Iceland in the winter is a place shrouded by darkness. In addition, the coldness of winter is unrelenting as the roads and sidewalks caked with ice refuses to melt off. So what can help get Icelanders, and myself, to cope with only having 4 hours of daylight? Donuts of course!
I saw a few donuts called Klenät around town, which looked like braided, deep-fried twists, minus the glaze and fun toppings. More of a fried dough than a doughnut. But I did manage to make it to two places that had familiar looking donuts.
On the main shopping thoroughfare in Reykjavik lies a bakery that all the guestbooks and tripadvisor reviews mention. Sandholt Bakery isn’t that large, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t cranking out a lot of varieties of baked goods, chocolates, and sandwiches. Naturally, I had to sample their donut creation. Since they don’t focus on donuts, they only had two varieties: chocolate glazed and caramel glazed.
I went for the chocolate glazed. The donut itself reminded me of a Krispie Kreme donut. They were roughly the same size and coloring and had a similar chewiness. Not an overly dense donut, but chewy and airy. The chocolate glaze had a spice to it, like a hot chocolate. I was pleased.
Further down the road just off of Laugavegur in Hlemmur Square lies the next donut stop. Don’s Donut doesn’t need a brick and mortar establishment to crank out their bite sized treats. Instead, they operate out of a truck and keep everyone up to date on their hours and location on their Facebook page.
Like “Doughnuttery” in NYC, Don’s Donut’s are bite sized and sold in increments of 6. They are made-to-order then topped with whatever you feel like. I topped them with caramel, piparkokur, which are Icelandic pepper cookies, and powdered sugar. (If you were wondering, the piparkokur cookies taste of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg). My donut-hunting partner chose caramel and coconut. The caramel was very tasty. It must be the ingredients they use, because it seemed extra fresh and delicious. The only comparison I can make is that our caramel is like the funny taste of aspartame that you get in diet coke or sugar free gum and Icelandic caramel has a fresher taste like real sugar. It made me want to take some home.
The donuts were crunchy and fresh out the outside and soft on the inside, while the pepper cookies added a nice crunch. This would be my first stop next time in Reykjavik.