National Doughnut Day: Sweet Treats and Family Fun

There’s something undeniably delightful about a soft, sweet doughnut, making it a beloved treat for families everywhere. Originally a Dutch treat brought to the U.S. by immigrants in the 17th and 18th centuries, doughnuts were fried dough balls named “oil cakes,” similar to today’s treats but without the iconic ring shape.

National Doughnut Day was created by the Chicago Salvation Army in 1938 to raise much-needed funds during the Great Depression. It was also a tribute to the “Doughnut Lassies,” the Salvation Army volunteers who traveled overseas during World War I to provide soldiers with spiritual support, supplies, and baked goods. Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance are famous for first frying up doughnuts in soldiers’ helmets, providing a much-needed morale boost for the weary soldiers. Today, we pay homage annually on the first Friday in June.

This annual celebration isn’t just about indulging in delicious treats; it’s also a wonderful opportunity for families to come together and create sweet memories. Whether it’s a morning trip to the local bakery or making them together at home, doughnuts have made their way into treasured family traditions. Any weekend trip to the Donut Shop is sure to include sightings of pint-sized athletes fresh from the field or court, enjoying a treat after the game. These delicacies have even become a staple at southern Sunday school classes and are a popular theme for baby showers, birthday parties and weddings. It’s no wonder that in the U.S. alone, more than 10 billion doughnuts are made every year!

And why not? What could be better than a soft, doughy treat topped with chocolate, sprinkles, and nuts, or filled with custard or jelly? Today’s Donut Shops have elevated this classic treat to an art form, offering fried creations topped with breakfast cereal, decadent crème brûlée with caramelized sugar, or miniature Key lime pies with custard and fresh fruit. Or if you’re in the mood for a traditional option, you can always count on finding standard glazed and powdered doughnuts, as well as those dressed up as colorful characters like unicorns and cartoon figures to entice young guests.

Here are a few ways to celebrate National Doughnut Day with a healthier twist. Grab the kids and give them a try!

Celebrate the joy of donuts with these activities, and enjoy a sweet day filled with family fun and delicious treats!