Donut Topping Ideas

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Donuts are best served warm, and covered in glaze or chocolate ganache.

But there’s also the option of adding a few toppings on your donut glaze.

You can use a variety of toppings for your donuts including sprinkles, nuts, or even cotton candy if you’re feeling adventurous!

Cinnamon Sugar

Cinnamon sugar is an old fashioned donut topping. Cinnamon sugar topping adds a hint of cinnamon flavor, and a sweet sugary finish. The sugar also adds a crumbly texture to the donut.

After your donut has cooled down a little, dip it on a plate with cinnamon and sugar.

If the topping is having trouble adhering to the donut, brush the donut with melted butter, and dip it again for a deliciously sweet cinnamon sugar donut topping.

Donut Topping Ideas

Powdered Sugar

Powdered sugar donuts are one of the classic donut toppings.

Powdered sugar dusts all over your hands because it easily falls off the donut!

But it gives the donut a light sweetness, it’s not as sugary as icing or other glazes.

After your donut has cooled down a little, dip it on a plate with powdered sugar.

If it’s having trouble adhering to the donut, at a spritz of vegetable oil to donut, and dip it again for a beautiful white donut topping.


Finely chopped nuts can be used as a donut topping, but it needs something to “glue” it to the donut.

Typically the donut is “glazed” with an icing, and then the nuts can be sprinkled on top of the donut.

Nuts add an earthy flavor to the donuts, as well as a crunchy texture to the donut.

  • pistachios
  • walnuts
  • pecans

Try making carrot cake donuts which uses walnuts as a donut topping.


Sprinkles are vibrant and colorful to add on the top of donuts. Sprinkles come in all sorts of colors and shapes, depending on the theme of your cupcakes.

You can use a simple vanilla glaze on your donuts, and then gently add your sprinkles on top of your glaze.

Let the glaze dry so you’re sprinkles will stay on your donut prior to serving them.

If you’re going for a chocolate donut, you can use a chocolate ganache to dip your donuts in, and then top your donut with chocolate sprinkles.

Cookie Crumbs

To add cookie crumbs to the top of your donuts, you’ll need a glaze on the donuts for the cookie crumbs to adhere to the donut.

Cookie crumbs go well with a cream cheese glazed donut, or a vanilla buttercream frosting.

You can actually chop up cookies, or you can use cookie crumbs for topping donuts with.

Caramel Sauce

You can use caramel sauce and a sweet, sticky topping for your donuts.

Another option is to make a caramel glaze for your donuts, and then you can use nuts to make a donut like a homemade caramel apple donut.

toppings for donuts

Toffee Bits

Toffee bits are crunchy caramel flavored candy pieces. They add a ton of caramel flavor and a crunchy texture to donuts.

You can make a vanilla glaze for your donuts, and then sprinkle a couple toffee bits on top.

Toasted Coconut

Toasted coconut makes the coconut flavor much more enhanced than just plain coconut flakes.

Always toast your coconut to add the crispy, coconut flakes to the top of your donuts.

Toasted coconut can be put on top of donuts by using a simple coconut glaze.

Coconut glaze is made by adding a little coconut milk to icing sugar.


Bacon bits are a unique topping to add to a donut.

You’ll want to get the glaze flavor to match the bacon, therefore I would recommend using a maple glaze.

The maple syrup flavor with the bacon goes well together, so it won’t be weird!!

You can imagine how strange it would be if you had a vanilla glaze with bacon. (gross!)

Lemon Sugar

Lemon sugar is small pieces of butter, zest and granulated sugar mixed together.

It looks kind of like regular granulated sugar, but in small clumps.

Lemon sugar adds a refreshing citrus sugar flavor to the donuts.

Freeze Dried Raspberries

Freeze dried raspberries are small pieces of raspberries that are vibrant and colorful.

Freeze dried raspberries look beautiful on top of donuts as a topping.

You can use a lemon glaze, or a vanilla glaze on the donuts, and then sprinkle a couple freeze dried raspberries on top of the donut.

Crushed Candy Canes

Candy canes are a sweet, crunchy, mint flavored topping you can add to the top of donuts.

Crushed candy canes work well on top of a white colored glaze. You can use a vanilla glaze, but a peppermint glaze would be the most fitting for this donut topping.

The pop of red/green of the crushed candy canes looks alluring on the donuts.

Cotton Candy

Cotton candy seems like a strange topping for donuts. But it’s actually one of the tastiest toppings you can add to your donuts!

Take a piece of cotton candy, and wrap it around the donut, and then take a bite while the donut is still warm. It’s mesmerizing!!

You can also add a couple of edible gold flakes on top of the cotton candy for a shimmer on the cotton candy.

Donut Topping Ideas