Frugal Foodie Mama: The Ultimate How-To Guide to the Butler County Donut Trail

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Ultimate How-To Guide to the Butler County Donut Trail

Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail is a donut lover's dream come true! This is the ultimate how-to guide to conquering this countywide culinary trail...
Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail is a donut lover's dream come true! This is the ultimate how-to guide to conquering this countywide culinary trail.
This post was created in partnership with the Butler County Visitors Bureau. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

Located just north of Cincinnati, Butler County, Ohio probably isn't the first destination that you think of when looking for a foodie-centric getaway. But a unique culinary trail that the county started in 2016 is quickly putting them on the map & on the radar of foodie travelers everywhere- their Donut Trail that spans 80 miles in over 6 different cities of the county. Butler County lays claim to one of the highest number of donut shops per capita in the Midwest. 

Yes, folks. Dreams do come true. A trail filled with homemade donuts from 12 different local donut shops does exist. Now this isn't exactly a hiking trail (although you can bike it on September 1st of this year if you would like). This is a load the family in the car and cart yourselves from donut shop to donut shop until you pop kind of a trail. 

When the Butler County Visitors Bureau reached out to me inviting my family & I to take on their Donut Trail, I knew we were more than up for the challenge. Plus, donuts! Hello, people. How could I possibly say no? ;)

For this ultimate how-to guide to the Butler County Donut Trail, I have broken down each of the donut shops on the trail by city. Before you embark on your donut filled adventure, be sure to download your passport & the trail map. You can also pick up a passport at any of the shops on the trail. You will need to get your passport stamped at each donut shop that you visit in order to complete the trail & receive your Butler County Donut Trail t-shirt. And you don't miss my top tips & tricks for successfully conquering the trail near the bottom of this post!


Fairfield
Stop #1: Jupiter Coffee & Donuts (5353 Dixie Highway)

If you are wanting to start out your journey on the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio with a good cup of coffee, then make sure Jupiter Coffee & Donuts is one of your first stops on the trail. Jupiter is one of the only stops on the trail that offers that traditional coffee shop feel along with their daily selection of freshly baked donuts.

If you are wanting to start out your journey on the Donut Trail with a good cup of coffee, then make sure Jupiter Coffee & Donuts is one of your first stops on the trail. Jupiter is one of the only stops on the trail that offers that traditional coffee shop feel along with their daily selection of freshly baked donuts. They offer a full coffee menu complete with lattes, cappuccinos, french press coffee, and iced coffees. (Psssttt... they also roast their own coffee beans on site!)

If you are wanting to start out your journey on the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio with a good cup of coffee, then make sure Jupiter Coffee & Donuts is one of your first stops on the trail. Jupiter is one of the only stops on the trail that offers that traditional coffee shop feel along with their daily selection of freshly baked donuts.

Although, you cannot go wrong with any of Jupiter's donut selections, their most popular happens to be their croissant (pictured all the way to the right) & a little something called the Miami Maple Merger (not pictured). The Miami Maple Merger is frosted in a maple fluff icing with candied pecans sprinkled over top.

Jupiter offers plenty of seating, free Wi-Fi, and even an over-sized checkers game.

If you are wanting to start out your journey on the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio with a good cup of coffee, then make sure Jupiter Coffee & Donuts is one of your first stops on the trail. Jupiter is one of the only stops on the trail that offers that traditional coffee shop feel along with their daily selection of freshly baked donuts.

Insider tip: Jungle Jim's International Market happens to be right across the street from Jupiter Coffee & Donuts. It is a definite must-do for my fellow foodies.


Stop #2: The Donut Spot (8268 Princeton Glendale Road)

The Donut Spot is one of those cozy, old school donut shops. And since they start serving up their freshly baked donuts at 3:00 in the morning, they happen to be the first shop that opens on the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio.

The Donut Spot is one of those cozy, old school donut shops. And since they start serving up their freshly baked donuts at 3:00 in the morning, they happen to be the first shop that opens on the Donut Trail. If you are an early riser, you may want to start your donut filled morning here.

The Donut Spot is one of those cozy, old school donut shops. And since they start serving up their freshly baked donuts at 3:00 in the morning, they happen to be the first shop that opens on the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio.

While we enjoyed all of our hand picked pastries, their Cheesecake Donut (pictured center, right) is by far their most popular. 


Hamilton
Stop #3: Kelly's Bakery (1335 Main Street)

Kelly's Bakery in Hamilton,Ohio has a retro feel with a modern twist. The shop is clean & inviting, donned out with a black & white checkered floor, old school red chairs, and bright pops of turquoise. The staff was super friendly and made us feel like family. #DonutTrail

Kelly's Bakery in Hamilton has a retro feel with a modern twist. The shop is clean & inviting, donned out with a black & white checkered floor, old school red chairs, and bright pops of turquoise. The staff was super friendly and made us feel like family.

Kelly's Bakery in Hamilton,Ohio has a retro feel with a modern twist. The shop is clean & inviting, donned out with a black & white checkered floor, old school red chairs, and bright pops of turquoise. The staff was super friendly and made us feel like family. #DonutTrail

Their most popular donuts are their Blueberry Cake & their apple fritter (pictured above, front & center). I can vouch for that apple fritter- it was absolutely amazing! I wanted to take it back to the hotel room, heat it up in the microwave, & top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. :) Another must-try from Kelly's is their Buckeye Donut (pictured center right). The state of Ohio is known for their Buckeyes, a confection made with an irresistible combination of chocolate & peanut butter.

Kelly's Bakery in Hamilton,Ohio has a retro feel with a modern twist. The shop is clean & inviting, donned out with a black & white checkered floor, old school red chairs, and bright pops of turquoise. The staff was super friendly and made us feel like family. #DonutTrail


Stop #4: Mimi's Donuts & Bakery (2267 Millville Avenue)

If you are starting to get a little full from your travels by the time you reach Mimi's Donuts & Bakery, then you are in luck! They happen to be one of the only donut shops on the Butler County Donut Trail that offers mini versions of some of their most popular donuts.

Mimi's Donuts & Bakery is another shop on the trail that has a clean, modern, yet slightly retro feel. 

If you are starting to get a little full from your travels by the time you reach Mimi's Donuts & Bakery, then you are in luck! They happen to be one of the only donut shops on the Butler County Donut Trail that offers mini versions of some of their most popular donuts.

If you are starting to get a little full from your travels by the time you reach Mimi's, then you are in luck! They happen to be one of the only donut shops on the trail that offers mini versions of some of their most popular donuts. Their most popular donut happens to be the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (pictured to the right). It has a peanut butter filling with a chocolate glaze & crushed Reese's cups on top. 


Stop #5: Ross Bakery (1051 Eaton Avenue)

As soon as you walk through the door, you can sense that Ross Bakery on the Butler County Donut Trail has a laid back, old school feeling to it. Offering very little seating (there is only one table by the window), this is definitely one of those donut shops where people stop in, grab their donuts, & go.

As soon as you walk through the door, you can sense that Ross Bakery has a laid back, old school feeling to it. Offering very little seating (there is only one table by the window), this is definitely one of those donut shops where people stop in, grab their donuts, & go.

We got to sample their apple fritter, the fruity pebbles donut, a simple yeast twist with a chocolate glaze, & their unique pretzel shaped glazed donut. The glazed pretzel & yeast twist were light & airy- glazed donut perfection! Ross's most popular donut is their white cream filled eclair.

As soon as you walk through the door, you can sense that Ross Bakery on the Butler County Donut Trail has a laid back, old school feeling to it. Offering very little seating (there is only one table by the window), this is definitely one of those donut shops where people stop in, grab their donuts, & go.


Middletown
Stop #6: Central Pastry Shop (1518 Central Avenue)

Having opened in 1949, Central Pastry has been a long-time staple & a favorite among the locals in the city of Middletown, Ohio for decades. It is popular stop on the Butler County Donut Trail.

Having opened in 1949, Central Pastry has been a long-time staple & a favorite among the locals in the city of Middletown for decades. Not only are they famous for their freshly baked donuts, but they also happen to be a full scale bakery offering cakes & cookies as well as other tasty treats.

Having opened in 1949, Central Pastry has been a long-time staple & a favorite among the locals in the city of Middletown, Ohio for decades. It is popular stop on the Butler County Donut Trail.

We were lucky enough to get to sample all of Central Pastry's most popular donuts- their glazed (pictured top left), Fried Danish Doughnut (pictured top right), the Cinnamon Square (pictured bottom left), and the Ugly (pictured bottom right). The Fried Danish is twisted & layered with butter. The Cinnamon Square is a cross between a donut & a piece of coffee cake. And the Ugly (one of their most popular donuts) is a glazed yellow cake donut that is soft on the inside and crisp & crunchy on the inside. 

Central Pastry happens to be the only shop on the Butler County Donut Trail that offers an Instagram-worthy photo wall, so be sure to snap a pic before heading out and back on the trail.

Central Pastry happens to be the only shop on the trail that offers an Instagram-worthy photo wall, so be sure to snap a pic before heading out and back on the trail.


Stop #7: Milton's Donuts (3533 Roosevelt Boulevard)

One sign of a really good local donut shop is how busy it is, and Milton's Donuts on the Butler County Donut Trail was rocking the entire time that we were there.

One sign of a really good local donut shop is how busy it is, and Milton's Donuts was rocking the entire time that we were there. Since Milton's has no seating at all, we headed to the car to enjoy our donut selection.

One sign of a really good local donut shop is how busy it is, and Milton's Donuts on the Butler County Donut Trail was rocking the entire time that we were there.

We definitely lucked out on our timing because minutes after we arrived, a fresh & hot batch of their famous glazed donuts came out from the back. We couldn't even wait to bite into that one before I snapped my pic! ;) You all, it was pure heaven. Perhaps even the best bite of the entire trail for us. Milton's is also famous for their Deep Fried Cheesecake donut (pictured in the bottom front).


Trenton
Stop #8: Martin's Donuts (4 West State Street)

An old service station turned donut shop & bakery, Martin's Donuts is easy to spot with its bright pink storefront. Martin's is also an early opener on the Butler County Donut Trail with a start time of 4:00am.

An old service station turned donut shop & bakery, Martin's Donuts is easy to spot with its bright pink storefront. Martin's is also an early opener on the Donut Trail with a start time of 4:00am. 

An old service station turned donut shop & bakery, Martin's Donuts is easy to spot with its bright pink storefront. Martin's is also an early opener on the Butler County Donut Trail with a start time of 4:00am.

We tried their Chocolate Chip Cake donut (pictured top left), the Cronut (pictured bottom left), & the Cherry Cheescake (pictured to the right). My personal favorite was the Cherry Cheesecake with the Cronut coming in at a close second. Their most popular donut is their glazed twists which are perfect for dunking.

Martin's offers no seating, so plan to enjoy your freshly baked selections in the car.

Fun fact: Although we didn't experience any paranormal encounters in the shop, Martin's is rumored to be haunted.


West Chester
Stop #9: Holtman's Donuts (9558 Civic Centre Boulevard)

Perhaps the coolest thing about Holtman's Donuts in West Chester is their open bakery where kids & adults alike can get a peek into their donut making process. #DonutTrail

Perhaps the coolest thing about Holtman's Donuts in West Chester is their open bakery where kids & adults alike can get a peek into their donut making process. Holtman's has a spacious seating area, so it is definitely the perfect place to sit down & relax during your donut filled trek across Butler County.

One of Holtman's Donuts most popular (and prettiest on the trail!) donuts is their Red Velvet Donut with Cream Cheese Frosting. The red velvet donuts are frosted to look like a rose.#DonutTrail

One of their most popular (and prettiest!) donuts is their Red Velvet Donut with Cream Cheese Frosting. The red velvet donuts are frosted to look like a rose, and they often change the frosting colors to reflect holidays, special causes, and the time of the year. Their Maple Bacon Donut is another must-try while at Holtman's.


Stop #10: Stan the Donut Man (7967 Cincinnati Dayton Road)

Stan the Donut Man has been serving up fresh donuts to the fine people of West Chester for over 50 years now. Their claim to fame is their Pineapple Fritter. #DonutTrail

Stan the Donut Man has been serving up fresh donuts to the fine people of West Chester for over 50 years now. Their claim to fame is their Pineapple Fritter (pictured below). They just so happen to serve up the only pineapple fritter on the entire trail.

Stan the Donut Man has been serving up fresh donuts to the fine people of West Chester for over 50 years now. Their claim to fame is their Pineapple Fritter. #DonutTrail


Stop #11: The Donut House (8268 Princeton Glendale Road)

The Donut House just might get my vote for the best donuts on the Butler County Donut Trail. I am sucker for super soft, fluffy, yeasty donuts, & The Donut House has perfected those.

The Donut House just might get my vote for the best donuts. I am sucker for super soft, fluffy, yeasty donuts, & The Donut House has perfected those. 

The most unique thing about The Donut Shop & the one thing that sets them apart from the other shops on the trail is their made-to-order filled donuts.

Perhaps the most unique thing about The Donut Shop & the one thing that sets them apart from the other shops on the trail is their made-to-order filled donuts. You choose from their various glazed & dipped donuts, & then pick a jelly, cream, or custard filling. They fill your donut right before your eyes. It doesn't get much fresher than that, folks! 

The most unique thing about The Donut Shop & the one thing that sets them apart from the other shops on the trail is their made-to-order filled donuts.


Note: Stop #12 on the Donut Trail is optional on your passport due to their limited hours of operation, but definitely head over to the Oxford Doughnut Shoppe if you can squeeze it into your morning. We didn't get the chance to make it there ourselves, but I have heard that their old-fashioned, kettle fried donuts are well worth a visit for.

Once you have conquered the Butler County Donut Trail in Ohio, be sure to get a pic with your completed passports!

Once you have conquered the trail, be sure to get a pic with your completed passports! :) And don't forget to turn your passports in to the Butler County Visitors Bureau for your t-shirt (the design changes every year) & bragging rights. ;)

Located just north of Cincinnati, the Butler County Donut Trail is a donut lover's dream come true! This is the ultimate how-to guide to conquering this countywide culinary trail.

My Top Tips & Tricks for Tackling the Butler County Donut Trail:
  • Instead of trying to hit all of the donut shops on the trail in one morning, break it up into 2-3 mornings if possible. We stayed overnight at the family friendly Staybridge Suites & made West Chester our home base for exploring the trail.
  • If you can visit the Donut Trail during the week, I would strongly suggest it. The donut shops can quickly sell out of donuts on the weekends, so plan for weekday mornings for a better selection. We did the trail on Tuesday & Wednesday mornings & didn't encounter a single sold out shop along the way.
  • If you must go on the weekend, then the earlier you can get up and out on the trail the better.
  • Be sure to get a photo with each of the green & blue trail signs that you can find at every stop on the Donut Trail. Don't forget to use the #DonutTrail hashtag when sharing your pics to social media! :)
  • Keep in mind that not all of the donut shops on the trail have seating. You may have to grab your donuts & enjoy them in your car.

Have you done the Butler County Donut Trail before?
What was your favorite shop on the trail? Favorite donut?


For more information & to start planning your Donut Trail adventure in Butler County soon, be sure to visit the Butler County Vistors Bureau website!

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