The Doughy Duel: Donuts vs. Bagels in the Breakfast Wars

January 06, 2023
Last updated on January 31, 2023
The Doughy Duel: Donuts vs. Bagels in the Breakfast Wars

When it comes to breakfast, choosing between donuts and bagels can be a perplexing ordeal. Some folks swear by their love for donuts, while others are steadfast bagel enthusiasts. Which one prevails as the ultimate breakfast food? Let's delve into a perplexing comparison of these two breakfast staples to find out.

“The Historic Saga of Donuts and Bagels!”

Donuts made their entrance into the world in the 19th century, hailing from the Netherlands. They gained popularity in the US in the early 20th century and have since become an integral part of American culture.

3 donuts on the plate and a glass of milk

Bagels, on the other hand, boast a rich history dating back to 16th century Poland. They were brought to the US by Jewish immigrants and have since become a dietary staple for many Americans.

Donuts vs. Bagels: The Distinct Dichotomy

While donuts and bagels may share some similarities, they also possess stark differences that set them apart.

1. Nutritional Value

Nutrition-wise, donuts and bagels can greatly vary. Donuts are often high in calories and fat, but low in carbohydrates and protein.

Tasty and Delicious Bagels

In contrast, bagels are typically high in carbohydrates and protein, yet low in calories and fat. If you're seeking a breakfast option for a quick energy boost, bagels might be the way to go. But if you're in the mood for a sweet treat, a donut might just be your perfect choice.

2. Shape

Donuts are typically round with a hole in the center, while bagels are shaped like a ring with a dense, chewy texture. The hole in donuts allows for more surface area to be adorned with sweet glazes and toppings, while the dense texture of bagels makes them an excellent base for toppings like cream cheese or smoked salmon.

The shape of each food plays a significant role in its taste and texture, making it a crucial aspect to ponder when choosing between donuts and bagels.

3. Preparation

Donuts and bagels differ in their preparation methods. Donuts are often deep-fried, resulting in a fluffy and tender texture. The dough is dropped into hot oil and cooked until it turns golden brown. The fried dough is then coated with various glazes, sprinkles, and toppings.

Bagels, on the other hand, are first boiled before they are baked. The boiling process is what gives bagels their chewy texture and glossy exterior. After boiling, the bagels are baked in the oven until they turn golden brown, resulting in a denser and chewier texture compared to donuts.

4. Uses, Variations, and Toppings

Donuts and bagels have different uses, depending on their unique characteristics. Donuts are often enjoyed as a sweet treat or dessert, owing to their fluffy texture and a multitude of sugary toppings. They can serve as a convenient and delicious snack on-the-go, or add a fun twist to a special breakfast or brunch spread.

Bagels, in contrast, are often used as a base for savory toppings. Their dense and chewy texture makes them ideal for holding spreads like cream cheese, peanut butter, or hummus. They are also frequently served as breakfast sandwiches, filled with eggs, cheese, and sausage.

5. Popularity and Cultural Significance

Donuts have become an iconic staple in American culture, appearing in numerous TV shows and movies as a symbol of indulgence and comfort. Bagels, on the other hand, are often associated with a more traditional and healthy lifestyle, as they are often served with a variety of healthy toppings like smoked salmon or avocado.

Donuts vs. Bagels: The Dilemma

When it comes to the age-old question of donuts vs. bagels, one must ponder and weigh the perplexing pros and cons with a high degree of burstiness.

The Advantages of Donuts

  • A bevy of beguiling flavors and toppings: Donuts, oh donuts! They come in an array of alluring tastes, including the dark and decadent chocolate, the juicy and filled jelly, the gleaming and glossy glaze and much more. The wide spectrum of flavors makes it a cinch to choose a donut that suits your specific taste preferences.
  • Convenient and Compact: Donuts, the easy-to-eat treats, are the ideal option for busy mornings or for quick bites on the go.
  • Sweet and satisfying: The sugar-coated and topped donuts are the epitome of sweet and satisfying treats.

The Disadvantages of Donuts

  • High in calories and sugar: Regrettably, donuts are often high in calories and sugar, making them an unhealthy option if consumed in excessive amounts.
  • Limited nutritional value: Donuts, unfortunately, offer very little to no nutritional value, lacking the vital vitamins and minerals that other breakfast options possess.
  • Deep-fried Dilemma: The deep-frying procedure used to prepare donuts leads to a high fat content, making them an unfavorable option for those watching their calorie or fat intake.

The Advantages of Bagels

  • Versatile Virtues: Bagels can be used as a base for an extensive range of savory toppings, making them a flexible breakfast option.
  • High in fiber: Bagels, made with wholesome whole grains, offer an excellent source of fiber.
  • Filling and Satiating: The dense and chewy texture of bagels can keep you feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime.

The Disadvantages of Bagels

  • Calories and Carbohydrates: Depending on the ingredients used, bagels can be high in calories and carbohydrates, creating a conundrum.
  • Processed ingredients: Many bagels are made with processed ingredients, lacking the wholesome whole grains and nutrients found in other breakfast options.
  • Limited flavor options: In comparison to donuts, bagels have fewer flavor options, with plain, sesame, and everything being the most common and conventional.

There are any shops offer both donuts and bagels. Some popular chains that sell both include:

  • Dunkin' Donuts - Famous for their extensive selection of donuts and coffee, they also offer bagels with various cream cheese spreads.
  • Tim Hortons - This Canadian chain is renowned for their coffee, donuts, and bagels, offering a range of bagel flavors including plain, sesame, and everything bagels.
  • Panera Bread - In addition to soups, salads, and sandwiches, Panera Bread also offers both donuts and bagels as breakfast options.
  • Starbucks - This coffee giant provides a range of donuts, pastries, and bagels for breakfast.
  • Krispy Kreme - Known for their iconic hot, fresh, and delicious donuts, they also offer a selection of bagels.

These are just a few examples, but many local bakeries and cafes also offer both donuts and bagels. Whether you crave a sweet treat or a savory breakfast sandwich, you can often find both donuts and bagels at the same shop.


So, between donuts vs. bagels, which one is better? The answer is, it's subjective! It all depends on your breakfast desires. Craving something sugary and sweet? Reach for a donut. Searching for a nourishing and satisfying start to your day? Opt for a bagel. Ultimately, both donuts and bagels hold a special place in our hearts and bellies!

Profil Picture Jessica Ainsley

Say hello to Jessica "Jess" Ainsley, a 30-something food blogger and freelance copywriter based in the West Coast. With a passion for all things related to food and cooking, Jessica spends her days testing out new recipes and sharing her culinary adventures on her popular blog.

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