When Walter McKenzie and Brook James started Doughboys Doughnuts in McKenzie’s mum’s laundry in June 2013, the results were rough. It didn’t matter – Melbourne had never seen anything like their inventive flavour combinations before, all made from scratch.
Initially the duo focussed on pop-ups and wholesaling to cafes – all good practice for this demanding location. Though James is no longer a Doughboy, it’s clear that experience paid off.
The open kitchen is full of activity, with chefs operating hefty stand mixers, frying batches of dough and pulling brownies from the oven, ready to crumble them over the doughnuts. Often there’s an impatient queue, watching hungrily.
Most Doughboys doughnuts are the fluffy yeasted variety – either glazed, dusted, iced or filled. McKenzie has about 30 recipes he can call on, with a rotating selection of 10 available at any one time. New varieties are being released all the time.
Past creations include salted caramel with buckini (activated buckwheat) dust; butterscotch and creamed banana; berry compote with vanilla-bean icing and shortbread crumble; mulled wine; strawberry and miso and more.
There’s not a lot of seating in the Sarah Cosentino-designed space, which is intentional. The idea is to grab your doughnuts and coffee (by Small Batch) and go, rather than hanging around.