INSPIRED by recent travels to the US, the former Sugardough duo are sweetening up Spotswood with Candied Bakery, their newly minted bakery with a star-spangled flavour. The menu has all the fun of the US without the artificial flavours (the apple pie thickshake is a whole apple pie blitzed with ice-cream and milk). Candied's jelly doughnuts have that signature fluffiness, the jelly pureed smooth and seedless for a bright berry punch, but it's all organic flour, free-range eggs and nothing but the best here, and boy, can you can taste it. If you're not in the mood for a jelly number, the zuppa inglese doughnut is a creamy alternative.
Candied Bakery, 81A Hudsons Road, Spotswood, 9391 1335
FORMER Bourke Street Bakery (Sydney) baker extraordinaire Michael James uses primo ingredients, such as Myrtleford butter and Mount Zero lemon-infused olive oil, and gets primo results with these light and luxurious doughnuts with knockout centres. Salted caramel is always on the menu, but rotating flavours include lemon curd, boysenberry, rum and raisin, and rhubarb. Australia Day saw the beautiful innovation of the Lamington doughnut - jam-filled and rolled in chocolate ganache and toasted coconut. Now that's something to make every Australian proud. Keep an eye out at your local farmers' market, as MoVida Bakery appears occasionally. Oh, and spiced, hot-crossed doughnuts are in the offing for Easter.
MoVida Bakery, 3 Tivoli Road, South Yarra, 9041 4345
THIS battered old gem of a doughnut truck, replete with peeling painted Olympic rings overhead, has been rolling, frying and filling doughnuts at the back of Footscray Station for 35 years. It's an operation close to many hearts, stoically churning out those classic, straight-up, burn-your-lips-on-the-hot-jam doughnuts. Plus the novelty of watching them getting skewered onto the nose of the jam-dispensing dolphin, then tossed in sugar and put steaming into a white paper bag is one that rarely wears off. This doughnut van is one of the only reasons to hope your train is delayed just that little bit.
Olympic Doughnuts, 51 Irving Street, Footscray, 9689 4819
NOT dissimilar to a Greek doughnut, the sticky-sweet version made at Oasis goes perfectly with a shot of Lebanese coffee. Sold in a cut-to-the-chase tub of 10, these apricot-sized doughnuts are made from a simple, yeast-based batter, but without any sugar - that comes later. After the golden nuggets have been fried, they are dunked warm into a sugar bath with orange blossom syrup. What you end up with is a crisp little gem, light and airy on the inside, fragrant, shiny and sticky on the outside. Oasis sells thousands a week. Not remotely surprising.
Oasis Bakery, 9/993 North Road, Murrumbeena, 9570 1122
THIS European bakery has a hardcore fan base that flocks for their loaves of dark rye bread and the lovably brusque service. While you might have a struggle going past the bowls of freshly baked cherry-filled pastries beckoning on the bench, the Polish doughnuts are worth a try for the joy of the unexpected. On the surface it's business as usual - a large ball doughnut with a slick of translucent icing. But there's a dash of liqueur in the dough, just enough to give it a woozy scent, and a dark heart of prune paste in the centre. It's the film noir of doughnuts. Alternatively, the Russian variety - piroshki - might be filled with morello cherries.
Baker in the Rye, 153 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, 9525 6744