MISSION VALLEY/MISSION GORGE. Donut Panic proves that vegan donuts can absolutely compete with their non-vegan counterparts. Located on Mission Gorge Road off of the 8, Donut Panic provides inventive and tasty vegan donuts flavors like Maple “Bacon” and Earl Grey. Although Donut Panic also offers traditional donuts, it’s obvious that Donut Panic puts considerable time and energy into their vegan offerings.
Who are the masterminds behind these delectable vegan donuts? Linda Dami — a former baker at Sipz — and her father. They recently found themselves unemployed at the same time, saw a listing for a donut shop for sale on Craigslist, and decided to dive head first into the donut making business! And I’m so glad they did!!
I pulled into the parking lot and saw the sign below advertising for Sunshine Donut Bakery. I was a little confused but figured it must be the right place. Once inside, I spoke with Linda who let me know that she is planning on changing the sign to the black Donut Panic one depicted above but was still waiting for her landlord’s approval. SO, if you make a trip for some donuts soon, be on the look out for either sign.
[caption id="attachment_2885" align="alignnone" width="640"] Old Donut Panic Sign[/caption]
For donut novices, there are two main types of donuts (1) cake and (2) yeast. Linda specializes in making yeast donuts which are generally lighter and fluffier than cake donuts. If you would like to know even more about the differences between the two donut varieties, check out this blog post!
The first vegan donut that grabbed my attention was the Maple “Bacon” — after all, it doesn’t sound like it could possibly be vegan!! The donut icing was sweet with a distinctive maple flavor and somehow the coconut shavings did taste like bacon! A delicious sweet and salty combination.
[caption id="attachment_2886" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Maple Bacon Donut[/caption]
Then, because I am in love with all things chocolate, I tried the chocolate and coconut donut. I don’t want to play favorites, but this donut was GOOD! It might not have been the fanciest of all of the flavors, but the sweet chocolate paired with the light coconut shavings was a winner!
[caption id="attachment_2887" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Chocolate with Coconut Donut[/caption]
I was also intrigued by the donut topped with cardamom icing and almond pieces. As previously noted, I am drawn to chocolate. Even I have to admit that this donut was something special. The creamy icing had a delicious dash of spice mixed in, and I enjoyed the crunch from the almonds. It made me think of fall — which was quite a feat since I was eating this donut in the San Diego 91 degree heat wave! I think this donut would make a perfect breakfast when paired with a cup of tea and a brisk morning!
[caption id="attachment_2888" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Cardamom with Almond Donut[/caption]
I then moved on to the Earl Grey Tea donut. This is a must try for anyone who loves drinking the tea. The frosting had the distinctive Early Grey taste, but it was like someone had already added milk and sugar for you! A subtle flavor that again, in my opinion, would be great paired with a hot tea!
[caption id="attachment_2891" align="alignnone" width="640"] Vegan Earl Gray Donut[/caption]
Vegan donuts are currently available at Donut Panic on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays after 9am. On Fridays, vegan cupcakes are available (this will definitely be a future blog post!). Also, Donut Panic is looking to expand to some area farmer’s markets. If you’re lucky, it might be one near you!
For more information on Donut Panic, check out their website. Or take a look at their frequently updated Facebook page — this is where you can find mouth-watering donut pictures and updates on their current flavor offerings.
6171 Mission Gorge Road, #113
San Diego, CA 92120