Hot on the Donut Trail

Butler County’s sweetest attraction is begging for a road trip on an empty stomach.

If you put Reese’s Cups on a doughnut, does it still count as breakfast? It’s a question for the ages. You can work out this and other mysteries on the Butler County Donut Trail, a list of nine shops offering fun spins on the classic treat (and plenty of basic glazed). Follow the trail in a day, a weekend, or make it your life’s work. Just get to it.

Jupiter Coffee and Donuts
The selection at this Fairfield shop will be unique each time you go, so look for the seasonal varieties: March’s mint chocolate chip and maple flavors (with local syrup, no less) are some of the best we’ve ever tasted. Jupiter Coffee and Donuts, 5353 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, 513-829-7674, jupitercoffeeanddonuts.com

Kelly’s Bakery
This Hamilton mainstay has plenty of variety, but our favorite item was the s’mores doughnut. Smothered in mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, and chocolate frosting, it had all the fun of campfire treats with none of the work. Kelly’s Bakery, 1335 Main St., Hamilton, 513-285-4040, facebook.com/kellysdonutsandmore

Martin’s Donuts
A plain storefront hides inspired creations at this Trenton shop. It takes time to travel the winding country roads, but the rewards are plenty: bacon maple, cinnamon sugar, and red velvet are just some of the choices. But honestly, Martin’s original glazed packs on the sugary goodness perfectly without needing all those crazy toppings. Martin’s Donuts, 4 W. State St., Trenton, 513-988-0883, facebook.com/martinsdonutshop

Milton’s Donuts
Milton’s keeps it relatively simple compared to its trail companions, but don’t let that fool you. Sometimes a classic doughnut with frosting and sprinkles is just the thing you’re craving, and Milton’s knows how to make them right. Besides, the lack of rich toppings just means you can splurge and eat two. Milton’s Donuts, 3533 Roosevelt Blvd., Middletown, 513-422-8612, facebook.com/Miltons-Donuts-120270217984890/

Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery
Our inner child loved the nostalgia behind the peanut butter and jelly donut so much we couldn’t stop at one. We’d also be remiss to forget the sinfully good pies on sale, if your stomach has room for anything else. Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery, 2267 Millville Ave., Hamilton, 513-280-1911, mimisdonutsandbakery.com

Oxford Doughnut Shoppe
The Oreo and Reese’s Cups doughnuts take richness to the next level, but the real gem here is the genius cinnamon roll-doughnut hybrid. Pro tip: Arrive before 8 a.m. for the best selection; the locals pick it over quickly (especially on weekends). Oxford Doughnut Shoppe, 120 S. Locust St., Oxford, 513-523-9911, facebook.com/Oxford-Doughnut-Shoppe-13075666301/

Ross Bakery
Ross’s doughnuts are not the perfectly identical, Instagrammable donuts you might find at a chain, but their treats have been keeping Hamiltonians happy for more than three decades. Rather than going for the wacky toppings here, test out the classic iced choices: The light texture balanced by just the right amount of sweetness makes up for their unassuming appearance. Ross Bakery, 1051 Eaton Ave., Hamilton, 513-894-9016, facebook.com/Ross-Bakery-120335357979540/

Stan the Donut Man
Stan keeps it old school with low, low prices (most donuts are under a dollar) but gets innovative with futuristic and colorful toppings: Fruity Pebbles, M&Ms, and rainbow sprinkles, to name a few. Seasonal offerings like cherry and pumpkin help keep the menu fresh, while tried-and-true options like Bavarian-crème filled doughnuts have helped inspire a devoted following. Stan the Donut Man, 7967 Cincinnati Dayton Rd., West Chester, 513-759-0016, facebook.com/Stan-The-Donut-Man-147690215281038/

The Donut Spot
If the other spots on this list haven’t turned you off of Dunkin and Krispy Kreme yet, this one will do the trick. The Donut Spot may have odd hours (they open at 1 a.m.) but the selection is killer. The glazed twist is our favorite, if we had to pick one. But who ever made that rule? The Donut Spot, 5148 Pleasant Ave., Fairfield, 513-863-7033, facebook.com/The-Donut-Spot-116081498413772/

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