Bend's Best Boston Cream Doughnuts | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Bend's Best Boston Cream Doughnuts

In an ongoing series of doughnut reviews, one man with a sweet tooth (and some fifth graders) rate a cream-filled favorite

Now that we're through with pumpkin pie season as well as apple, sweet potato and pecan pie seasons, it's time to kick off Boston cream pie season. The dessert was, in fact, created in Boston (in 1856, the year the Oregon Territory was established) but is a misnomer as it's not pie. So, doughnut makers glommed onto the fact that it needn't be cake, either.

Unlike past roundups in which I've invited whole families to be my co-judges, since Boston cream doughnuts are my fifth-grade son's favorites, nepotism led me to use his friends as judges and jury the morning after his birthday sleepover-party. I assure you, dear readers, they executed with Gordon Ramsey-like brutal honesty. The reviews appear in order of our consensus of deliciousness in this blind taste-test.

click to enlarge Bend's Best Boston Cream Doughnuts
Brian Yaeger
Boston Cream blind tasting, but with eyes and mouths wide open.

Sisters Bakery (251 E Cascade Ave, Sisters, 541-549-0361)

This bakery once again illustrates why it's worth the schlep to Sisters if you want the best doughnuts. This one was virtually unanimous even before first bite. After first bite? It scored nine-point-fives and two perfect 10s! Instead of taking the typical form of a pocket, it's an attractive yeasty ring generously frosted with rich, decadent icing. The custard, not cream at all, is dolloped in the center. The yolky quality tricked some of the pint-sized judges into thinking it must be banana flavored. In fact, one taster declared it had a "pudding" consistency, which, admit it, may be the filling the doughnut world needs. $3.50.

Sweetheart Donuts (210 SE 3rd St, 541-323-3788)

Using Olympics-style scoring by removing the top and bottom scores, Sweetheart edged out Richard's by a nose. The blessing and curse of these Boston creams is that instead of making them round and somewhat spherical, they're well-branded as they come in heart shapes. The problem is that the cream is all bunched at the top, and the tail of the heart gets no creamy love. In general, we loved the dark chocolate frosting and custard-like cream all in nice proportions of dough to chocolate to cream (save for the tail). $3.

Richard's Donuts & Pastries (61419 S Hwy 97, 541-385-3310)

Richard's is probably the fan favorite of Bend proper doughnut shops and a great value. For better or worse, the fried dough always comes out thin and airy. To this judge's mind, and put in Miller Lite terms, it doesn't taste great but it IS less filling. Which lets the filling shine. The straight-forward vanilla cream is the star of this show, especially since the frosting is more milk chocolate than dark, which even the minors who judged dinged it for. $2.

The Dough Nut (755 NE Greenwood Ave., 541-241-8788)

Junior judges took turns dinging this doughnut for being "too bready," having "not enough cream" and "not good chocolate." Visually, it presented among the best but it seemed to lack freshness, as everyone found fault in the dough, but to its credit, it wasn't anybody's lowest-scoring entrant. $2.25

Delish Donuts (3188 N Hwy 97, Ste. 104, 541-647-2337)

My son and I frequently find common ground when considering dessert (or breakfast) morsels, so I may have to swap him for his only friend who agreed with me that this was one of the best offerings. While one other kid and I felt it had great structure, quality ingredients and good ratio, I have to cede to the rest of the gang who proclaimed this Boston cream to be "bad" in various issues of creaminess, chocolatiness (it's true that many of Delish's doughnuts are scantily frosted) and overall "flavor." $2.35

Brian Yaeger

Brian Yaeger is a beer author (including "Oregon Breweries"), beer fest producer and beer-tasting instructor at COCC. Because he’s working on doughnut authorship, you’ll find he occasionally reviews our local doughnut scene. Yes, he absolutely floats all summer long with a beer in one hand and a doughnut in the...
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