Dunking Around the World: A Tribute to Our 10 Favorite International Doughnuts

In honor of National Doughnut Day, we bring you the world's best fried rings of glory.

  • Israeli jam-filled doughnuts, called Sofganiyot, are traditionally served as a dessert during Hanukkah. (Photo: Kosher Camambert)
  • The dough for Gulab Jamun, a.k.a. Indian syrup-soaked balls of awesome, is traditionally made with khoya, a rich curd created by reducing milk for several hours. (Photo: bhojan.blogspot.com)
  • Malaysian sweet potato doughnuts, called kuih keria, have a soft dough and are coated in granulated sugar. (Photo: eqbalzack.com)
  • China's version of the cruller is called Youtiao, which literally means "oil strip." Youtiao dipped in a bowl of hot soy milk is a popular breakfast in China. (Photo: MW Eats)
  • German immigrants to Argentina brought these dulce de leche-filled "balls of weakness." In Spanish they are called bolas de fraile, and we won't think you're weak if you want one. (Photo: contralatiraniadelnumero.blogspot.com)
  • Olliebollen are delicious Dutch doughnuts, typically made with raisins and currants, then dusted with powdered sugar. (Photo: The Little Dragon)
  • Pączki, a traditional Polish pastry, are fried rounds of yeast dough with rosehip, prune, apricot, strawberry, raspberry, or sweet cheese filling. (Photo: The Polish Deli)
  • Bomboloni is an Italian jam or pastry cream-filled doughnut and one of Italy's most important contributions to the world, after pizza and Negronis. (Photo: kulinarnamekka.com)
  • Buñuelos are golden, tortilla-like Mexican fritters dusted with sugar. ¡Ay ay ay! (Photo: Mind-speaks.com)
  • Ponchik is Armenia's national doughnut, a fried dough fritter occasionally filled with cream or preserves. (Photo: Yelp)

Happy National Doughnut Day, people! Hopefully you’ve been hogging your office supply and nabbing mad freebies at stores all day long—if not, you’ve still got some time to catch up.

But as we Americans celebrate yet another awesomely inane, made-up excuse to binge eat food holiday, it’s important to note that there is a whole world of glorious fried dough out there beyond our borders—from the jelly-filled beauties of Israel to the sweet potato doughnuts of Malaysia. Needless to say, we aren’t the only folks to realize the genius of fried dough and sugar. So next time you’re in a foreign country, go ahead and try the local doughnut. Chances are, you’ll be pretty pleased with the results.

Click through the gallery above to see our 10 favorite international doughnut styles.

  • Bronello_Cucinelli

    No Tim Hortons?!?

  • jake

    Skip the youtiao, leave mainland china and go to Hong Kong. Get a Bolo Bao (Pineapple Bun) and step into a 7-11 for a bottle of Chocolate Milk from the Kowloon Dairy.

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