Why Do Donuts Have Holes? Sweet Treats Explained For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Jan 24, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Nov 16, 2021
Picture of assorted donuts in a box with chocolate frosted, pink glazed and sprinkles donuts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.5 Min

Donuts are one of the sweetest and fulfilling desserts that people of all age groups enjoy to eat.

Ever wondered why Dunkin Donuts is so popular with people? Well, that is cause they sell some of the tastiest donuts with different flavors, be it toppings or fillings.

Donuts have always been the craze and everyone has different preferences. Be it the traditional donut or the one suggested by your barista that is filled with chocolate or covered in the nuts, there is a donut flavor for everyone. No one ever declines this treat! Donuts are also one of the most experimental types of food ever to exist as shown in the TV series, 'Superior Donuts' that starred during 2017-2018 and had bakers fight over creating the tastiest treats.

For more interesting facts, go ahead and look atwhy do blind people wear sunglasses and why do doctors wear white coats.

Are there any donuts without holes on them?

There are several different types of donuts all over the world, but the most common would be the one with a small circle in the middle.

There are several different types of donuts all over the world with various toppings and fillings. It is quite a myth that all donuts have holes. If you have ever wondered if there are donuts with no holes, then you best believe that there are various types of such donuts that have been invented. There is a theory that the mother of Hanson Gregory, an American ship captain in the mid 19th century, made donuts but called them doughnuts at that time. She used to deep fry dough mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon in hot oil. She also mixed nuts like hazelnuts in the middle and therefore called this fried dough or fried cakes.

It is believed by some that Hanson Gregory invented the ring shape when he was 16. There are many speculations as to why there is a ring inside the donut. Some say that the hole made it easier for the sailor to hang a donut on the spoke of a ship's wheel while guiding the ship through a storm. Others say that Hanson didn't like the fried cakes, as the middle of the donut used to be doughy and did not cook evenly. To let the center fry, the edges burned, therefore Captain Gregory had the idea to just cut out a hole in the middle to solve the cold center problem.

Do all donut varieties have holes in them?

Traditional donuts tend to have holes in them, like the donuts made by Captain Gregory. There are several theories surrounding donuts and besides the sailor story, there is also another reason for donut holes.

Donuts and bagels are quite similar and became famous around the same time. Bagels were put on a stick or tied to a string and they have small holes in the middle. Donut makers took this idea to improve the crispiness and started to make donuts with holes in the middle. There are various different types of donuts all over the world and people tend to make them differently. While some are made with a filling, some are covered with various toppings. Modern bakers don't punch a hole in donuts after frying, rather the dough is shaped round with a hole before it is fried. This helps donuts to be crispy and not raw in the middle. A donut that has a filling inside has a very thin pastry. Donuts are deep-fried, which keeps them crisp.

Donuts with sprinkles on pink background.

Do holes in donuts make them more crispy?

Donuts have holes in them as being fried sweet cakes, they tend to be thicker in the middle. Without donut holes, this could make the dough in the middle greasy and doughy.

If the theory that the American sailor's mother, Elizabeth Gregory, made a donut by deep frying the dough is thought to be the origin of the theory of donuts having holes in them, then this tells us that it is easier to cook the dough evenly throughout when it isn't that thick in the middle. If the doughnut is plain or has toppings, it is made with a hole in the middle so that the pastry at the edges does not burn. If someone makes a donut with nuts, cream, or other sorts of filling inside, then the doughnut doesn't have a hole as the pastry is quite thin and the dough doesn't stay doughy at the center.

Can you make a donut without a hole in it?

Traditional donuts have holes, but more and more recipes have been developed over the years with donuts without holes in them. Donuts without holes are usually much thinner, meaning that the dough is not raw in the center.

Even traditional donuts are now made without holes in them, simply sprinkled with powdered sugar. Due to modern techniques, it is quite easy to cook donuts be it with a hole, filled with jam, or covered in nuts. Punching a hole in them is also an extra step but is much easier now.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do donuts have holes then why not take a look at Where do pickles come from? Food facts about tangy tasting pickles!, or Where do seashells come from? Interesting mollusks animal facts pages?

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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