The duo at Glory Doughnuts boast a number of crazy-flaored vegan donuts, including key-lime pie, pictured.
There’s a little bakery in Frederick, Maryland, doing decidedly non-traditional things with traditional fried doughnuts.
Glory Doughnuts, a year-and-a-half old business run by married couple Alissa and Keirsten Straiter, specializes in elaborate, decadent and, incidentally, vegan doughnuts. The bakery doesn't have a traditional storefront — Glory Doughnuts rents a kitchen in Frederick and spends weekends cooking. Most Saturdays they wake up in the wee hours and head in at two or three in the morning to start mixing, cutting, and frying doughnuts.
“We're still a pretty small business,” says co-owner Alissa. They rely on a trio of KitchenAid mixers and just two stove-top fryers to make their vegan treats. Alissa says that they max out at around 300 doughnuts, although this Saturday they're only making a couple dozen. “It is labor-intensive and time intensive and a lot of love and patience goes into each doughnut."
And it’s not just the cutting and frying process that makes these doughnuts difficult to make. Glory Doughnuts boasts a litany of crazy flavors, including sweet tea, chai tea, strawberry Sriracha, and carnivale — kettle popcorn, peanuts, and sprinkles, with a chocolate ganache. Today they're putting together a bourbon cream-filled and a key-lime pie.
So what’s not vegan about regular doughnuts? Usually the dough contains eggs to help it rise and condition, and frostings and other toppings sometimes use milk products. As a result, vegan doughnut are not particularly easy to find.
Alissa Straiter (left) and her wife Keirsten Straiter show off a batch of fresh-baked vegan doughnuts. (Steven Yenzler/WAMU)
But unlike a lot of other vegan foods, these doughnuts are decidedly calorie-packed. I think a lot of vegans miss comfort foods,” Alissa says. “And this is just one of those guilty pleasures. I mean, who doesn't love a doughnut?”
However, Keirsten says Glory Doughnuts purposefully avoids pushing their doughnuts as vegan. “We don’t really advertise per se that we’re vegan,” she says. “We just sell them and people don’t really know the difference.”
“We like to rope them in and then advertise it after the fact,” says Alissa. “Like, ‘Oh, that was really good? Yeah, that was vegan!'"
The journey from idea to delicious doughnut was a long one – Keirsten says the recipe took quite awhile to perfect. “I think we changed it two or three times – I think this is the third dough recipe that we landed on,” she says. “We like our doughnuts to be slightly crispy on the outside and really airy and puffy out on inside. So it’s important to us that we kind of captured that.”
Glory Doughtnuts' vegan treats are also available on weekends at Café Nola in Frederick, and at the Frederick Farmers Market.
Music: "The Doughnut Song" by Burl Ives from Ultimate Burl / "Baby's Got Sauce (In The Style of G Love & Special Sauce)" by Original Backing Tracks from Karaoke Hits: Pop Voice Vol. 2