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Apr 4, 2009 07:17 PM

I need DOUGHNUTS in SF!!

Dear Fellow Foodophiles,
A few weeks ago, we posted and asked for recommendations on where to have our wedding in SF (we live in NYC). We appreciated all of your responses & LOVED your recs although we didn't have enough time for all of them. Fast forward: we found a fabulous place (Boulettes Larder) and now are in need of your recommendations for...doughnuts!
Let me start by saying that in NYC, the doughnut (not to mention the carne asada burrito) is NON EXISTENT!! I am from San Diego where the doughnut is a given. Like pizza in NYC, even if its bad, its pretty darn good. I grew up on doughnuts. The varieties in texture, density & flavor are the Saturday morning memories that my brother and I will always relate to our childhood of the 70's. From old fashioned buttermilk (glazed & chocolate) to apple fritters to bear claws to french crullers to maple bars, I am a monster when it comes to doughnuts!
So, now that we've found the perfect place for our reception, we now have details to consider. We will be back in SF in a few weeks and are on a mission. Among other details, we need a great wedding cake. We've had lousy wedding cake and decent wedding cake. What would be better than a DOUGHNUT WEDDING CAKE???
Problem is, I'm from San Diego. We need recs for doughnuts in SF! I know they are out there, but where?? Given the info on us and my rather demanding criteria, can you help?
Thanks in advance.

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    1. Am in L.A. but we stay at CowHollow on Lombard St and Steiner. Just down the street is a doughnut shop open 24 hours that makes great doughnuts. It is on the corner of Steiner and Chestnut. We really like them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: paprkutr

        >the corner of Steiner and Chestnut<

        They have very good French doughnuts, which are hard to find (the good ones).

      2. Doughnuts don't keep, so they don't seem well suited for a wedding cake.

        The best doughnuts in San Francisco are at Bob's on Polk and Sacramento. Ask what's fresh and get that, and some milk. Best around midnight.

        Patisserie Delanghe makes a cake where the components are like donut holes. I don't know what it's called, but it's stuck together with burnt caramel. Boulangerie may have something similar. (And maybe someone here will know the cake I'm describing.)

        You might also contact one of the high-end new places like Dynamo Donuts, which has exotic flavors, and see if they'd make a special event tower.

        6 Replies
          1. re: wolfe

            Yes! Thanks wolfe. I'm pretty sure the one I loved was from Delanghe.

            1. re: wolfe

              That's a croquembouche and what it's made out of are nothing like doughnut holes. They are made out of baked pate a choux, and are more like profiteroles without the ice cream filling or cream puffs with the cream filling. Much like popovers.

              1. re: Euonymous

                There's also an Italian variation, and I agree, it's not going to meet a donut cake craving.

                1. re: Euonymous

                  Thank you Euonymous and sugartoof for pointing that out. Since I was attempting to identify what Windy asked about your comments are extremely helpful.

                  1. re: Euonymous

                    We had a croquembouche at our wedding for the "cake" and the little "doughnut thingys" are in fact creampuffs. The whole thing is held together with spun sugar.

              2. Bob's Donuts. Open 24/7, best tried around midnight when they fry them up.

                Bob's Donut & Pastry Shop
                1621 Polk St, San Francisco, CA

                5 Replies
                1. re: ML8000

                  They finish frying around 2 am, when the apple fritters go in. The old fashioneds and the buttermilks last the longest, so if you are in the late afternoon dead zone, go with a glazed old fashioned.

                  1. re: P. Punko

                    Haha, I was just at Bob's about an hour ago. They just started the long process of cooking the huge pile for the morning. By 11 p.m., they had cake (to to topped and frosted various ways), some raised and a few trays of old fashioned. It's pretty amazing to see that window filled in the morning.

                    I have to say freshly cooked those things rock...delicate, not too sweet, crispy crust and soft inside. These really are the best in SF and the BA. I picked up a dozen assorted, for $7.65. The people working were very nice.

                    If it's late in the day I usually go for the powder sugar cake. The cake hold up well and often still have a crispy, yet delicate crust under the sugar.

                    1. re: ML8000

                      ML- you know I agree. If you are ever down Cupertino way I love Donut Wheel too. They are 24 hours- they don't have my cinnamon and sugar cake, but their plane cake is really great- thinner but crispier crust than Bob's. Very good.

                        1. re: sugartoof

                          Just finished a maple buttermilk bar from Bob's. I think these things hold value (read: freshness) well into the day because of the nice crust on them.

                  2. People will giggle at you if you say you want a "wedding cake made out of donuts" so
                    what you should ask for at the bakery is a "croquembouche". This is the French word
                    for "wedding cake made out of donuts."

                    [edit: aaah, I see Wolfe has already illustrated this for us!]

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                      Not really. A croquembouche bears only a faint resemblence to a doughnut -- unless you consider a cream puff to be a doughnut. Cream puffs are not fried. They're hollow in the center and filled with pastry cream, so I guess you could say they bear a slight resemblance to a custard-filled doughnut, but ... not really. To make a croquembouche the cream puffs are stuck together with a hard caramel glaze -- again, not much like a doughnut.

                      Croquembouche is traditionally served for French weddings, and it was trendy in the U.S. a few years ago. There were periodic request on this board for where to get one, but I haven't seen one in a while.

                      I've heard about Krispy Kreme wedding cakes, but never seen one.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Well, a pile of donuts is unlike a donut in many of those same ways :)

                        Anyway ... let's just call them "Controversial Donut-Related Items"