doughnuts: Once the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip each one into the melted butter, then roll in the cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat evenly.

Enjoy your homemade doughnuts!

4. Events and Promotions on National Doughnut Day

Special Events Hosted by Doughnut Shops

On National Doughnut Day, many doughnut shops organize special events such as doughnut decorating contests, limited-edition flavor releases, and charity fundraisers to engage with customers and celebrate the occasion in a fun and festive manner.

Promotions and Discounts on National Doughnut Day

Doughnut shops often offer promotions and discounts on National Doughnut Day, including free doughnuts with any purchase, buy-one-get-one deals, or exclusive menu offerings, encouraging doughnut lovers to indulge without breaking the bank. It’s a sweet way to enjoy the holiday and satisfy your cravings for these delectable treats.

5. Doughnut Day Traditions Around the World

Doughnuts have a universal appeal that transcends borders and cultures. From the classic American glazed doughnut to the indulgent French cruller, there are countless variations enjoyed worldwide. In Australia, they have the beloved jam-filled “doughnuts” while in India, you might find savory doughnuts known as “vada.” No matter where you are, chances are there’s a local twist on this sweet treat that is worth celebrating.

International Celebrations of National Doughnut Day

National Doughnut Day is not just an American affair. Countries around the world have embraced this delicious holiday, often with their unique traditions. In Canada, Tim Hortons offers special doughnut promotions, while in Japan, Mister Donut releases limited-edition flavors. Whether you’re in Europe, Asia, or beyond, National Doughnut Day is a time to indulge in the joy of fried dough and sugar.

6. The Impact of National Doughnut Day on Local Businesses

National Doughnut Day is not only a delight for doughnut lovers but also a boon for local bakeries and cafes. The day brings a significant boost in sales and foot traffic as customers flock to enjoy special discounts and promotions. For small businesses, National Doughnut Day presents a prime opportunity to engage with the community, increase brand awareness, and attract new customers.

Boost in Sales and Foot Traffic

On National Doughnut Day, businesses experience a surge in sales as doughnut enthusiasts seize the chance to indulge in their favorite treats. The irresistible allure of freshly baked doughnuts and special offers drives foot traffic, leading to increased revenue for local establishments.

Community Engagement and Brand Awareness

Beyond the financial impact, National Doughnut Day fosters community engagement and enhances brand awareness for local businesses. By participating in this beloved food holiday, establishments can connect with customers on a personal level, build loyalty, and create memorable experiences that resonate long after the last crumb is eaten.

7. Health Considerations and Alternatives on Doughnut Day

While National Doughnut Day is a time for indulgence, it’s essential to consider health factors and explore alternatives to the classic fried doughnut. With mindful choices and moderation, you can still savor the joy of Doughnut Day without compromising your well-being.

Healthy Doughnut Options

Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives to traditional doughnuts that allow you to satisfy your sweet cravings guilt-free. Baked doughnuts, gluten-free options, and those made with natural sweeteners offer lighter alternatives without skimping on flavor. Opting for nut butter-filled or fruit-topped doughnuts can also add a nutritious twist to your Doughnut Day celebrations.

Balance and Moderation during Doughnut Day Celebrations

While it’s tempting to dive headfirst into a box of sugary confections on National Doughnut Day, practicing balance and moderation is key to enjoying the festivities without overindulging. Consider sharing a doughnut with a friend, pairing it with a balanced meal, or opting for smaller portions to savor the flavor without the guilt. Remember, it’s all about finding the sweet spot between treating yourself and taking care of your health.

Closing Comments

National Doughnut Day is an occasion of joy and indulgence shared by doughnut enthusiasts worldwide and continues to linger in the air. Whether you celebrated by enjoying a classic glazed treat or ventured into the realm of innovative flavor combinations, the spirit of this day brings communities together in a shared love for all things doughnuts.

As we bid farewell to another delicious celebration, let the memories of sweet bites and sugary delights linger until next year’s National Doughnut Day rolls around once again.

Image by freepik


1. What is the history behind National Doughnut Day?

2. How do doughnut shops typically celebrate National Doughnut Day?

3. Are there any healthier alternatives or options for celebrating National Doughnut Day?

4. How can individuals support local businesses on National Doughnut Day?

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of a blog intended for avid readers.

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