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Butler County Donut Trail

Prepare for a sugar rush on this southwest Ohio trail filled with delicious creations.

For Kelly Hansel, doughnuts are a family affair. These days, she works with her mother, Diana Ramsey, who owns Kelly’s Bakery in Hamilton. But she got her start frying batter for her aunt at The Donut Spot in Fairfield.

“I went to college for communications. I didn’t know I was going to end up making doughnuts,” Hansel says with a laugh. “My aunt taught me everything she knew. I worked for her for three years before we opened our shop.” 

At Kelly’s Bakery, Hansel and Ramsey offer trays of the classics, while leaving plenty of room for creativity. They make a buckeye-shaped yeast doughnut packed with a peanut butter filling and Christmas-season creations shaped like snowflakes and gingerbread men. But when Hansel heads out to explore the Butler County Donut Trail, a collection of 12 shops that include both Kelly’s Bakery and The Donut Spot, she sticks to the basics. 

“I want that chocolate doughnut because I want to see what their chocolate icing tastes like,” she says.

With one of the highest numbers of doughnut shops per capita in the Midwest, Butler County is the perfect place to sample America’s staple morning sweet. Travelers are encouraged to download a map and passport from the Butler County Visitors Bureau website. Those who get their passport stamped at all stops on the trail can trade it in for a Donut Trail T-shirt, which sports a new design each year. Although it’s possible to complete the trail over the course of a weekend with an early start, there’s no rush to finish all 12. 

A visit to Cindy Wallis’ Jupiter Coffee & Donuts in Fairfield offers the perfect reason to take it slow. Her cafe is as much a place to hang out as it is a doughnut shop. Her inventive flavors include peppermint bark and maple pecan, and Wallis has added a second doughnut fry on weekends to keep up with demand, which has been steady since the Butler County Donut Trail was launched in early 2016. 

“It was in January, and usually that’s just a slow time for us, because everybody goes on a diet in January,” Wallis recalls. “The girls at the shop were calling me freaking out: We’re out of doughnuts!” 

Visit gettothebc.com/donut-trail for information.

ON THE TRAIL: 

Central Pastry Shop: 1518 Central Ave., Middletown 45044

The Donut House: 8268 Princeton Glendale Rd., West Chester 45069

The Donut Spot: 5148 Pleasant Ave., Fairfield 45014

Holtman’s Donuts: 9558 Civic Centre Blvd., West Chester 45069

Jupiter Coffee & Donuts: 5353 Dixie Hwy., Fairfield 45014

Kelly’s Bakery: 1335 Main St., Hamilton 45013

Martin’s Donuts: 4 W. State St., Trenton 45067

Milton’s Donuts: 3533 Roosevelt Blvd., Middletown 45044

Mimi’s Donuts & Bakery: 2267 Millville Ave., Hamilton 45013

Oxford Doughnut Shoppe (Optional): 120 S. Locust St., Oxford 45056

Ross Bakery: 1051 Eaton Ave., Hamilton 45013 or 4421 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton 45013

Stan the Donut Man: 7967 Cincinnati Dayton Rd., West Chester 45069

Those who get their passport stamped at all stops receive a T-shirt.

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