Hard to Handle

For most of my life I was unaware of the Dunkin’ Donut. Anyone with any type of good sense knows about Dunkin’ Donuts the store, but did you know that there was a donut called the “Dunkin’ Donut”, with a special nubbin to make coffee dunking easy and efficient? It was like a donut-crueller hybrid, a donut magnifying glass, an edible symbol that Prince might employ in his lexicon of ambiguous sexual identity.

I made Italian Ricotta donut holes (a Better Homes and Gardens prize-winning recipe!) with my mom last weekend which is why donuts are even on the brain right now. My Donut Companion and I were deep in a donut discussion (top three flavors – chocolate [preferably from the Dunk], cinnamon [preferably Hostess] and blueberry cake [also from the Dunk], the differences between custard-filled and frosting-filled, why Krispy Kremes really aren’t the best, hot or not) and then I brought up the Dunkin’ Donut. My Donut Companion was oblivious that such a sweet and delicious beast ever existed and for a moment actually doubted that it did. Not one to be proved wrong, I did exhaustive online searches which brought up ZERO images of the most functional donut ever. So I did what any rational person who can’t leave well enough alone did and emailed corporate headquarters at the Dunk.

Hi Dunkin Donuts,
Longtime dunker, first time commenter. I have a general question for you – [My Donut Companion] does not believe that the “Dunkin’ Donut” with a handle used to dunk the donut into coffee ever existed. There are no pictures online either. Can you send me a picture or something to otherwise convince him I am correct about all things Dunk? So far he has been gloating because he thinks he is right and we can’t have that, can we?
Thank you!

Days of eating donuts with no handles passed. (The Dunkin’ Donut was retired in 2003 since their unique shape required hand-cutting. Thus, they were not profitable or mass-produceable and since regular old round cake donuts could be machine made and were basically the same thing, they killed the donut unicorn in favor of the less magical, hornless donut horse.) Then I received this:

Dear Liz
Thank you for taking the time to contact Dunkin’ Donuts. We always appreciate hearing from our customers. Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of the Dunkin’ Donut. We did have a donut called the Dunkin’ Donut that had a handle. We began making a new and improved cake donut with a new and improved process to produce our cake donuts. This new process does not allow us to make the shape of the Dunkin’ Donut.

At Dunkin’ Donuts we value our customers and are committed to making your visits to our stores a pleasant experience. If we can be of any further service please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-859-5339.
Thank you and have a great day.


So there you have it, an anti-climactic conclusion without pictures. But “new and improved”? I beg to differ! Are those your words, or THE MAN’S words, Jessica??

Jessica did, however, prove me right in the existence-of-this-donut department, but with no image, my “right-ness” feels harder to grasp. Just like donuts nowadays.

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  • Comments (5)
  1. As a MA native who recently relocated to DC, one of my biggest concerns was the lack of Dunkin’ Donuts in our nation’s capital. My worst fears were realized when I discovered that the closest Dunks to my office was over a mile away … and after that the trek stretched to like five miles! I was heartbroken. Luckily you can order coffee beans online, but I never anticipated the day that I would need to plan a roadtrip just to feed my chocolate cruller (it’ll never be just a “stick”) and bacon-egg-cheese on a toasted wheat bagel jones. As for the fabled dunkin’ donut, those were a favorite of my mother’s and we always made sure to pick up one or two for her when we made our weekly pilgrimage to Dunks on our way home from Sunday Mass.

    • Lorne
    • February 25th, 2006

    HA! who knew? This was an informative and highly entertaining post. Keep up the good work!

    • JenBowen
    • March 22nd, 2006

    I don’t want to hear anyone complain that the closest DD is a mile away – try living in CO where they don’t exist! *sigh* Yes, its sad but true. When I moved here I was totally shocked to find that DD are nowhere to be found. BUT in my relentless hunting I did find an interesting substitute…this little Korean couple bought a DD before they closed down their CO locations, and they make what taste exactly like official Dunkin Donut donuts, out of their cute little restaurant named Yoo N’ Yu (or Yu N’ Yoo, I’m never sure). Anyway, they seem to quash a hankerin’ for a Dunkin, for the most part. But the selection depends on what they decided to make that day, so its always an adventure.

    But Liz, how did you not experience the official Dunkin Donut?? I remember those, as a kid, they were my grandmother’s favorite. I didn’t find the “handle” any easier than just holding the donut on the side (the official Dunkin had nothing on it, so it wasn’t messy or difficult to hold, it was just an old fashioned cake donut).

    • Lorraine
    • June 26th, 2006

    Hi there, I found your site on a search for the very same thing – a picture of the “Dunkin’ Donut.” This was my favorite of their menu. It had no glazings, and was not the same as their plain cake donuts. It was more crispy and less sweet and dense. I’m sad that it’s gone. I don’t like the “sugar shock” from their other donuts, and their bagels are gross. Why can’t they make good bagels? Or a nice pot of tea? Anyway, thanks for confirming that the Dunkin’ Donut is extinct.

    • Tori
    • October 9th, 2006

    For those looking for a picture of the Dunkin Donut (complete with handle) I managed to find one:
    Dunkin Donut  (antique)

    It did exist!

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