One day at , I couldn’t help but wonder: are the weird donut flavors really so bad? By sticking to a routine of chocolate, m&m’s, hazelnut, and peanut butter cream, are Penn students denying themselves a world of doughy deliciousness? In the name of journalism, I decided to find out. I, along with some other taste testers, asked the Beiler’s cashier for their six weirdest flavors, then hosted a donut–tasting extravaganza featuring Apple Cider, Vanilla Fruity Pebble, Elvis Delight, Maple Bacon, Key Lime and Coconut Custard.
First thought: this donut flavor is not weird. Apple Cider is an autumnal classic, featured in candy, chocolate, pies, and more. Second thought: it’s disingenuous to name this donut Apple Cider. The cinnamon–apple flavors barely come through, making “Notes of Apple” or “Apple–Enhanced” more apt descriptors. The donut is cakey, plain, and solidly mediocre, lending itself to cries of, “I would rather get any other donut.”
Vanilla Fruity Pebble
This donut features scrumptious vanilla icing dipped in Fruity Pebbles. Marrying childhood nostalgia with college cravings, the donut tastes like a better version of the much–loved children’s cereal. There’s a lovely juxtaposition between the softness of the donut and the crunchiness of the fruity pebbles. Be warned, though: if you don’t have a sweet tooth, this donut is not for you.
Elvis is dead and this donut is dead to me, too. This Elvis is filled with peanut butter cream, topped with banana and sprinkled with bacon, based on The King’s favorite sandwich. Peanut butter and bacon are individually delicious, but these foods should not be mixed. Ever. The peanut butter cream was too fluffy and thick, and the mini bacon chunks just felt wrong. This donut earned the superlative “Most likely to make you sick.”
The combination of maple and bacon seems radical, but according to my foodie friends, this flavor’s trending on the donut circuit. One of Beiler’s most popular flavors, Maple Bacon is perfect for unleashing your inner Canadian and satisfying a very specific craving. The maple flavored cream is heavy, so Street advises sharing this donut with someone. Overall, the Maple Bacon donut is flavorful, fun, and much better than the Elvis.
The most niche flavor on the list, the Key Lime donut is filled with a homemade cream made with fresh lime juice, then drizzled with mint toothpaste–colored frosting. From a distance, the cream–to–donut ratio looks very off, but if you’re obsessed with cream, you might be obsessed with this donut, too. The donut is tangy, with a strong punch and a bold aftertaste. The Floridian of the group confirms, “It definitely tastes like key lime, but I’d rather have key lime pie.”
Filled with Bavarian Cream, topped with white icing and dipped in coconut, the Coconut Custard donut earned the designation “Best–in–Class.” Packing a strong flavor, gentle cream and the ideal amount of shredded coconut, the Coconut Custard donut is an unexpected crowd–pleaser.
TL;DR: Get the Boston Cream donut and be done.