Introducing Grilled Doughnuts – toasty, caramelized grilled doughnuts topped with ice cream and chocolate fudge sauce! Learn how delicious doughnuts can be!
Let’s be honest: plain glazed doughnuts are the redheaded stepchildren of the doughnut world. Whenever a well-meaning coworker brings in a box of doughnuts, you just know that those boring plain glazed will be left in the pink box long after the cruellers, maple bars, and sprinkled doughnuts are snatched up.
Finally there’s a good use for those sad stragglers! This recipe for Grilled Doughnuts will change the way you think about glazed doughnuts and have you reaching for them first.
I first heard about grilled doughnuts from my friend Jane (who is also the genius who introduced me to Hot Chocolate Floats!) She mentioned that her family discovered the joys of grilling doughnuts this summer, and even though I’d never had one, I couldn’t get the thought out of my head.
It makes perfect sense, right? Sweet and pillowy doughnuts, warm from the grill, toasted on the outside and still soft on the inside. The sugary glaze, normally so boring compared to more exotic doughnuts, is the perfect thing for the grill, because the thin sugar shell caramelizes and takes on a dark, smoky flavor that makes the doughnuts infinitely more interesting.
Grilled Doughnuts can probably actually be made with just about any doughnut, but I think it’s best to go with glazed—grilling a chocolate, maple, or snozberry doughnut just feels like it would be too distracting. Jane recommended Krispy Kremes for maximum deliciousness, but I used regular grocery store doughnuts and was really happy with the outcome.
Now let’s talk toppings. It’s summer, so fresh berries are a MUST. And where there are juicy berries and toasted sweet bread, there should be big scoops of melty ice cream. And where there is ice cream, there should be warm fudge sauce, dripping down the sides and getting all over your fingers/mouth/clothes. And anything after that is just icing on the cake—sprinkles, nuts, whipped cream, whatever! Go crazy.
Even though this looks like an ice cream sandwich, we had a lot more success eating these with a knife and a fork than with our hands! But if you want a more hands-friendly treat, consider grilling the doughnuts whole, and serving them with a side of warm chocolate ganache, salted caramel sauce, and/or raspberry sauce, so you can just tear off chunks of warm doughnut and dip them in the toppings bite by bite. It would also be cute to use mini doughnuts and skewer them before grilling, then serve the doughnut skewers with a selection of dipping sauces and whipped cream!
We loved how easy, fast, and delicious this dessert was. I hope you’ll let me know how you like it if you give it a try, and I’d love to hear how you put your own spin on it!
- 6 glazed yeast doughnuts
- 6 TBSP unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 pint ice cream
- Fresh strawberries or raspberries
- Toppings like fudge sauce, whipped cream, etc (optional)
- Turn a gas grill to medium heat, lower the cover, and preheat for 5-10 minutes, until hot.
- Slice the doughnuts in half, and spread the cut side of each doughnut with a thin layer of butter.
- Grill the doughnuts, cut side down first, for about 60 seconds per side. Watch them carefully, especially when the glazed side is down, since the sugar can go from nicely caramelized to burnt in no time. Grill times may vary, so it’s best to watch them throughout the cooking process.
- Once toasted on both sides, remove the doughnuts from the grill and let them cool until they’re warm but not hot. Top the warm doughnuts with a scoop of ice cream, fresh berries, and any other toppings you’d like, like fudge sauce or whipped cream. Serve immediately.