5 Delicious Dessert Alternatives for National Doughnut Day

Chez Billy's Paris Brest dessert bests a Krispy Kreme any day. Photograph by Scott Suchman

We love a great doughnut as much as anyone, but sometimes you have to step outside the glazed zone for your sweet, doughy fix (yes, even on National Doughnut Day). Here are a few delicious alternatives.

Cream puffs 

Who doesn’t love airy pâte à choux dough filled with luscious layers of cream?  Our dessert dreams are filled with memories of the Paris Brest at Chez Billy/Chez Billy Sud, which incorporates hazelnuts (lucky for home bakers, we have the recipe). Another tasty version: the Chantilly petit fours available from Arno’s Pastry (1900 Reston Metro Plaza, Reston, VA).

Cinnamon-dusted churros. Photograph by Flickr user x_tine.


Try the cactus-ribbed branches of fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar–a popular sweet snack in Spain and elsewhere. We’re partial to the Estadio‘s version, with warm, dark chocolate sauce for dipping (1520 14th St., NW).

Hand-rolled flakies. Photograph courtesy of Buttercream Bakeshop, by Abby Jiu.


These light, butter-laminated croissants go beautifully with coffee, or on their own. Find them at Buttercream Bakeshop (1250 Ninth St., NW), offered with a cream filling du-jour.

Chef David Guas’s expert beignets. Photograph courtesy of Bayou Bakery.


We’re addicted to these Southern fritters, dusted with powdered sugar–especially the airy trio of beignets from Bayou Bakery (901 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 1515 N Courthouse Rd., Arlington).

Baked zeppole. Photograph by Kyle Bruggeman.


These delicate Italian pastries are often filled with a dollop of sweet cream. Sample the zeppole with Bavarian cream and seasonal fruit available at Graffiato (707 Sixth St., NW), or The Partisan‘s lemon-ricotta zeppole, served with lemon curd and cream (709 D St., NW).


Label courtesy of Evil Twin Brewing.

Donut Brews

Some days, especially Fridays, call for drinking dessert. A quick fix: Evil Twin Brewing Company Imperial Donut Break, available at Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, among other locations (1529 Connecticut Ave., NW).

Assistant Editor

Hayley is an Associate Editor at Washingtonian Weddings. Previously she was the the Style Editor at The Local Palate, a Southern food culture magazine based out of Charleston, South Carolina. You can follow her on instagram @wandertaste.