June 7: National Donut Day

  • Reading time:12 mins read
  • Post category:Doughnuts / June 7

Of course, Donut Day is the Best Day Ever!

If you are into eating healthy and need a really great excuse to partake in a delicious but nutritionally empty delicacy, today is your day!

And if you’re like the rest of us, you’ll tell yourself that donuts don’t have calories on Donut Day and just enjoy. . .

Cute bear donut doughnut

Hooray for #DonutDay

History of Donut Day

Of course something so delectable has an awesome history behind it.

It all begins with a picky eater and his loving mother.

In 1847 when Hanson Gregory, New England ship captain who hated food with uncooked centers decided to solve the problem by removing that foul center from the Dutch olykoek (oily cake) and introduced the iconic shape of the doughnut.

The Smithsonian Magazine attributes the name of this dessert to his mother, Elizabeth Hanson, who used some of her son’s cargo in the center of the olykoek. She added nutmeg and cinnamon, a little lemon rind, and put hazelnuts and walnuts in that problematic center. Then she gave them the very practical name, doughnuts.

Hanson Gregory,  New England ship captain who invented the iconic doughnut shape

And then doughnuts get a huge boost from some caring women during World War I

doughnut dollies on the frontlines in france during world war I
Salvation Army making doughnuts under bombardment of German guns while in front line in France during WWI, circa 1914-1918

250 American women went to the trenches in France to serve doughnuts in tents or the shell of a bombed-out building they called Social Centers.

It was difficult to always have fresh goodies on hand, so 2 Salvation Army volunteers, Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance, had a brainstorm to make doughnuts. It’s been said that they discovered it was possible to fry 7 donuts at a time in a helmet. Sheldon wrote in her diary one day, “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.”

All the men went home craving doughnuts and the industry in the US was born.

Cover of the Salvation Army Magazine War Cry from November 9, 1918, depicting Doughnut Dollies the American volunteers serving in France.
Cover of the Salvation Army Magazine “War Cry” from November 9, 1918, depicting “Doughnut Dollies,” the American volunteers serving in France.

Donut Day was first created by Salvation Army in 1938 as a fundraiser and to honor the Doughnut Dollies. Today, it is called National Donut Day.

During the Vietnam War, Doughnut Dollies visited the soldiers through the Red Cross. Although they weren’t making donuts, they were there on the front lines again to bolster the morale of the soldiers.

Film maker Norm Anderson is making a documentary about his mother, a Vietnam Donut Dollie, who returns and remembers her days there serving cookies and providing homemade entertainment.

You celebrate National Donut Day by eating a donut of course.

And you might just get one for free!

Cumberland Farms

Buy any dispensed beverage at a Cumberland Farms on June 7 and receive a free doughnut – Cocoa Hazelnut-Filled, Cookies & Cream, Glazed, and Blueberry.

Duck Donuts

Get a free plain, powdered sugar, or cinnamon sugar donut on June 7th. (In store only but no purchase necessary.)


Dunkin’ is offering a free classic donut with the purchase of any beverage.

U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman wants to encourage people to take a break and recharge, or in his words, “Dunk out.” 


Entenmann’s is running a contest until June 14th to find its next doughnut flavor. To enter the Fan Flavor Challenge & Sweepstakes, visit their sweepstakes site and tell them about your donut with the “Flavor Maker.” Choose a base, flavor, glaze, and topping. (Get ready to tell them why you love Entenmann’s donuts.)

The winner will receive $5,000 and a year supply of free doughnuts. Their creation will be sold for the 2019 holiday season.

Federal Donuts

On June 7 Federal Donuts will bring back favorite flavors voted on by fans, like tres leches, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, and pb malt.

Krispy Kreme

Get one free doughnut off the menu all National Doughnut Day, no purchase necessary.

If they give away one million free doughnuts on June 7th, they’ll offer another free doughnut again in June. (As if you needed an extra incentive to pick up a free donut!)

Randy’s Donuts

On June 7 from 6 a.m. to noon you can get 4 glazed donut rounds. Participate in their contest: post your favorite Randy’s photo with the hashtags, #RandysDonuts and #NationalDonutDay on social media. You can win a dozen classic donuts every week for a year. 10 runners-up will win a $100 doughnut party and another 50 will get a dozen classic doughnuts.


Go to the bakery section at any Walmart Supercenter or any participating Neighborhood Market and you’ll get a free glazed doughnut.

Tim Hortons

On National Doughnut Day Tim Hortons is introducing a new doughnut flavor – the churro. It’s a honey cruller filled with caramel filling and topped with cinnamon and sugar. The Timbit is a regular donut hole sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

It is available for a limited time beginning on June 7 in Canada, and across the U.S. starting June 12.

Want more?


Weekly information & inspiration for Merrymakers in their inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.