HOME > Chowhound > Great Plains >


Best donuts in KC...

as I just got done working out!! :-)

I've had Lamar's, Penguin's, and of course, Krispy Kreme... not impressed with any of them. I've heard Lamar's was good back in the day, but I was not so lucky to try it then. I'm looking for great old-fashioned cake donuts, and more specifically, apple fritters. So, hounds, who has the best donuts? Will travel for great donuts... after all, I do drive 45 minutes for the best cheeseburger in town!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Don't know where in Kansas you live, but we live downtown and we drive 30 minutes on sat mornings to get our donuts. A co-workers brought these donuts into work one morning and they was out of this world. The place is kinda hard to find but worth the drive. It is Called Big Momma's Bakery and Cafe in The Woodson Village(63rd and Woodson Road) in Raytown Missouri.


    7 Replies
    1. re: Irishbeer4me

      Do you have to get up early for Big Momma's? (I gotta try a place called Big Momma's!)

      1. re: Katie Nell

        WOW, on Irish's recommendation my husband and I trekked all the way from Olathe to Raytown (I'll see your 30 minute trip and raise you six minutes) and we were not disappointed! I would drive twice as far for donuts this good.

        I feel like I could gush on the place all day, but I'll save it and just give you the lowdown:
        Big Mamma’s has incredibly fresh and tasty donuts, YUMMY cakes, incredibly nice and super efficient service, a sweet, immaculate and comfortable café area with toe tapping gospel music.

        We ordered a giant (and I do mean GIANT) cinnamon roll to share and one cake donut apiece (strawberry and chocolate with chocolate frosting) for later. The cinnamon roll alone filled up a large take-out box. The woman at the counter heated it up for us and it was the best cinnamon roll I’ve ever had. The cake donuts also did not disappoint.

        We arrived around 11 a.m. and there were still plenty of donuts. They also do a lunch business and cakes. There were samples of German Chocolate Cake sitting out…it was so good I’m trying to think up an occasion to order one. I suppose Father’s Day is coming up.

        1. re: amy_rc

          Wow! Okay, it's on... next weekend! (It's my birthday weekend anyway, so my husband has to do whatever I want!! ;-)

          1. re: Katie Nell

            Katie Nell! Happy Birthday! Do let us all know where you plan to go to celebrate your birthday . . .Big Momma's for breakfast . . .any other plans?

            1. re: jvergara

              Thank you! I think it's a surprise... at least I hope he's planning something!! ;-) I'll report back, wherever we end up!

              1. re: jvergara

                He took me to my favorite, 1924 Main! (Later on, much, much, much, after Big Momma's!) The highlight for me was the Mexican Chocolate Soup with Banana Empanada... oh, and the girl next to me who only ordered the spinach salad with oranges (sans dressing) and looked at her date with disgust when he gave her a bite of his app, and said "What did you just put in my mouth?!" Tee hee! ;-) What a sad way to go through life!

            2. re: amy_rc

              We went to Big Momma's Saturday (I say "jump!"; he says "how high?"! ;-) Only kidding!!) I had an apple fritter, which was about the size of my head! It was the perfect fritter... tender with bits of apple on the inside and a crispy outside. It definitely hit the spot even though I only made it through half! One of the big mommas (there are 3) came by and asked us if we were eating lunch too, and we said no, that this was our first time and we came for the donuts this time. She said we had to at least try a sandwich so she brought us a whole turkey sandwich on their freshly baked bread! How nice is that?! The bread was excellent, and we rolled out of there completely stuffed- after all, you have to eat a free sandwich! We will definitely be back... wish it wasn't so far away! (The two big mommas that we saw were the tiniest, cutest little things... definitely not what I think of when I think of a *big* momma!)

        2. I know you're in DT OP a lot -- you should stop in John's Space Age Donuts. Definitely a time warp. I think the best donut I've had in town was Fluffy Fresh on Johnson Drive. They close when they sell out and they always close early.

          If you're up for a road trip, we always used to go to Munchers in Lawrence -- it's next to the Community Mercantile. Not sure if it's still in business. I knew when I walked in the door the first time and saw a little Mennonite lady in the back that it would be a good choice. Try the cream cheese donut.

          4 Replies
          1. re: heatherkay

            There's also a Fluffy Fresh on State Line just north of 103rd. Outstanding donuts!

            1. re: ChrisKC

              I wonder what the relationship is between the two. The one in Mission has a man making the doughnuts and a woman working the register and helping out. Same two every time, and it looks like they've been there forever.

              I agree, fantastic doughnuts. Don't know if they do apple fritters. By the time I usually get there, they've got regular glazed, cinnamon twists, and longjohns

              1. re: Aaron Deacon

                No kidding -- how early do you have to get there? I have had cake donuts there, though, and they are outstanding.

            2. re: heatherkay

              I think I've had Fluffy Fresh too, but it was just the standard glazed donut and I wasn't to into it... I'll have to give the cake donuts a try! Although, getting up early is *not* my favorite pastime! :-)

              My parents and I used to go to Munchers every time we were in Lawrence, but I haven't been in a long time.

            3. Katie, I know this isn't what you asked for, but the recipe for cake doughnuts in James Beard's American Cookery is about the best damn doughnut I've ever found. My maternal grandad was a doughnut aficionado, and gave them the thumbs up when I made them for him back when I first moved here. Unfortunately, home frying is a bit of an ordeal, so I completely understand why doughnuts aren't homemade very often.

              4 Replies
              1. re: amyzan

                Yeah, I have a perpetual fear of frying that I need to get over; otherwise, that would be the ticket- I wouldn't have to get up early, they would be hot and fresh, and tasty I'm sure!

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  I used to wait tables at Joe's BBQ at 79th and State Line. One of the only consolations of being there at 5:00 in the morning was that I got to eat a donut right out of the frier. When it's that fresh, just a little cinnamon and sugar is all it needs.

                  1. re: heatherkay

                    Man I miss Joe's. Some of the best breakfast around. Dave's Favorite was mine too

                    1. re: chileheadmike

                      I miss it, too. I've yet to find someplace for standard American breakfast that I like better. *sniff*

                      The lunch and dinner stuff was pretty good, too.

              2. Hello! I really like Mr D's Donut Shop in Shawnee. They have the best doughnuts around! Very nice people also. They are located at:
                11222 W 75th St
                (the Northwest corner of 75th & Nieman, next to Johnny C's Pizza)

                1. I'm a john's space age man. Its well worth the stop. Sit at the counter, on the south side for the best people watching. And dig that logo!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: tastebudmagazine

                    Okay, so I took my Dad a couple of weekends ago to John's Space Age donuts based on location and these recommendations and it was a real treat. Who has ever seen in your local donut shop the owners serving their customers in baker's "dress whites" and a white paper hats? The logo is certainly worth of a t-shirt, for sure. A trip through time with the old-fashion counter service, and the place was hopping which means hot donuts coming out the entire time we were there.

                    One final question my Dad had for me, which I will now ask all of you . . . he wondered if anyone is still making fried lemon pies. He said he used to buy them from his local bakery in Oklahoma and then from local dounut shops. He describes it as a turnover made with a pie crust outside and clear glaze on it, the inside is filled with tart lemon pie filling. Any leads, please let me know. Thanks!

                    1. re: jvergara

                      My grandad talked about those fried pies. They apparently used to be a lunchbox staple, and he got them in lemon or cherry or apple. He said sometimes you could find them made with apple butter, and those were really tasty. (He worked the mail train from Union Station until the early 70's, so I'm not sure where it was he found the apple butter ones.) I would be interested to find a bakery that makes them fresh, too. I've only ever seen the various mass produced ones at discount bakery shops and gas stations.

                      1. re: jvergara

                        Depending on where he is in Oklahoma, if he's anywhere close to the east side, Russelville, AR has a great burger joint- the Whattaburger (not a part of the chain, the original, family owned one) and they make fresh fried pies in a ton of flavors. Drove through this weekend and saw them. It's about a 5-hour drive from KC.

                        1. re: lwoerther

                          What great information . . .I want to eat the Apple Butter one RIGHT NOW! We are from Claremore, OK, right outside of Tulsa . . .and my high school boyfriends grandmother lived in Russelville, AR and I drove there with him once . . .so sad I missed the fried pies.

                      2. re: tastebudmagazine

                        We also went to John's Space Age on the recommendation of this board. It was good, if I had not been to Big Mamma's these would be my new favorite. They were light and fluffy with just the right amount of icing...
                        I'm still thinking about Big Mamma's and thank goodness there are many miles between my house and their restaurant because I could eat there every day!

                      3. Under the thinly guised gesture of generosity, I got donuts for a work meeting from Big Momma's this morning. I couldn't bring myself to drive out there for just 2 or 3 donuts, but for work, I can get a lot and taste a whole bunch :) I got 2 cinnamon rolls and a dozen of their cake donuts. I got 1 of each flavor, and there were still maybe 3-4 that I didn't get because I was only getting a dozen.

                        Good lord, these are good donuts but deadly. If these donuts don't make me diabetic, I don't know what will. I was really impressed with their blueberry donuts. I often pick blueberry donuts but I'm always disappointed with the ersatz flavor with other stores, but not with Big Momma's. It was pure and good. I don't know how the people working there manage to stay within an average weight range. I think I could have slapped a donut on each thigh and on my stomach with the donut bonzana we had to today.

                        Katie or amy rc, did you end up getting a cake from Big Momma's and if so, how was it?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: vsoy

                          Sadly I have not had occasion to buy a cake...yet...I have only had the sample and the German Chocolate was divine.

                          1. re: vsoy

                            No cake for me either yet, but I am accepting donations! :-)

                            1. re: vsoy

                              We have had two cakes from Big Momma's, we had the Coconut layer cake and the Carmel Pecan Pound cake, both was very good, but by far the donuts and cinnamon rolls are out of this world!!!

                            2. I made it to John's Space Age Donuts this morning (after a doctor's appt., no less!) I like the glazed yeast donut because it's so much more substantial and flavorful than Krispy Kreme or anything else I've had really. I'm not much of a donut fan, but this is clearly a good shop. It was full of parents with small children, which was pretty entertaining and a little loud.

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: amyzan

                                Finally made it to John's Space Age after the farmer's market yesterday. Got to say, I was not impressed. They weren't bad donuts, by any means, but I really think the stuff at Fluffy Fresh is way better. We got there about 9:00 am, so freshness may have been a factor, but they just seemed denser and dryer than I expected.

                                Got an apple fritter, which I would pass on again. The boys got iced cake donuts. I'd never thought much about icing before, but the icing at Fluffy Fresh is significantly better. Quite a bit drier here.

                                The guy said he's the only one he knows (and only one I know) who makes a chocolate yeast donut (instead of cake donut), which was interesting and enjoyable. I'd get it again.

                                Best were the simple glazed donut holes.

                                I love the counter and the vibe and the old school charm, but the donuts left me wanting. I think it's great that there are two cool old donut places so near me (though Fluffy Fresh is takeout only). I'd like to go back to John's for the people watching tastebud mentions above.

                                I also noticed in the paper last Sunday that I've sampled John's a number of times previously staying or visiting guests at the White Haven across the street. Talk about a time warp...I love that place.

                                1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                  Gosh, I just am really disappointed if Fluffy Fresh is as good as it gets! It just seemed like donuts were so much better when I was younger, but maybe it's a memory thing. I want to get out to Louisberg, because they supposedly have apple cider donuts at the cider place.

                                  1. re: Katie Nell

                                    I'm guessing you've been back since the one try referenced above? I wish I could try the donuts of your youth, because I find Fluffy Fresh to be excellent by any standard (though not quite the best I've ever had) and I'm surprised you could find them so disappointing. I am looking forward to Big Mommas.

                                    I realize that I haven't gone on much about Fluffy Fresh in this thread, or put the post up on LTH that I meant to a long time ago (http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic....). Here's what I wrote back when about FF:

                                    Wow, really terrific doughnuts. So far, everything has been good, though by 8:30 even, selection is limited to cinnamon twists, glazed, and longjohns.

                                    The regular glazed is just an exemplary doughnut—not pillowy Krispy Kremes—these babies are greasy in the most delightful sense of the word--hot, fluffy, greasy, and delicious. The cake doughnuts don’t disappoint either. Even the toppings…the glazes are all made in-house and the maple is especially delicious. Had a chocolate with peanuts, and even the peanut topping was at such a perfect texture to bring out the peanut flavor…it almost tasted like a doughnut with a Reese’s top.

                                    And the service is top-notch. The longjohns come unfilled…you want filling and they’ll do if for you. Same with sprinkles if the glaze is fresh enough. And the best thing…something’s always fresh.

                                    1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                      I've only had them here at work, brought in by other people, but multiple times since then. (Donuts have been popular lately!) I've had a long john, a cinnamon twist, a strawberry cake donut, a regular glazed donut. My favorite donut so far from everything I've tried has been the apple spice cake donut from Lamar's, although a little too nutmeg-y. And of course, the apple fritter was great from Big Momma's. My favorite donut of all time was at Reese's Fruit Farm in Topeka- the apple cider donut, but Daylight Donuts in Topeka was always my favorite all-around.

                                    2. re: Katie Nell

                                      I really can't remember much about the Louisburg cider mill donuts all that well, but I remember thinking, "That's it?" Edible, but not much to write home about. The cider, in comparison to the fresh stuff in the fall is ok. I called around last fall, but no success, but are there any places around that sell the unpasteurized apple cider?

                                      1. re: vsoy

                                        I don't care for their cider, but I'm ever hopeful for the donuts. Reese's Fruit Farm, in Topeka, sells unpasteurized cider and it's fabulous. You can also buy it in the grocery stores in Topeka, but that *is* pasteurized, so you have to go to the actual farm for the good stuff. I've never had better. They have cider slushes too! I know it's out of the way, but it is great cider!

                                        1. re: Katie Nell

                                          I smell autumn road trip! Thanks for the Topeka tip.

                                        2. re: vsoy

                                          You used to be able to get unpasteurized cider at the Merc in Lawrence. I think the health dept. got onto them, though, because last year they were only carrying pasteurized. It's likely the produce dept. could tell you where to get it before it's been pasteurized, though. I believe it was Wildhorse Farm's last year.

                                        3. re: Katie Nell

                                          If you don't regularly go, wait until it is harvest time in the fall to head out to Louisburg. The beautiful trees, pumpkins and apples and cider and smells are worth the trip...and the donuts are pretty good to boot. It is a total sensory experience thing that makes the donuts good.

                                          Re: pasteurization-thing. I have a friend who purchases unpasteurized goat's milk from a farm in DeSoto. The farmer has her come out to her farm to make the purchase (as opposed to delivering the products to customers at their home) b/c you can only sell un-pasteurized products directly off of the farm. Some strange law that I assume carries over from animal products to fruit juices and ciders.