Blackbird Doughnuts

One night in September 2016, pop diva Adele stood in front of 18,000 fans at TD Garden and, before belting out a hit ballad, took a moment to talk about doughnuts. Specifically, about the Boston Cream Bismarck—a chocolate-frosted brioche stuffed with custard—from Blackbird. They are so good, she proclaimed, that she ate four of them.

We won’t pretend we wouldn’t do the same. Usually we leave Blackbird Doughnuts toting not a paper bag, but an entire pizza box stuffed with a mix of doughy rounds so colorful it’s impossible to suppress the oohs and ahhs­ when it opens.

Interior of Blackbird Doughnuts

Offering 15-or-so brioche- or cake-based flavors that change frequently, this doughnut shop—with outposts in the South End and Fenway—has a penchant for experimentation. The result is a rainbow of Instagrammable pastry, from Funfetti to Maple Miso to Pepperoni Pizza. Blackbird isn’t afraid to slice and stuff its creations; there’s the Everything Bagel doughnut, replete with a whipped cream cheese filling, and the Ice Cream Sandwich, a doughnut of your choice stuffed with a patty of vanilla, chocolate, or twist soft serve and rolled in a coating of sprinkles.

It’s fun reincarnating anything and everything into doughnut form, but you can’t pull it off without getting the basics right. And Blackbird does. A traditional cake batter recipe that includes real butter, eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream creates that delectable old-fashioned base. And the raised rounds show equal evidence of TLC; their brioche-style dough takes up to 24 hours to make, with an impossibly fluffy result. If you’ve any doubt of Blackbird’s priorities, notice the perfectly proportioned layout. Order in the tiny front room while gazing into the kitchen, a sprawling space full of busy bakers, patiently rising doughs and simmering glazes—without a doubt where all the action happens.

Donut ice cream sandwich from Blackbird Doughnuts

Celebrate your nuptials in style; Blackbird will cater mini doughnuts to your wedding.

During brunch at nearby gastropub The Gallows, owned by the same restaurant group, you can order Blackbird Doughnuts alongside your Sunrise Poutine and Breakfast Nachos.

The cake doughnuts here are so cake-like that Blackbird has fittingly created doughnut cakes in chocolate, vanilla, and seasonal flavors. Order two days ahead of time.

Must Haves

  • Dainty and diminutive, this vanilla bean cake doughnut is easily overlooked next to more enthralling creations—but make no mistake: She’s dense, fluffy and yellow on the inside with golden edges that crisp but never seem oily, and a glaze that provides a subtle hint of sweetness.

  • Its seriously indulgent frosting has deep caramelized brown-butter flavors and the amped-up sweetness needed to balance flaked sea salt.

  • The chocolate sprinkle-topped Triple Chocolate cake doughnut stuffed with swirl soft serve rolled in rainbow sprinkles will make you want to wear a party hat. Get it on your birthday—or on your lunch break because that’s how you roll.

Fun Fact

Blackbird is the only artisanal donut in Boston that’s baked on-site.

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