Wednesday, July 21, 2021

A Trio of Summer Flavors - Krispy Kreme Carnival

Krispy Kreme Carnival Flavors 2021

Some days I come home, make a low calorie meal, walk my dogs, and then pat myself on the back for making good, healthy, life choices. Other days I eat 4.5 carnival themed doughnuts in one night, slap together a video review, and then lay on the couch munching on carrots while it renders at 1am. It's all about balance. 

Speaking of balance, I want to applaud Krispy Kreme for leaving the "c" in Carnival and not opting for a "K" to stay on-brand. 'Cause that's...that's just too many "k's." They knew it, and I knew it, so nobody went there and I am thankful for that. Kudos. 

These carnival themed doughnuts are available as of yesterday (July 19th) until August 8th. Normally I am way behind on trends, and my food hunting days are pretty much over, but when there is a Krispy Kreme right next to the train you take for work and candyhunting posts that these just dropped...it's a sign. So, if you haven't already watched the video I posted on Tuesday, let's jump into some more in-depth reviews and photos! 


Cotton Candy 
- smells like sugary yeasty dough, and blue spun sugar. It makes me think of funnel cakes and cotton candy on the Wildwood boardwalk, which is very on-point with the carnival theme. 

The base is a classic glazed donut, which is amazing as always, but now we have a cotton candy frosting ring dipped in actual cotton candy sugar. It tastes just as indulgent as it smelled. This is like taking a funnel cake, and topping it with cotton candy sugar instead of powdered sugar. (Is that a thing? Do people already sell that? If not I CALL DIBS.)  


I feel like the buttercream is definitely overkill here. Visually it looks like a little blob of pink cotton candy, and it is cute, but I think it detracts from the more subtle cotton candy flavoring. I would love to see these return next summer without the added frosting. I think it's a really great base that doesn't need all the icing bells and whistles. As-is, it's a bit too much for me, but if it were just a sanded sugar ring? I'd be all-in. (Also, just FYI, the gritty sugary icing on it's own is extra delicious.) 


Caramel Popcorn Donut
- smells intensely like caramel, and sugary yeasty dough, with a hint of savory popcorn movie-butter. 

It took three bites before I found the filling inside, which looks like standard fluffy white kreme, but tastes like caramel coffee syrup with a pump of movie theater butter.  

The popcorn toppings are mainly for show, because while the caramel coating has a nice enough flavor, they are stale and chewy. They look great but the unpleasant texture detracts from the overall eating experience. 


This is mainly a caramel doughnut with a savory butter chaser, but you know what? It's pretty dang delicious. Definitely my favorite of the three.  


Caramel Apple 
- smells like those caramel apple lollipops I love. A tangy, almost Jolly Rancher-esque, green apple with rich caramel. It teeters more-so towards artificiality than a real apple though. 

The green icing on it's own is tangy and apple flavored, but it's really not that bad. Again, it's kind of like those lollipops I mentioned before. I actually like it, and it blends nicely with the caramel drizzle and the doughnut base. But the filling... 


It took two bites to hit filling, a beigey looking kreme, and it tastes exactly how I feared. It's kind of like a mixture between chemically fake apple, maple-flavored pancake syrup, and caramel coffee syrup. I found it to be way too artificial, and bold, for my tastes. I think I would have liked this better as a non-filled ring, but I am always in the minority when it comes to preferring normal non-filled doughnuts to the kreme filled ones. So I get it. This isn't for me, which is good, because I hate it. (The filling. Not the overall doughnut.)   

Like the popcorn topping, the pretzel stick also takes on a stale texture from the toppings and overall moisture, so textually it's not great, BUT it does provide some saltiness and some pretzel flavor which cutes through the sweetness. I kind of wish there was more pretzel involved here somehow. Like crushed up bits on top? But they'd likely be stale as well.  

These are quite decadent and I love how on-theme they are. Even though I didn't love the caramel apple donut, I still think these are a lot of fun and definitely worth checking out. Especially if you, like me, haven't gone to a carnival or boardwalk in well over a year. 

If you give these a try, let me know your thoughts in the comments down below! 


Fans of these would also like:
Berry Carnival Pocky, Trader Joe's Salt Water Taffy, Funnel Cake Snack Balls, Cotton Candy Snack Balls, Cotton Candy Oreos, or Cotton Candy Twinkies.
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