If Saratogians learn nothing else during this strangest of years, it might as well be this: that the deliciousness of a doughnut is directly related to the length of the line outside its shop’s door. The first evidence arrived on July 29, the morning Darling Doughnuts, Saratoga’s first gourmet doughnut shop, opened its flagship brick-and-mortar on Broadway. A line formed before it opened at 8:30am, and every doughnut inside—in flavors including Galaxy Glazed (pictured here), Chocolate Bomb and Worms ’N Dirt—was sold out by 11am. Most weekdays and every weekend morning for months after that, the line reappeared, stretching south all the way past Putnam Market.
“The response from the community has been absolutely incredible,” says Natascha Pearl-Mansman, who founded Darling Doughnuts online in 2018 and now co-owns the shop with her business partner, Glenn Severance. “I never imagined having a line like that nearly every day—especially during COVID.” The best part? The doughnuts are worth the wait.
Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, Darling Doughnuts’ offerings are a rotating cast of surprising flavors, topped with everything from fortune cookies and Dunkaroos to marshmallows and Lucky Charms. Pearl-Mansman’s personal favorite is Blue Strazzberry, which is a mixture of strawberry, blueberry and raspberry glaze, with a vanilla swirl. “My other favorite is Butter Pecan—the glaze is actually my great-grandmother’s recipe for a frosting she put on our secret-family-recipe cookies,” she says. “We make those cookies every year around the holidays, and the flavor of the glaze reminds me of growing up in the kitchen with my family.” The fact that Pearl-Mansman can now share her recipes with her own daughters is just icing on the doughnut.
A Darling Doughnut, Deconstructed
Flour from King Arthur Baking Company, Norwich, VT
Eggs from Thomas Poultry Farm, Schuylerville, NY
Milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery, Salem, NY
Butter from Cabot, West Springfield, MA
Dead Sea salt
DARLING DOUGHNUTS By The Numbers:
Number of doughnuts Darling Doughnuts has sold since 2018
Pounds of flour used every week
Total number of flavors the shop chooses its weekly options from
Number of flavors available in the store each week
Hours the dough ferments prior to being rolled and cut
Hours it takes to make a batch of doughnuts, from the mixing of the dough to the finished product