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Jessica LunaFeb 26, 2024 1:10:07 PM3 min read

Introducing our Coffee n' Donuts

Have you ever wondered about the life cycle of a pop here at King of Pops? Where do flavor ideas come from? How do we figure out how to make them? and how many test batches do we eat along the way?
(Answer: it’s a LOT.)

In the case of Coffee n' Donuts, our February 2024 LTO, it’s a pop that’s been in the making for over 9 months! 

When I began this journey back in March of 2023, “Coffee and Doughnuts” was just an idea on a spreadsheet deep in our shared Drive–but it stood out. It sounded like a delicious challenge! 

I started sketching out potential formulas, went out and bought some cold brew and cake doughnuts from the grocery store (because you gotta start somewhere) and got to work. Turns out, blending doughnuts into cold brew, milk and cream makes for a VERY tasty pop! The test pops were objectively good, creamy, sweet, coffee-y and vaguely cakey, but missing something. We’d found a great partner for the coffee (hey, Coffee Man!) but were stuck on the doughnut part. We tried so many different doughnuts from around town, but none stood out enough once they were blended into the pop

So I got to thinking: what is the flavor of a classic doughnut that we’re seeking, the cakey kind that’s covered in cinnamon and sugar that just melts away when you dunk it in a cup of hot coffee?? I got busy looking up every “cake doughnut” recipe I could find to look for clues. One ingredient stuck out to me as I read: NUTMEG! Was that the mystery ingredient hiding in plain sight? And if so, where were we gonna get these magical little fritters? 

Well, you know what they say: if you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. So that’s what we did! I started testing doughnut recipes using a little countertop toaster oven, much to the delight of my Frosty Freak co-workers, and ended up with exactly the right doughnut to bring the pop to life.

But how to make 100 POUNDS of them for production?! Frying was out of the question, and we hadn’t cared for the greasy texture they lent to the pop anyway. Piping the batter onto sheet pans would be too time-consuming (and they looked like sad bagels.) But scooping them into mini-muffin pans, for a baked cake doughnut hole?!? Worked like a charm!

The pop now tasted just like it should: excellent local coffee, and the old-fashioned, familiar flavor of a classic cake doughnut. Nailed it!

I can’t wait to hear what you think!

Special thanks to Chef Jackie at the Fox Bros Commissary for lending us her pastry kitchen, and to Nick at Coffee Man Coffee for developing such a delicious cold brew for us.

Last but not least, I’d love to share the recipe for the doughnuts–adapted from Claire Safftiz’s sour cream cake doughnut recipe. Make them for someone you love!

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Coffee & Donut LTO King of Pops in wrapper


King of Pops “Coffee and Donuts” Doughnut Holes

250 grams unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt

¾ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

1 whole egg

50 grams dark brown sugar

50 grams granulated sugar

40 grams butter, melted

20 grams canola oil

170 grams Daisy brand sour cream

2 tsp vanilla extract

Melted butter and cinnamon-sugar for dipping

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, both sugars, oil, butter, and vanilla.
Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until no streaks of flour remain. 
Use a 1oz ice-cream scoop to scoop the batter into a greased mini-muffin tin.
Bake at 375 for 10-11 minutes, or until the doughnut holes are set in the center.
While still hot, dunk doughnut holes in melted butter then roll in cinnamon sugar.