I don’t think I even remember what my first cronut experience was anymore, but I do remember the first GREAT one I had and that was none other than Five Daughters Bakery. FDB as the cool kids call them, originated in Nashville Tennessee where they not only hopped on the Cronut train, they took the damn wheel! I’m a big believer in the idea that, it’s not about who did it first but who does it best and that holds very true to FDB. I will be straight forward in saying that this place is one of the best doughnut shops in the country and that’s all thanks to their “100 Layer Donut”. If you didn’t already know, laminated dough is a style of dough that is made by rolling out a basic yeast dough and then covering it with a layer of butter and folding it several times, rolling it back out and repeating that process several more times. This creates layers of butter that expand and create layers of deliciousness. So, in case you were wondering, yes. The 100 layer doughnut actually has 100 layers of buttery goodness and it’s waaaaay easier said than done.
What I love most about Five Daughters is that they don’t stop with just making a damn good croissant doughnut. They make sure their doughnuts are dressed with only the finest and most delicious ingredients they can find. The glazes and toppings are almost always made from scratch as well as the fillings made from seasonal items like berries. Nearly every flavor I have ever tried from them was a total knockout. Not to mention they even make some pretty incredible cookies too! Before I get too carried away with babbling, I think it’s time we get to the doughnuts. Shall we…
For reference, I’ve been to FDB three times on this doughnut adventure of mine, so I’m going to share my favorites from each visit. My first trip was last summer with some friends and I actually visited twice while I was there. I got half a dozen the first trip there and I loved them so much I decided to bring another box home to share with my fam.
The first doughnut I wanna talk about is the one I liked the least because I wanna get this one out of the way. FDB caters to not only us gluttons, but also to those more health conscious with their paleo options. I actually didn’t intend to get a paleo flavor but when the line started building up behind me as I tried to decide what to get, I panicked and accidentally picked one out. The one I got was a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and it’s the one in the middle on the right side in the picture above. Now I say it was my least favorite simply because it wasn’t sweet enough for my liking. I hesitate to call it bland because it was the second or third doughnut I had tried so I think it had the effect of when you eat something sweet and then drink your coffee. It washes the flavor out because your taste buds are expecting the same level of sweet. Also, I would imagine it’s just not meant to be very sweet considering it’s a paleo doughnut lol. I can’t sit here and judge a doughnut for what it’s not or for the fact that Five Daughters is going out of their way to include everyone. So with that said, I’m just going to make the recommendation that if you aren’t following a paleo diet plan, just get the 100 layer doughnut and enjoy it!
The next box which was the more exciting of the two, was the box I took back home with me. Hands down my favorite doughnut of this trip was the Vietnamese coffee glazed! This one came in the form of the 100 layer doughnut. Pictured in the bottom left corner, this one was spot on in flavor. If you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee, it has a very strong distinct flavor profile. It’s very bold and rich in flavor but that is complimented with the sweetened condensed milk that it’s served with as opposed to milk or cream. Before this doughnut even gets to your mouth the aroma fills your nose and as soon as your teeth sink in, it just becomes complete sensory overload!
Last but not least is the strawberry basil 100 Layer Doughnut. This one brought me back to my culinary school days. Strawberry basil was one of the first flavor combinations I was introduced to that really opened my eyes to the creative potential that food actually has. Without formal training I never would have thought of this but it works so damn beautifully. Strawberries really don’t have much of a natural scent which is why I think basil works so well with them because it adds an aromatic dimension to the doughnut. Its minty, slightly peppery scent compliments the sweetness of the buttery dough. Follow that up with a light strawberry swirl on top and as soon as you bite into it POW! Full on sensory overload once again! The sweet strawberry crème filling inside is so light and airy and the aroma of the basil just hangs out in the background. You get crispy outside edges and rich buttery inside layers. A light strawberry basil crème and a thick layer of icing on top. Sweet and tangy from the strawberry and minty aromas from the basil. Absolute genius!
On trip numero dos, me and my man Miguel who’s photography you may have noticed throughout the website, road tripped back down to Nashville for a little weekend binge. This time, when we made it there, they were actually down to only a few flavors. You had a really nice and simple chocolate sea salt that was awesome. Also, the almond joy tasted just like the candy bar although the one thing I would have wished for was some bigger almond chunks to really replicate the feeling of biting into that crunchy almond on top. There was another doughnut that wasn’t a 100 layer doughnut that I can’t remember the flavor but the doughnut I wanna tell you about on this trip was the Cowboy Cookie 100 Layer Doughnut....BRUUUHH! This thing starts off of course with a 100 layer doughnut base that is glazed in a coffee glaze. The doughnut is then rolled in the Cowboy Cookie mix which is made up of oats, pretzels, expresso beans, and dark chocolate and finished with a decorative dark chocolate drizzle! This cookie mix is UNREAL! You got sweet, bitter, salty, crunchy, soft, just every flavor and texture you could possibly want in a doughnut. And if the doughnut wasn’t enough, they even made the actually cookies too! Although, I’m not entirely sure the cookie was the exact same as the cowboy cookie mix because it had cranberries in it, it was still loaded with tons of good stuff and SUPER SOFT!
Finally, my most recent trip which was just a few weeks ago, was for my mom’s birthday. It’s pretty incredible to look at how far I’ve come in my life and how thankful I am to have parents who worked so hard to get me to this point. I decided to take my mom to Disney World for her birthday but we made the stop in ATL to visit some family and also, so I could take her to see the NEW FDB inside the Ponce City Market. Five Daughters is actually my mom’s favorite doughnut shop that I’ve ever brought home doughnuts from, so she was pretty excited! This time around I didn’t get half a dozen. I didn’t get a dozen. I got 18 doughnuts! Since we were visiting family, I had to get some extras so I wouldn’t get ripped off from trying any of the flavors. It’s really hard not to ramble about all of them so I’m going to just go ahead and break down every single flavor.
In the first box, starting in the top right corner, we have the King Kong. This was a maple bacon 100 layer doughnut that was filled with a maple cream. As you can tell, the bacon coverage was plentiful and the bacon crispy and HELLA THICCC! To the left we have the Bourbon Peach Pecan. The flavors in this one were not only phenomenal, but the textures…! When it comes to food you absolutely need contrasting textures to ignite all the feels and this doughnut does just that. The super crunchy pecans outside that have a slight saltiness works so damn well with the luscious, buttery doughnut. Not to mention the bourbon icing! The last one in this top row was the cinnamon crunch which was absolute fire! The filling was a bit overbearing so I had to scoop some of it out but it was packed with flavor and the crunchiness on the outside gave so much more depth to the doughnut. Moving straight down to the bottom row was the birthday girl’s favorite, the blackberry hibiscus. I’m not at all a tea fan but hibiscus is one that I love because when paired with fruit like berries, it really brings compliments the floral notes of the tea. The acidity of the berries also pairs well with the rich dough because it cuts through the fat in the butter to lighten things up. The last two were the classic Chocolate and Vanilla but done at a level that I think even someone like Gordon Ramsay would appreciate.
On to the second box we have the purist which normally, I won’t bother with getting a plain glazed because if you haven’t noticed my taste is bougie but I felt like in this case I needed to to really get a sense of the flavor in the doughnut itself. The verdict?…amazeballs…! Skipping the vanilla cream, the next in the bunch was the chocolate sea salt. This one was again, one of the simpler flavors but the glaze was so rich and the course texture of the sea salt was perfect with the buttery dough. Next, you know I had to get the a Boston Cream because cream pies are life. Unfortunately, my mom was present and I didn’t want to have to explain the correlation to cream pies, and doughnuts so I didn’t get pull apart footage. Bummer I know. In bright red was the only “normal” doughnut I ordered which was the Blackberry glazed. This one gave me an idea of whether or not FDB could not only talk the talk, but walk the walk and they sure can! If I had to choose between the 100 Layer Doughnuts and their regular yeast doughnuts, I’d still have to go with the 100 Layer Doughnuts, but the regular yeast ones were nothing to pass on. The dough is very soft and dense giving it lots of body and depth but because of that, I wish it would have had some toppings to contrast the dense dough. The glaze tasted amazing and couldn’t have been done better but I just felt like it needed a little sum’ sum’ you know? Regardless it was still a killer doughnut.
This leads me to my last two doughnuts from this trip. The first of those would be on of my favorites of all time from FDB, the key lime meringue. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m normally more of a rich chocolate type guy and not so much a fruity one (depending on who you ask I guess…), but key lime curd in this one was so smooth and creamy! The meringue wasn’t over done and had more of a marshmallow fluff texture which I very much appreciated and the best part was that it had fruits in it so it was healthy right? Finally we are at the final doughnut of the trip which actually wasn’t even a doughnut to begin with. This would be FDB’s very own “Quinnamon Roll”. Huhh?…Yes, the Quinnamon Roll. A first of its kind (as far as I know) hybrid pastry that is a cross between a cinnamon roll and croissant. I love that this one was baked off like a cinnamon roll because it allowed the layers to separate for air to cook deeper into the layers resulting in a much more flaky exterior that was held together by maple icing. Absolute heavy my dudes…absolute heaven!
So now with all that information, lets try to digest this one last time. For starters, Five Daughters Bakery is all inclusive. Even cavemen are good eating here. I will however make the recommendation that unless you are a caveman, skip the paleo doughnuts and just go right ahead and get your mouth wrapped around one of those amazing 100 Layer Doughnuts. Second, they have multiple locations so should you decide to return more than once in the same day, you can just go visit one of the other locations and know that you wont be judged as a fatty. Lastly, Five Daughters Bakery is in my Top Doughnuts in America for a damn reason! The make arguably the best “cronut” on the market and undoubtedly offer it in the most number of flavors. This place is literally fool proof and you’d be absolutely crazy not to get your ass over here the second you get the chance.
Five Daughters Bakery is 100% Powered by Doughnuts approved!
Hope you guys enjoyed my first Doughnut Shop Review! Let me know in the comments what you think or head on over to my Instagram and drop me a comment or DM!
Till next time Fam!