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A Donut for All Times

For some reason the other day I was thrown back to memories of acquiring and eating Spaulding Kruller donuts. I think it's because it's been a helluva work week. Nose to the grindstone and all that.

I just googled "Spaulding Kruller" and found a couple of other blog entries from people who grew up in upstate New York who remembered them equally fondly. They were a medium-sized donut that came in a red, white and blue (or was it just red and white)-striped box. But the kicker was the white sugar coating. It wasn't all powdery and flaky and soft, but rather more "together." I remember eating the sugar off the donut first, in strips, from the top center of the donut down to its butt and then all the way around. And then I'd eat the naked little dough part. Kind of like twisting open an Oreo and scraping off the white filling first.

Even more than the donut, though, I recall the process of going to buy the donut. I  remember walking down my street and across the bridge over the river and down the Main street to the store to buy them. Sometimes I rode my bike with the turquoise seat. Often without my parents' knowing, or at least I think they didn't. Sometimes my friend Mary and I would go together and share them on the walk back, leaning on the rusty railing of the iron bridge. Sometimes I'd eat them all myself. I'd hide them when I got home, counting how many were left before I tucked the box away and swearing revenge on any who disturbed them.

They were clandestine Kruller's. A guilty pleasure. And one whose sugary solace still stirs my soul.

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Reader Comments (25)

I have been wearily searching for the existence and possible history of the 'Spaulding Kruller' to little result - I happened upon this blog while Googling 'Spaulding Donuts' forgetting about the (k)cruller tag.
My memory recalls that the box was blue and orange pinstripes, white was in there too - with the plastic window, to see what was soon to come. This was the 1960's, for sure; the place was in and about Newburgh; lower New York State.
The cake donuts were dense small, with finely powdered sugar and the cake had a particular taste unlike all that passes for donuts these days - nutmeg maybe.
My father spent the last years of his life searching for "real" custard eclairs and these bloody Spaulding Krullers; he's gone now, and his aging children seem to have stumbled upon the lost quest, I guess trying to remember the noteworthy bits of our youth.
Gee, those donuts were good. Where has the company scattered to?
I would even settle for an old box, just to establish that I am not too crazy.

August 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc

Marc, got your email from the Contact form. I'll respond to you there. This is very funny. I think I'm getting a message that there's an entire population of upstate NY Kruller-lovers out there who all want the same thing -- to find out what happened to that donut. Do I see a Food Network documentary in the offing? :)

August 15, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaren R

I just spent a week in Upstate NY last week. One of my goals while there is to find Spaulding Krullers. As a kid those were the best and I look forward to going to my small home town and tracking them down. I am from Harpursville NY..... I found my Krullers in Binghamton NY at the GAINT grocery store(on Front Street ). I bought 3 boxes of them wrapped em up for my drive back to Fl. Once at home I frooze them in small freezer bags.......3 to a bag. Take em out let them get to room temp...and yes a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of tea and it's like being back home in the country. I love the memories . OH and have to get Helluva good dip and cheese while I am there along with grandma brown baked beans. Why did I move from there ???????????????? all the good food YUM YUM YUM .

INFO from the spaulding box


September 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie

oh my gosh! i spent my entire life loving these doughnuts. i haven't been able to find them for about the past three years. i bought them regularly from a small grocery store in northeast pennsylvania and was heartbroken when the store owner told me that they were no longer getting the doughnuts from the supplier. the supplier was from binghampton, ny. i am desperate, if anybody has any information about these krullers please, please, please post it on this page.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermike w.

Not being able to find these in many years in the Hudson Valley (NY), was delighted to find them a few years ago in Watkins Glen, NY. They only had the choc ones that day and have been looking ever since when we go up to the Finger Lakes each year. Just found them the other day at Ovid's "Big M" grocery store in Ovid, NY...both the multi (plain, white powdered and cinnamon) and the all chocolate boxes. YUM!!!

June 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdae

Good news! After an exhaustive search I found out that all of the Giant Markets in Binghampton, NY carry Spaulding's. I discovered them in January and I have been making monthly trips (I live about an hour south near Scranton, PA) to pick up the krullers. They are delivered every Friday! I am a happy man. I feel like part of my childhood is back!

July 23, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermike w.


It's nice to know that a product called "Spaulding Krullers" is still available, but-- given the penchant for big corporations to adulterate old-time recipes-- are these krullers the same ones we knew long ago?

Hale Adams
one-time resident of Montrose, Pa., way back when (too long ago, now)

July 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHale Adams

Fakes, not the real thing.
Yes there are some fake Spaulding Krullers out there but they are not real. They come in the same box and look like the real thing but a real Kruller fan brought up in the 50's and 60's could tell you as soon as they picked one up it was fake. They are powdered without the hard cakey frosted coating on them and the donut itself does not have that special texture we grew up with. If you are a 80's kid you wouldn't notice, somewhere in that 70's 80's timeframe they changed the recipe. It was lost and they left behind an entire following of Krullerholics. Probably a new generation decision to lower the cost of making the donut thinking no one will notice but I'm sure that decision has cost them dearly. They had a following like people going to Dunkin donuts, they threw it away .

August 31, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEric

What a treat to know that there are those who still remember this most wonderful treat. I would get them when my parents went to Scranton, Pa. to visit my grandmother. Bought them in a store on the Carbondale Highway near Clarks Summit. I even had a good friend purchase several boxes when she and her husband went on vacation. Brought ten boxes back and I was in heaven. I have never tasted a donut in my life as the Spaldings.. Always wondered what happened to them and sorry to hear that perhaps the original is no longer available. Lifes little pleasures in the 60's. Thanks to all for bringing back some great remembrances of times gone by.

September 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTom R.

Was in Watkins Glen this past weekend and spotted a box of Spaulding Kruellers in of all places ,,,a winery. then we were on a quest to find them. We a gas station grocery! But what a disappointment when we tried them....nothing like the one's we remember from the 1960's growing up in Monroe NY. There was a Spaulding bakery in Middletown NY that closed in the 70's. Always wondered if that was the same company. Apparently the new baker lost the recipe but kept the box. Too sad.

October 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLois

The Spaulding Bakery Company was crippled by a huge strike at its baking plant in Horsham , PA. This strike eventually affected its main plant in Conklin,NY(a suburb of Binghamton). This strike lasted quite a while and unfortunately ended up bankrupting the company.They filed bankruptcy in 1981, and by 1984 had closed down for good. Interstate Brands Corporation, the then parent of Millbrook-Dolly Madison Bakeries bought the recipie and the trademarks of Spaulding Bakeries. They still make the Spaulding Krullers, but somehow they don't taste quite the same as when Spaulding made them.

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterB.D.Kalaf

Wow, what a find to have google pull up this blog about Spaulding krullers. I grew up in Blossburg PA, a small northern town about 30 minutes from Corning NY, during the 70's and enjoyed these unique donuts throughout my youth. It's truly sad that the 'original' Spaulding donuts aren't available any more, but it's good to see that others have similar fond memories.

January 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterC.J. Trevino

Oh my God, I've finally found someting online about Spaulding Crullers. I've tried searching before but always came up empty handed. I was just telling my wife about these the other night and she thought I was nuts when I said that they were the best thing I ever tasted in my life. I remember how dense they were and the small dark flecks of something in them. This would have been sometime during the seventies.

I'd give anything to get my hands on them again. If anybody finds a way to order them somewhere online, please let me know. I really don;t feel like searching random gas stations and grocery stores in NY.

Finally, I don't feel so alone anymore. :)

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

These donuts are very similar to those made in the 60's and 70's with the exception of the sugar coating. (more like powdered sugar) the cake is still dense and has that same nutmeg (?) taste that I remember. They are still FAR superior to any other donut you can buy in a grocery store. Yum!

January 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohn K

I wonder if the original recipe is anywhere to be found. The sugar coating and I call it that because it wasn't powdered it was like someone melted it on the donut. I will look for the recipe of a long lost donut

March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

This former Oneonta, New Yorker has searched for information relating to the whereabouts of these without a doubt best doughnuts that have ever been baked anywhere in the world. Is there any archive information out there that would allow someone, anyone, to rediscover how to recreate these delicacies? I will volunteer to begin the franchise. The world truly needs to partake of this stupendous treat.

March 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTotally Satisfying

memories galore for that striped box with those yummy donuts. It is great to know that we all can know we aren't the only one thinking about what happened to such a great tasting donut of our youth.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

memories galore for that striped box with those yummy donuts. It is great to know that we all can know we aren't the only one thinking about what happened to such a great tasting donut of our youth.

September 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBonnie

I was born in Binghampton, NY in 1954 and at age 6 my family moved to Rochester, NY. I can remember many trips back to Binghampton to visit family and my Dad would ALWAYS purchase many boxes of those Spaulding Krullers to bring back with us to Rochester where they were not available. I grew up loving the unique taste of these white sugar coated donuts and would never be able to find anything even close. When they changed the recipe in the early 80's it was like we lost a family member ,,,Uuuggg!!!! I have been searching high and low for a donut that good or a recipe to duplicate them with no success. It amazes me at how unusually delicious those Krullers were and how it seems to be they are now gone forever. What a loss. Anyone who tasted them back then would agree....they were definitely the best flavor and texture ever put into a donut! If anyone ever duplicates those gems or digs that original recipe up pleeeeeease send it to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark Pompeii

I grew up in Scranton, PA in the 1960's and 1970's and am very familiar with Spaulding Krullers. They were the absolute best donut ever. My favorite was the powdered sugar donuts and I believe the dark flecks that someone mentioned earlier were vanilla. As everyone has mentioned they were a dense donut but what I remember most was that smooth vanilla flavor.......pure heaven. I found these donuts back in Scranton a number of years ago, same orange blue white striped box but what a disappointment when I took a bite. They are now just like any old generic white powdered sugar donut. What a crime! Oh if I could only turn back the clock. I feel everyones pain.

October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff
Well Jeff (above) you just made me realize one of the main things that made those original Krullers taste sooooo good. It was real vanilla bean mixed into the dough. No freak'in wonder that's why they changed the recipe....vanilla beans cost a fortune especially in the amount it took to make those little gems so unique and good! Well, finally figuring out what happened. I don't think any bakery would be willing to use vanilla beans as an ingredient....what a shame.

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

Thanks for the reply Mark. They have probably substituted some artifiicial vanilla flavor ingredients/partially hydrogenated oil/ high fructose corn syrup for the fine ingredients they used years ago. I found these donuts in Scranton, PA a couple of years ago and was quite excited only to be quickly disappointed once I took a few bites. What a shame. A sign of the times.

November 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

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November 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlouis vuitton bags

Last post...Uuuggg,,,Good Grief !

Yes Jeff, sign of the times. Some special things we will never see again sadly spoken.

December 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I just discovered this blog as I was daydreaming about two desserts from my youth in Canisteo NY, about an hour south of Rochester and just west of Corning; Spalding Kruellers and Sara Lee Chocolate Cake. I'm astounded and happy to see there is a whole community of folks out there who remember these scrumptious donuts. I can remember saving up lawn-mowing money and buying a whole box just for myself. Good to hear they are still making them, or at least a similar version of them. I'm heading home in June for my 40th high school reunion and I will keep my eyes peeled for that beautiful box with the see-through cellophane window. I know this is not the correct venue for this, but does anyone else remember the single-layer chocolate cake that came in a tin-foil container and a cardboard top? I just viewed an old commercial for Sara Lee Chocolate Cake on Youtube. Those were the days, my friends.

April 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterskidroe

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