Keeping abreast of flavor trends can be challenging. New “it” ingredients seem to pop up overnight, which can make incorporating trending flavors into a bakery menu difficult. However, summer’s bounty of in-season produce provides a unique opportunity for bakeries looking to experiment with unexpected yet delicious seasonal flavor combinations and offerings.
Trendy floral flavors like basil, lavender and hibiscus pair extremely well with summer staples like blueberry and strawberry, as well with as year-round favorites such as lemon and lime. Pairing fresh fruit with fresh herbs is something that Anna Gatti, chef and owner of Doughnut Dollies in Marietta, Georgia, does often. “I get most excited about flavor combinations that stretch the boundaries of what a donut should be,” she says.
When creating new flavor combinations, seasonality is crucial. “It’s the only way we can ensure freshness and quality,” Gatti says, and her current offerings—blueberry hibiscus, lemon lavender and almond rose—reflect that. “Our menu changes four times a year with the seasons. We have a few flavors that change more frequently based on availability and what we’re about at the moment.”
Using seasonal, local ingredients is also extremely important for the owners of Kane’s Donuts in Boston, Massachusetts. “Every donut that we make, we try to have it seasonal, and all of our ingredients—except hibiscus—are sourced locally,” co-owner Maria Delios says. Kane’s Donuts offers three flavors of the month, which correlate to what’s in season. For example, in August the bakery offers a Pear Ginger Fritter using fruit from a local farm.
Another benefit of testing out new and seasonal flavor combinations is its impact on customers. “It’s one of the things our customers love most,” Gatti says. “Our customers love that our donuts are artfully and thoughtfully crafted, and they’ll always find something new.”
For bakers interested in stepping outside the box, Gatti emphasizes that unexpected flavor combinations must make sense. “At the end of the day it just has to taste good. Different for the sake of being different doesn’t work.”
Get inspired on how to incorporate trending flavors into seasonal summer offerings by checking out popular treats from Doughnut Dollies, Kane’s Donuts and Welcome Chicken + Donuts in Phoenix, Arizona.