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By Kyle S.

National Donut Day is coming up Friday, June 3, so let’s talk a little bit about the history surrounding this day, Evansville’s donut history, and some “sweet” options to read at the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library!

Donut History

National Donut Day is celebrated every first Friday of June of each year and was established by The Salvation Army in 1938. This honorary day was first celebrated in Chicago as a tribute to the “Doughnut Lassies” of The Salvation Army for their contributions during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army sent volunteers to France to provide support for U.S. soldiers fighting in the war by establishing field bases. These volunteers assisted the soldiers with clothes, supplies, food, and support during the conflict. When volunteers Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance realized the difficulty of serving baking goods on the frontlines, they turned to frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. The frying of donuts boosted troop morale and earned the volunteers the nickname of “Doughnut Lassies”. Another key nickname came during the Great War, as the United States troops earned the nickname as “doughboys”, which some believe comes from the “Doughnut Lassies” and the serving of donuts on the frontlines.

Local Donut History

When it comes to local history, Evansville has a rich history of donut shops serving everyone’s favorite pastries. Some of the most remembered donuts come from bakeries that no longer exist, such as Honey Fluff Donuts (1948-2004), Windmill Bakery, Golden Cream Donuts, and numerous others that opened and closed throughout Evansville’s history.

Evansville’s current local staple belongs to Donut Bank, which was founded in 1967. Other locations where you can find these doughy treats in Evansville include Parlor Doughnuts, Dunkin’, Krispy Kreme, and at your local gas station or grocery store.

Interested in learning more about donuts? Make sure to take a look at these materials that cover the deliciousness of donuts. These materials cover some of the varieties of donuts that you can find in Evansville or that you can even attempt to make yourself. Want more recommendations? Fill out EVPL Recommends to get personalized recommendations from our library staff on what to read, watch, or listen to next.

Dive into the World of Donuts!

  • Donut Pan – Want to make your own donuts? Check out our offerings through our Library of Things collection on Baking Supplies!
  • Made with Love: Donuts! by Lea Redmond (hoopla)
    • Celebrate the perfect donut, and debate over your favorite flavor, in this adorable board book that shows any donut is made better with love—and someone to share it with. These donuts are hot and fresh. Warm, golden brown, and pillow-y soft, can you guess the delicious topping on each one? Turn over each donut to find out!
  • Super Good Baking for Kids by Duff Goldman
    • Super Good Baking for Kids, from New York Times bestselling celebrity chef and host of Ace of Cakes and Kids Baking Championship Duff Goldman, teaches budding bakers how to make dozens of crazy delicious concoctions—from confetti snickerdoodles to unicorn cupcakes to amazing dessert pizzas. The perfect holiday gift for your young baker! This piece is packed with delicious, clear recipes and tons of fun fact-filled sidebars on everything from the science of yeast to the history of baking, Super Good Baking for Kids shows kids how to make treats that will amaze parents, delight friends, and make the whole family go “mmmmmm.”
  • Yummy: A History of Desserts by Victoria Grace
    • Cake is delicious and comics are awesome: this exciting non-fiction graphic novel for kids combines both! Explore the history of desserts through a fun adventure with facts, legends, and recipes for readers to try at home. Have you ever wondered who first thought to freeze cream? Or when people began making sweet pastry shells to encase fruity fillings? Food sprite Peri is excited to show you the delicious history of sweets while taking you around the world and back!
  • Doughnuts: The Hole Story by Julie Knutson
    • Explore all the aspects of your favorite treat: doughnuts! From the first known plating, to the creative and wacky flavors across cultures and history, this book traces the transformations of the doughnuts we have today. Also includes a recipe, so readers can create their own, unique riff on a doughnut. No matter how you spell them, donuts or doughnuts, they sure are delicious!
  • Air Fryer Delights: 100 Delicious Recipes for Quick-and-Easy Treats from Donuts to Desserts by Teresa Finney
    • Everyone’s favorite sweet treats made more delicious in the quick, clean and convenient air fryer. Go beyond wings, poppers and french fries. Your quick, clean and convenient air fryer is equally great for making delicious versions of your favorite pastries, snacks and desserts! And because the air fryer uses very little oil, these recipes offer a healthier alternative to deep frying.
  • Mini Donuts: 100 Bite-Sized Donut Recipes to Sweeten Your “Hole” Day by Jessica Segarra
    • Say hello to a brand-new way to brighten your morning or any time of day! Jam-packed with gooey jellies, oozing with rich custards and creams, and covered with mouthwatering toppings, these mini donuts are bursting with big flavor. From recipes for the traditional donuts everyone craves like Chocolate Cake and Powered Sugar to fun, new twists like Chocolate-Bacon-Maple, the donuts in this cookbook will leave you begging for more than just a dozen. Best of all, almost all the recipes can be made in a mini donut maker appliance, a stovetop, or an oven, so all you’ll need to create these bite-sized snacks is a hankering for something sweet.
Kyle S.
Reference Librarian

Kyle S.


With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.

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