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Bake Shop Bakery Apple Cider Donuts (Aldi)

Where have I been all these years? Well, I could probably ask that about any number of things, but this time, it’s in reference to how I had never tried an apple cider donut up until five days ago. It was from a national brand snack company that starts with an “E”, and that doesn’t seem to really get as much attention as “Small Deborah” or “The ____ with the Mostest”. Even though they’re mass-produced, they were way better than anyone in the family were expecting them to be—it only took us three days (if that) to polish off all 8 donuts in the pack.

So then imagine my excitement when I remembered seeing a similar product in Aldi’s ad. I was already headed there to do some shopping, and figured I’d just add a box of the donuts to my list, if they were still available. It took me a few frustrating seconds, but I finally tracked them down to their location right in front of my face.

For $3.49, you get six donuts. Unlike the national brand ones we tried, these are less uniform—they’re very similar in size, but each one has slight differences, apparently to make them appear more homemade and thus, deserving of the rather high price tag. They also have the appearance of a sour cream donut, rather than the soft cake donut appearance of the national brand. All it took was one little bite to know that they were not at all what I was expecting, a notion that my wife seconded just a shortwhile later when she registered a look of disgust on her face shortly after trying a bite.

These things are hard. Like, donut sitting out in open air for three days hard. Well, maybe not quite that hard, but certainly not the soft consistency that we were expecting. I guess I’m just a little confused on why these would be made into sour cream donuts, because the middle is also fairly dry—virtually nothing about this experience begs the consumer to take even one bite, let alone go back for more.

The flavor is okay, but even that manages to disappoint, with the taste of cinnamon sugar overwhelming everything else. I’m down for cinnamon in all instances, but when you have an “apple cider” donut, even I must admit that apples should take center stage; here, they do not, registering only as a secondary flavor once your mouth has gotten acclimated to the sugar rush. That’s not to say the taste is all that bad—it’s not nearly the misfire that the texture is—but it’s yet another way these things would barely be worth $2.49, let alone the actual asking price which, let me remind you, is a whole dollar more.

On the one hand, I’m sure the level of disappointment we felt was directly due to trying a much better tasting donut just a couple days before; on the other hand, I’m glad it worked out that way, so that we couldn’t possibly have been tricked into thinking this was a good example of an apple cider donut.

Overall: 3/10. Well this one largely misses the mark in just about every conceivable category, offering up an unappetizing, hard texture; a disappointing flavor that focuses more on cinnamon than apple; and all at a price tag that suggests a premium product ($3.49 for a mere six donuts). This is a purchase we won’t be revisiting, well…ever, unless they change their formula. You won’t hear me say this very often, but stick to the national brand cake donuts on this one…you’ll save money, while getting a much tastier product.

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