Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vegan Diva Donuts

Since I'm (finally!) done with school, I have some free time before starting my next full-time venture. I've been thinking about how to spend my free days, although I've really enjoyed just lazing about for this past week, and looked into taking a pilates class, thought about visiting museums, and then decided that I'd really like to devote one day a week to food (tough choice, pilates? or food!).

I started a list a while ago of the restaurants or other food establishments that I want to visit while I'm here in New York, since I don't know exactly how long I'll be here. Some of them are super fancy (Per Se), while others just sound downright delicious (Dinosaur Barbecue). I've had this list for a while, along with reviews of other places I've ripped out of magazines and taped to my wall, and I'm going to try to be more diligent about actually visiting these places and trying the things that sound so great in print. Since I'll have days free, I'll probably be taking myself out to lunch a lot!

The next two weeks are Restaurant Week here in New York, so I have two lunches and a dinner lined up, all of which I'm really excited about. But this morning, I braved the freezing cold wind to pick up some donuts I had read about in this week's Time Out New York.

They're different from your average donut for a few reasons:
1. They're baked not fried.
2. They're vegan which means there's no butter or eggs in the dough. They're also kosher.
3. They're only 180 calories each (To compare, a comparable Cinnamon Cake Donut at Dunkin Donuts is 340 calories).
4. There's no hole in the middle! See:

They were created by Vegan Divas which specializes in high-quality, all natural, vegan and kosher baked goods, which are sold throughout Manhattan at different markets. Luckily, Butterfield Market carries their products and is only 2 short subway stops away from me! So this afternoon, I bundled up for a visit. I was hoping to have a selection of flavors to choose from since they carry various kinds such as Cinnamon-Sugar, Toasted Coconut, and Chocolate-fleur de sel, but today the market only had one kind, the Cinnamon-Sugar. I couldn't help but buy four of them (2 for me, 2 for Shaun) and waited until I got home to taste test.

Since sugar is hydroscopic (the most over-used buzz word in pastry classes), it attracts moisture. Because of this quality, it's really best to roll something in sugar just before serving it, but because these donuts are mass produced, this step obviously has to be done ahead of time. Sadly, what this means is the donuts end up a little wet since the moisture has begun to seep out of them, and you don't get that yummy crunchy crust on the outside that a roll in sugar would normally provide.

These donuts fall in the "cake" donut category, so they have a denser, crumblier texture than the other lighter, airier version. It took me a few bites before I figured out exactly what this donut reminded me of, and it came to me slowly. It felt and tasted like biting into a muffin, and then slowly I realized that it sort of reminded me of a bran muffin. That may sound unappealing to you, but picture a really good, sweet bran muffin that has a yummy, sugary, sticky-sweet topping, and that's sort of what this was. It was definitely good (I ate both of mine within 4 hours), and I was impressed with the taste, texture, and quality given that it's a vegan and kosher product. But I have to say, when I'm craving a donut (which is a craving I almost never give into), this isn't really what I'm looking for, and I wouldn't go out of my way to get one again. But if I found myself in front of a Vegan Divas sign, I would probably pick up some cookies to keep me company on the way home.

*Please note, none of these posts in which I review places at which, or products, I've eaten are in any way sponsored or paid for by anyone but myself. The establishments have no idea who I am, that I'm writing about them, and probably don't care one way or another what I have to say.


  1. The establishments may not care what you say but I sure do. The donut looks super yummy but you are right the way you described it does not make me want to run out and try a vegan donut....However, if someone bought one for me I am sure I would enjoy my donut like bran muffin.

  2. try Vegan Divas's chocolate mousse! omg, i just had one..i kept looking at the bottom of container- no way could this sinfully lovely rich mousse be only 42 calories! but it is, made from tofu..but i swear you could serve this to the biggest junk food eater you know and they will love it, just don't tell them what it is made from until they are finished licking the container clean, lol. seriously it was amazing. try it!


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