Don't be jelly: Finding the ideal donut ratio
June 7th, 2013
12:45 PM ET
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As journalists at, we often have serious, hard-hitting debates in our newsroom about ethics, compelling storytelling, and our responsibility to aid democracy as the fourth estate.

Today warranted no discussion, as we came to a unanimous decision about a very important topic: Donut ratios.

We decided when it comes to this beloved pastry it’s either go simple, or go home.

Here's how it went down. An unnamed manager lost a bet to a producer earlier in the week and promised the team donuts as a reward. Wednesday came and went. Thursday, not a circular treat to be found. Finally, Friday – redemption day.

Excitement peaked as the humbled boss approached with two boxes of Dunkin' Donuts, but sadness set in as he made the reveal. There before us, 18 treats. And three quarters of them were filled with...something. Something icky, something sticky, something jelly, creamy, apple, or completely unidentifiable.

I personally, was looking forward to a blueberry cake donut. “This many filled?” I asked out loud.

“These are more like pies,” I said, and my grabbing hands receded. I was not alone in my assessment. Other colleagues began to notice the ratio and shot snarky complaints across our desks.

“This is passive-aggressive donut buying!” remarked one producer, who managed to snag a limited hole-bearing option, frosted with pink and green.

“You only did a bad job buying donuts so we’d stop asking you,” replied another lucky worker who got the only chocolate-topped option.

What is the perfect ratio of filled donuts to regular ones? About a quarter of 18 should have been filled, we decided. Four out of 18. Not 12 out of 18.

You tell us. Are we being ungrateful? Should we not dwell?

After a week of asking for our sugary reward our hopes were high. We all wanted a snack, but discovered we prefer autonomy to decide for ourselves the scale of our own indulgences. Most would have preferred a choice that included chocolate cake, glazed, or adorned with sprinkles.

Maybe next time we’ll ask for cookies instead - but God help the boss if he brings us 18 oatmeal raisins.

Previously in donut news:
National donut day!
The audacity of the independent donut
Maine residents manic for potato donuts

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Filed under: Culture • Office

soundoff (189 Responses)
  1. Glamourista

    Hilarious article. I know it was tongue in cheek - especially the comment about the choices being passive-aggressive. This could be an episode straight from the TV show "The Office"'.

    All of the snarky comments feed right into that premise, so thanks for playing!!

    June 12, 2013 at 3:01 am |
  2. tiffer72

    Now I have to buy doughnuts. It's been months. Thanks, jerks. (Unfilled, chocolate frosted yeast rings, not cake style, btw)

    June 10, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  3. YD

    Don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It's rude. This is such an ill-mannered, entitled and ungrateful generation....I'm really embarrassed to be part of it.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm |
    • dez

      Only suckups bring in this kind of nasty unhealthy food.

      June 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
      • BlinkyWinky

        Right...because if they really wanted to be nice and do a kind deed, without sucking up, they'd bring carrots! What if the boss is the one that brings the donuts? Are they sucking up?

        June 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm |
  4. steve

    Watch the Jenna Marble donut challenge. Run 2 miles, eat 12 donuts, run 2 more miles.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
  5. Larry

    You ungrateful wretches.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  6. Mayor of Burgertown

    I really dont care as long as its from a real donut place, donuts from the grocery store bakery are vile disgusting abominations, yet 90% office donuts are from there, and 90% of the time the box is still half full at the end of the day. They empty the box in an hour when theres dunkin donuts.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Frank

      So you think a "real" donut is better than a pretend donut from the store. That's like saying you think a toy is only good if it's bought at Toy R Us. They're all crap for you, so what is the real difference? Better tasting poison?

      June 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • Jimmeh

        If I'm going to poison myself, I prefer to enjoy it.

        June 7, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • Mayor of Burgertown

        Yes better tasting, what bizarre concept for food, how did you figure that one out professor?

        June 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • fuzzynormal

        ...and you can eat a tomato plucked fresh from the vine at it's peak ripeness, or you can eat one from a can. Which one do you think is better?

        One's a tomato. The other one is a tomato.

        However, proper preparation can make the same ingredients sublime or horrid.

        It's like people saying "I can't eat raw fish! That's terrible!" and they dismiss it. Yet, they've never had skillfully selected and prepared sushi. Food is not a democratic commodity. It varies wildly in quality.

        Here in the U.S., we tend to get the lower end of the offerings.

        June 7, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  7. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Yay! 2 Polls!

    June 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  8. TIna

    I don't trust anyone who likes a jelly.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
  9. TIna

    I don't trust anyone who likes a jelly donut.

    June 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Denis L.

      But its only hot blueberry sauce!

      June 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm |
  10. TomGI

    Get back to work you bloated gas bags. Stop wasting time with donuts.

    June 7, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Frank

      Says the dolt who is wasting time reading article about donuts and posting similarly inane comments.

      June 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  11. Loathstheright

    One of our engineers were so excited about a new Crispy Creme that he brought 2 boxes of them for everyone at one ate them....this is Seattle, we are a bunch of liberals, we don't eat junk food.

    June 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      There are no Krispy Kremes in Alaska so whenever someone stops in Seattle they'll get a couple boxes and bring them up there for their friends.

      I don't care for donuts, except the mini powdered ones. Especially when I'm baked.

      June 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  12. Carl

    2 Boxes of 12 donuts = 18?

    June 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Ally

      Well it says he brought 2 boxes and there were a total of 18 treats. So I'm assuming there were 9 in each box not 12.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • math

      one dozen plus half dozen = 18

      June 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
  13. mike

    Yeah. It is pathetic to complain. Your getting free donuts. If you didn't like jelly you should have specified. I would bet my WHOLE life savings that this is a liberal complaining... Not the 'right' free stuff for them.

    June 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Jeremy

      You're an idiot

      June 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
  14. Ally

    I don't think I could ever bring myself to complain to someone who has spent out-of-pocket to bring donuts for his co-workers.

    The very best are the custard filled with chocolate icing!

    June 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  15. Tom

    One thing I have learned years ago. When you order donuts to being into work, you select the types yourself. You never, ever, ask the person behind the counter to select the types. They always pick the poorest selling, and the ones that have been sitting the trays the longest. In other words, the types no one else really wants (and guess what, your coworkers will not like those types either).

    June 7, 2013 at 5:14 pm |
    • Evan

      The key is to pick the donuts YOU want. As it is a total gratuity, you should be entitled to make sure that there will be enough of your favorite kind. Others needs are secondary.

      June 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  16. noncentric

    The US really needs you to get back to the "forth estate" discussion.

    Hint: This story on a news site is part of the problem.

    June 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • Steve

      Hey, you clicke dit. This is the eatocracy portion of CNN, they talk about food. Do you mean it shouldn't have a front page link? In Its defense, it is "below the fold" on the website.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
  17. KM

    I like donut shaped donuts. Filled ones are just messy. Long Johns are acceptable as they are just different shaped glazed (but unfilled). Oh and Krispy Kreme totally pwns Dunkin Donuts as far as the actual donuts go, but Dunkin has better coffee.

    June 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ken

      Interestingly enough Krispy Kreme came charging into the local market and 3 years later they closed up every store in a 50 mile radius and left the area. Their product was highly over rated.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
      • Corambis

        The same thing happened here with Krispy Kreme. They came in at first and did great business. Then their donuts started showing up in convenience stores, supermarkets, and Targets. They were everywhere you went, but unless you got them directly at Krispy Kreme directly, they weren't warm or fresh, which is what made them so good in the first place. They overexposed themselves out of the market.

        June 7, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • me

      there are a million dunkin donuts and like 5 krispie kremes in the US, your complaint doesnt apply to the majority

      June 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
      • George

        Here there are no DD's within 300 miles and at least 10 KK's.

        June 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  18. S Kyle

    I hate doughnuts/donuts.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
  19. Christiabella

    The only "epic fail" I see in this story is the rudeness of that office staff.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tom

      I have to agree. Someone is kind enough to being in donuts, you thank them and select one.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • CosmicC

      Calling this news is an epic fail.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
      • Christiabella

        I don't think anyone did–it's an article on a food blog.

        June 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm |
  20. BillA

    Ummm...looks like he nailed the ratio. There is nothing worse than a box of donuts filled with simple plain or glazed. Filling is crucial.

    Go big or go home

    June 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
  21. BlinkyWinky

    Shipley's – Best doughnuts/donuts ever.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • sam

      agreed with the shipleys!

      June 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • trowe

      Shipley's is delicious. I use to never eat glazed donuts but theirs are amazing. They are always fresh and warm. Unfortunately I no longer live close to one.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
      • BlinkyWinky

        Then you should move

        June 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • me

      thats great, any more local food places you can share that we've never heard of?

      June 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
  22. pcox104

    Bad style, OK on the whole (get it? on the whole -like donut, anybody??).

    The article is written like an inside joke – probably amusing to the storyteller but the rest of the world doesn't care about your office.

    If somebody is going to write on the topic, the issue should be blatantly and openly light-hearted and certainly far more to the point than this. Otherwise, the tone is just pretentious and unflattering because, as I said before, nobody cares about the social life in your office. But we do care about a 1 paragraph article asking my personal opinion.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • pcox104

      It's this sort of writing (not the topic) that makes it obvious the author is still fresh out of college.

      June 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Scott

      It's National Donut Day you dweebs. The topic is absolutely OK today.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm |
  23. JoeBeer

    I didn't realize doughnut/donut content was so controversial. My personal favorite from DD is extremely hard, if not impossible to find. Ironically, it is the namesake donut for the chain. It is the cake donut with the little handle. The regular cake donut is ok, but the Dunkin Donut has a crispier exterior and is not as sweet. Plus the little "handle" made it easier to dunk. When I was young (JoeRootBeer) I thought my father was weird because he liked the cake variety most. Now it's mine.

    For the record, when I was a manager in an office, I used to have to cover Saturday mornings about once every 6 weeks for staff overtime. I always brought 2 dozen mixed (out of my own pocket) and no more than 1/4 to 1/3 of them were filled. Mostly were glazed, chocolate covered, crullers, cinnamon, sugar, sprinkles, etc, etc. Everybody always appreciated it.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • JoeBeer

      I almost forgot. Google "donuts made from pancake mix". I think it's the first recipe that pops up. Super easy to make and you toss them from the oil into a paper bag with cinnamon & sugar. They are very easy to make and my family loves them.

      June 7, 2013 at 4:35 pm |
      • CT5

        Thanks for the google hint! I may have to try that one of these days :-)

        June 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  24. cj

    People that complain about the free stuff they get at work need to be shot. Next time that guy needs to buy doughnuts for you spoiled newsertainment workers he should buy ALL filled ones.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • Evan


      June 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  25. CT5

    I voted for custard filled! Those are the favorites at my office too. Although we have donuts about once a year... All of my pregnant friends (including myself) however, love donuts at the GENERAL. It's fried sugary dough. Seriously, how can it go wrong? (please don't answer that! haha)

    June 7, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
  26. Entitled

    I hate it when someones free gift doesn't live up to my expectations. I also hate it when my wallet is too small for my $100 bills and my diamond shoes are too tight.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
  27. mmmm Donuts

    I like the kind of donuts that come in a box!

    June 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
    • whorhay

      I agree, and honestly the author and co-workers come across as a bunch whiney cry babbies. You got doughnuts that you didn't pay for or apparently earn. If you are going to be so picky as to complain about the selection you should just go buy your own. The manager probably actually thought he was going over board buying more expensive and fancier treats. If I were in his/her place I'd just bring you a box of those small stale powdered sugar encrusted leavings that they sell in vending machines.

      June 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
  28. Patrick3D

    Other: Chocolate Old-Fashioned

    At my last company we rotated buying Breakfast for the department every Friday, whenever I bought donuts I always bought a dozen glazed and dozen variety consisting of: 3 jelly filled, 3 chocolate with sprinkles, 3 chocolate old-fashioned, and 3 curellers. I would grab one of the old-fashioned for myself and leave the rest for the staff.

    Where I currently work unless I get in before the maintenance staff (~7:30AM), the only donuts left are jelly-filled and sprinkles, neither of which I like.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  29. Will

    Strawberry Sprinkles....the best hands down. Ask Homer Simpson.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
  30. Bill D.

    I like the white cream filled ones the best.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
    • Van Wilder

      Anyone ever see Van Wilder? Those eclairs are the bomb.

      June 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • JoeBeer


        June 7, 2013 at 4:17 pm |
      • BillA

        June 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • AleeD®

      Me, too. ~_~

      June 9, 2013 at 11:15 am |
  31. Tom

    I just hate the ones with any kind of powder on them. The powder comes off everywhere if you try to eat one. By the way, was there ever a Simpson's episode where Homer went on a road trip determined to find the legendary "Donut Pass" he sees signs for everywhere? There should have been if there wasn't :-).

    June 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
  32. Nemo

    Why has no one looked at the cost involved? I think the manager was being generous by paying for more expensive (filled) donuts. He/She could have cheaped out and got the plain ones. The staff should be more grateful. But the post did generate a lot of discussion, so it was successful in that regard.

    June 7, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
  33. Mayor McCheese

    I don't think you're ready, for this jelly.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
  34. Voter

    Keep in mind that Krispy Kreme was an Obama contributor, so just flat out avoid them.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • joe

      Or, buy more!

      June 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • Mike

      Krispy Kreme could contribute to a campaign to clone and elect Hitler and I'd still buy their delicious doughnuts. Fudge covered and glazed... soooo gooood.

      June 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Mike

        Hrmm... I just thought of a new slogan: "Keep your politics out of my food, and I'll keep my food out of your politics!"

        June 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
    • Aud

      Thanks for the heads up, I shall buy a lot more now (like I need any more encouragement – says my gut)

      June 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • RC

      Politics aside, worst over-hyped, overrated donuts in the world.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • Truth

        Perfect then given how "hope and change" has worked out...

        June 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  35. Snow

    Yes you were very rude. If someone gives you something free, you don't complain. You could have gone out and got your favorite doughnut instead. You thank them for their efforts. If I was the person I would never buy the ungrateful people food again.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
  36. Chris

    I guarantee the guy buying just asked for 18 donuts and not specific kinds. The people filling the donuts put the ones they have more of to get rid of them. Meaning they had more crappy filled ones to get rid of.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
  37. emintey

    "You tell us. Are we being ungrateful? Should we not dwell?"

    yes you are, and no you shouldlnt.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  38. Summer819

    Now I want donuts. Thanks.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm |
  39. Fiona

    Maybe the boss was sending a message, that you all all lacking a solid core?

    June 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm |
    • Steve

      Are you saying the boss was implying his employees are "full of it?"

      June 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  40. dfjlj2kjkk2

    Its not worth dwelling on.

    However i do agree. Doughnuts stuffed with all the crap they usually inject them with is just disgusting. It wouldnt be so bad if they used about 1/10th the filling. But they shove so much in there its just a nasty goo bag.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  41. Nick LeBon

    It was an epic fail when he came in with a Dunkin Donuts box ... Krispy Kreme or go home and try again.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
  42. Fiona

    "I personally, was looking forward to ..."

    Is that considered professional writing at CNN?

    I think you all need bigger issues to tackle. Donut angst is not newsworthy.

    (For the record, my preference is buttermilk or apple fritter.)

    June 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • Fiona

      ...and btw, if you put the apple fritter in the microwave for about 10 -15 seconds (varies by model), it's awesome.

      June 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm |
    • RC

      Ditto on the apple fritter.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
  43. Kevin

    Beggars can't be choosers... if you want a certain kind of doughnut, then get it yourself. If someone brings doughnuts, they will probably get the kind they prefer, unless they work in a doughnut shop and know what most people like.

    I hope he brings you 18 oatmeal raisin cookies.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • randoid1234

      Hahahahaha! Yes, I know exactly what you mean with the oatmeal raisin cookies.

      June 7, 2013 at 3:51 pm |
  44. Ed

    What, no glazed buttermilk bar option in the voting options? Communists.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
  45. Wheels

    Chocolate Iced with sprinkles is the only donut !!

    June 7, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  46. Scott

    Really? Our government is spying on us and directing the IRS to profile and discriminate against us based on political alignment. We have 4 dead diplomats in Benghazi and no accountability from our government. The DOJ is categorically lying to us. How this donut powder puff piece even gets space on the website is beyond me.

    June 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Wheels

      There are plenty of other news stories you can read and comment on....THIS ONE IS FOR DONUTS!

      June 7, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • Ally

      It gets space because it's nice to have some funny, fluff articles to read every now and then.

      June 7, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
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