Roundup: Praiseworthy Pumpkin Doughnuts

Nicholas Dekker, Columbus Alive contributor
Destination Donuts

Yes, it's Pumpkin Everything season. Beer, pancakes, lattes are all getting the gourd treatment these days. I know for some people, pumpkin is overrated. (Little-known fact: No gold medals were given in the pumpkin beer category at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival.)

But pumpkin doughnuts? COME ON! [Gob Bluth voice] If there's anything pumpkin-y worth getting behind, it's doughnuts, right? So embrace the autumnal spirit with these local pumpkin doughnuts.

Lindsey'sBakery, Circleville

If there's a signature Central Ohio pumpkin doughnut, it's from Lindsey's Bakery in the heart of Circleville. During the annual Circleville Pumpkin Show (Oct. 21-24), the bakery sells over 100,000 pumpkin doughnuts. Fans fresh off fair rides and small-town parades line up continuously during the festival for boxes of the warm cake doughnuts. Signs in the bakery remind hungry customers that Lindsey's serves their pumpkin doughnuts year-round.

Buckeye Donuts, Campus

One tray in the wire-frame racks of doughnuts at Buckeye Donuts is always dedicated to a seasonal flavor. In the summer it's strawberry, in the winter it's a bright red velvet cake doughnut, and in the autumn it's pumpkin. As a place known for being solidly traditional, Buckeye Donuts nails the classic cake doughnut. The thin sugar glaze cracks nicely as you bite into it, and with just the right amount of pumpkin spice, you can quickly taste why regulars have lined up out the door since 1969.

Schneider's Bakery, Westerville

From Thursday through Saturday, Schneider's loads up on traditional cake pumpkin doughnuts, but they double-down with pumpkin cream-filled goodies, too. If you want the true Schneider's experience, line up when they open at 1:30 a.m. (1 a.m. on Saturdays) to get the freshest of the fresh doughnuts. You'll be surprised at how long the line can get. Bring cash, and grab a carton of milk as side.

DK Diner, Grandview

Like Buckeye Donuts and Schneider's, DK Diner is a mainstay amongst doughnut shops around town. Their doughnuts are made by hand, and while they experiment from time to time, their traditional flavors are heads and tails above the rest. The pumpkin variety is no exception. It's soft, a little spicy and topped with a schmear of cream cheese frosting. Want to go really crazy? Try requesting a pumpkin doughnut as the base for a doughnut breakfast sandwich or a doughnut burger.

Destination Donuts, North Market

Heather Morris is no stranger to experimentation. At her doughnut haven inside North Market, she coats her delicacies with all manner of floral, fruit and spice combinations, from apricot jam and pistachios to chocolate and bacon to peaches and cream. Lately, she's worked with frosted pumpkin nibblers – her version of the doughnut hole, although by volume, they're equivalent to a regular cake donut. Her pumpkin doughnuts have a sweet frosting to offset a touch of pumpkin pie spices.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast, beer and Columbus at He authored the breakfast guidebook "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus" and leads tours for Columbus Food Adventures and Columbus Brew Adventures.