Some Saturday mornings during college, I would walk downtown (I went to college in a small town) and get a fresh glazed doughnut (not donut!) at the bakery.  It was so delicious and with my metabolism, I never had to worry about the calories.

However, during high school, my first job was waiting tables at a cafe and doughnut shop.  I would come home from work exhausted and reeking of the smell of the grease in which the doughnuts were fried.  Later, after college, I worked for a time in a health food store in Steamboat Springs, Colorado (yes, they made and sold doughnuts there, ironically,)  I’d arrive in the morning to see the doughnuts draining and although the smell wasn’t as intense as at the cafe, it was enough to put me off eating doughnuts for quite some time, just as in high school.

I’m thankful to say that I’ve long ago recovered from these difficulties and indulge occasionally in a glazed doughnut or apple fritter.  I am, however, a purist:  no filled doughnuts for me and, unless it’s a simple cake doughnut, not frosting…and definitely no sprinkles, etc.!  Too sweet for me.

In the Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Dutch family the owns Beiler’s Bakery has been making doughnuts and similar treats since 1984.  You’ll see Beiler’s boxes everywhere downtown and no wonder.  Everything is delicious and made fresh.  They make 6,000 or so treats Tuesday-Friday and 8,000 or more on Saturday.  (They’re closed Sunday and Monday.)  There’s always a line; the question is only how long.  But everyone behind the counter works at speed, so the line moves quickly, more quickly than you may be able to choose among the sweet possibilities.

My husband and daughter go for the things I eschew: filled, topped, etc.  I got an apple fritter each of the two days we stopped by.  On Saturday, it had barely made it to the rack and it was excruciatingly fresh as were the glazed doughnuts we each had.  Here’s a look at the operation.

Breaking news!!  I’ve just read that Beiler’s opened a store in University City near U of Penn.  So you don’t even have to go downtown to indulge.

© janet m. webb 2017

Cutting the dough

© janet m. webb 2017

Frying and, on the right, draining

© janet m. webb 2017

Filling with cream, two at a time (Shudder!)

© janet m. webb 2017

Frosting.  On the bottom left, apple filling, but not what goes in the fritters.

© janet m. webb 2017

“May I help the next person?”

  1. happyface313 says:

    🙂 Oh, my goodness, how delicious!
    What would I give for one of these freshly made doughnuts!!! Yummy!
    It would go perfectly with the coffee that’s sitting right by my side.
    Mouthwateringly delicious…. 😀
    Have a very HAPPY day xo 🙂

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Wow. I’ve had those donuts (sorry). And, sorry, I’m with hubs and daughter, filled, coated, sprinkled & slathered are all for me. Yummy photos, Janet. I’m hungry, but it’s worth it.

  3. Joanne Sisco says:

    I’m with you – they’re doughnuts 🙂

    I’ll take them any way, but coated AND filled are my favourite.
    I haven’t seen a doughnut made since my mom made them when we were kids. I can’t believe these were all hand made, filled, and decorated! Wow!

    • Good morning, Joanne. Just freed this comment from the spam folder (along with four of Deborah’s!!), hence the late response. It takes lots of hands to make 6-8,000 of these babies!


      • Joanne Sisco says:

        Thanks for rescuing me … although I was in good company with Deborah. Next time I’ll have to remember to bring a bottle or two of bubbly for entertainment while we’re waiting 🙂

  4. A ‘good’ donut is a true delicacy, and these look like they fill that bill quite well. Now, I’m hungry. 🙂

  5. joey says:

    I’m with you on the too sweetness of it. I seldom eat a donut, and when I do, just a plain glazed is good. My family is definitely the frost, fill, and sprinkle type!
    I worked at The Cookie Factory in high school. Buttercream icing on everything. Oy.

  6. Whoa! Those looks so good! I haven’t had a fresh doughnut in years! When my kids were little once a year I’d take them to a doughnut shop for a treat after school.
    I like Chocolate Old Fashioneds (sp), and Eclairs.

    • Once in a while, it’s a wonderful treat. Eclairs are great when filled with real, and not overly-sweet, cream rather than pudding, at least that’s what I prefer.


  7. Helen C says:

    Yummy. That was the first American food that I was crazy of. Ha. Thanks for the wonderful post, Janet. It brought back a lot of memories… like how I gained so many pounds. Have a great day.

  8. julieallyn says:

    Not much of donut – er, doughnut! – fan but on occasion I do enjoy cake donuts with chocolate frosting (and I don’t usually care for chocolatey baked goods.

    Thanks, Janet. Now you’ve got me drooling…. 🙂

    Good post!

    • A good cake doughnut/donut is completely different from these other treats. I like powdered sugar glazed doughnuts every so often. But the apple fritters at Beiler’s are to die for. They’re all yeasty, not-too-sweet goodness with real slices/pieces of apple in them. When my husband tried mine, he agreed that it was better than his. 🙂

  9. Sue says:

    Oh dear, too sweet for me!

  10. Freshly made sweets are always the best!

  11. Su Leslie says:

    I’m not a dougnut fan — like you, I mostly find them too sweet. But I like the idea of apple fritters. Yum 🙂

  12. Allan G. Smorra says:

    What a yummy post, Janet. That last photo is a beautiful capture of their treats.

    I guess you might say that the Beiler family got into the bakery business because they knead the dough…

  13. Madhu says:

    Aah, I can almost smell them from halfway across the world! I prefer the plain glazed ones too.

  14. Interesting photo story! I lived only a few blocks from what I am sure is the best donut factory on earth, Sandy’s Donuts in West Fargo, ND. This place was not good for my waistline, but it was at least a weekly treat. No longer as close, it is a much rarer treat these days. Maybe today it’s time for a reminder of what a good donut tastes like. 🙂

    • And it’s Saturday morning, so the perfect time for a small treat. 🙂 It would be hard to be Beiler’s, but Sandy’s is much closer for you! 🙂 Enjoy..


  15. bythebriny says:

    Wow! I think I gained 5 pounds just looking at the pictures.

  16. Great action shots and what a tempting final spread! So many luscious colors and textures, I can only imagine how rich the actual flavors must be.

  17. Delicious photos, Janet. I could eat an apple fritter right now.

  18. I can’t imagine working around all those donuts – love the smell, but after a while the great smell would get to you.
    I vote for a high quality plain grazed donut. That’s how you can tell the skill of the place. (I’ve been to that Bakery! yummy)

  19. Hammad Rais says:

    These do look very tempting 🙂

  20. marianallen says:

    Oh, my gosh, I’ll have one of each! Except not the filled ones, unless they’re filled with custard. All the children at church know not to get between Miss Marian and the custard doughnuts. –Oh, and thank you for spelling the entire word. People act like I’m writing Ye Olde Englishe when I do that. lol

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