McCormick And Dough Doughnuts Thanksgiving Collaboration: A Scrumptious Spin On Your Holiday Dinner

There's no denying the holiday season inspires culinary professionals to embrace the extravagant and unusual. A bevy of over-the-top food and drink products appear once the calendar flips from October to November — and 2023 is no exception. Along those lines, if you've ever wanted to savor the glorious flavors found in a traditional Thanksgiving feast sans turkey, this year's unexpected partnership between McCormick and Dough Doughnuts — a Brooklyn-founded artisanal bakery — can make that dream come true with the Holiday Bites collection.

At first blush, a Thanksgiving-inspired collaboration between the international spice-and-seasoning conglomerate and the Dough bakery may seem as inherently bizarre as a green bean casserole seltzer (we're still struggling to comprehend that one). Then again, the eyebrow-raising nature of this trio of doughnut bites — each hand-crafted with a traditional Turkey Day item in mind — is precisely what piqued our interest in the first place.

We simply couldn't resist the urge to sample a gravy-and-stuffing-flavored doughnut (among others), and thanks to the generosity of the fine folks at McCormick and Dough, we were able to do just that. For anyone wondering about this collection of mini doughnuts — and whether they're worth adding to your holiday rotation this November and December — we've got you covered. Here's our review of the McCormick and Dough Doughnuts Thanksgiving collaboration.

What's in the McCormick and Dough Doughnuts Thanksgiving collaboration?

The Holiday Bites Collection comes with three distinct doughnuts prepared from scratch at Dough. Each doughnut is made by hand, and (given the collaboration) contains a number of McCormick-branded ingredients, as well. Furthermore, each Holiday Bites Collection comes with 12 total doughnuts, including four of each flavor: It's All Gravy, Cranberry Craze, and Pumpkin to Talk About.

The It's All Gravy doughnut — a dessert-focused spin on stuffing and gravy — is prepared with dough infused with McCormick brown gravy mix. Featuring a gravy glaze dotted with stuffing crumbles (seasoned with McCormick's black pepper, garlic powder, and ground sage spices), the doughnut's maple cheesecake filling provides a sweet balance to the savory components.

The Cranberry Craze doughnut evokes the preferably can-molded side dish beginning with a cranberry and rosemary puree glaze on the outside. The cranberry craziness (see what we did there?) continues with the cranberry jam found inside each doughnut, which also contains McCormick rosemary leaves. Finally, the Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut offers the most straightforward doughnut concoction of the Holiday Bites Collection. Its pumpkin pie-esque filling is made with McCormick pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Additionally, each Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut is covered with a pumpkin glaze and pecan streusel and topped with a fancy-looking, marshmallow-like meringue.

How much does it cost?

The McCormick half of the Holiday Bites Collection may lead some to conclude its cost is comparable to a dozen doughnuts purchased from, say, Dunkin'. Unfortunately, the other company featured in this Thanksgiving collaboration — Dough Doughnuts — isn't exactly known for offering bargain-friendly prices. Consequently, you should expect to pay a pretty penny when purchasing an order of It's All Gravy, Cranberry Craze, and Pumpkin to Talk About doughnuts.

Actually, even the prettiest penny in existence won't be enough to obtain an order of the Holiday Bites Collection ... unless that copper-colored coin is valued at $70 or more. After all, the cost of these dozen doughnut bites is a somewhat staggering $69.00 plus shipping and handling — though the first 500 customers to place an online order will receive free shipping.

If the $69 price point for 12 doughnut bites (not even whole doughnuts!) gives you pause, consider the fact that Dough Doughnuts is a legitimate purveyor of gourmet baked goods. Add in the commemorative (and reusable) tin in which the Holiday Bites Collection is packaged, and the reason for its fairly expensive cost becomes apparent.

How long is the McCormick and Dough Doughnuts Thanksgiving collaboration available and where?

Given the McCormick and Dough Doughnuts Thanksgiving collaboration was conceived as an accompaniment to the holiday season (it's the Holiday Bites Collection, after all), it doesn't take Inspector Gadget to figure out how long it's apt to remain available. The Holiday Bites Collection is scheduled for sale through the end of the holiday season — though it is helpful to know it's first offered on November 6, 2023.

Starting on November 6, interested customers throughout the U.S. can place an order with Dough Doughnuts (on its website) and have the Holiday Bites Collection shipped their way. It's unclear just how many dozens of doughnut bites Dough Doughnuts and McCormick plan to produce between now and the end of December (or while supplies last) — meaning you shouldn't wait too long to purchase the Holiday Bites Collection if you're truly eager to indulge.

Additionally, despite the fact that Dough Doughnuts has six brick-and-mortar locations in and around New York City, it doesn't appear as though a person can simply stroll into a Dough bakery and walk away with the Holiday Bites Collection (although we suppose you're more than welcome to try).

What is the nutrition info?

Is there a world where a dozen high-end doughnuts — be they bites or whole-sized baked goods — would be anything but a nutritional bomb? We highly doubt it. Along those lines, while we weren't able to obtain the exact nutritional details for each item contained in the Holiday Bites Collection, we're fairly confident each of the doughnuts is a treat best enjoyed in moderation.

Perhaps the strongest indication of the Holiday Bites Collection's rather unhealthy nature can be found in the pumpkin pie doughnut recipe (akin to the Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut) provided by McCormick. After all, the bounty of nutritionally detrimental ingredients used in the pumpkin-flavored doughnut includes several types of sugar, vanilla frosting, and at least half a stick of butter amidst various McCormick-branded products.

Realistically, we probably don't need to know the exact nutrition facts of each Holiday Bites doughnut. The sheer fact that this collaboration features a trio of top-drawer doughnuts designed exclusively with taste (not weight-watching) in mind makes it an absolute indulgence.

How does it compare to other McCormick and Dough Doughnuts products?

We're usually able to find some avenue of comparison when reviewing a food product offered by a well-known food company or restaurant. Of course, while we've used our share of McCormick spices and seasonings in the past, we have yet to sample any Dough Doughnut products besides the three found in the Holiday Bites Collection. In other words, we can't say for certain how the new doughnuts compare to others offered by Dough.

Our inability to accurately compare this Thanksgiving collaboration extends beyond an unfamiliarity with Dough Doughnuts. After all, despite our personal history with McCormick products, we're not entirely sure we can say whether the spices and seasoning mixes used in the Holiday Bites Collection are exactly akin to those used in more traditional recipes.

With that in mind, perhaps it's best to say the new Holiday Bites Collection may not use McCormick-branded ingredients the way we've personally utilized such items in the past. But seeing how the doughnut bites weren't made with different McCormick spices or seasoning packets than what we've personally used in the past (as far as we can tell, at least), the expected quality and consistency was the same as it's always been from the company's mass-produced spices and seasonings.

It's All Gravy doughnut verdict: A novelty worth sampling

Is the theoretical novelty of a bizarre food item — like a doughnut crafted with the flavors of turkey stuffing and gravy — enough to overcome a less-than-ideal final product? Perhaps. Then again, if the goal of the It's All Gravy doughnut was to confuse the taste buds by creating a sweet and savory mishmash of seemingly incompatible flavors, well ... mission accomplished.

To be clear, there's nothing wrong whatsoever with the flavors found in this almost incomprehensible doughnut bite — but therein lies the issue. The straightforward stuffing crumbles on top of the doughnut — which, for all intents and purposes, tasted exactly like stuffing served at Thanksgiving dinner — kept the savory components from meshing in harmony with the underlying sweetness of the doughnut itself.

Still, the doughnut's maple cheesecake filling was worth the price of admission alone. So while we'd encourage you to sample at least one It's All Gravy doughnut precisely as it comes in the collectible Holiday Bites tin, don't be afraid to scrape off the stuffing crumbles on the remaining three doughnut bites. Because who can say no to a maple cheesecake-filled pastry?

Cranberry Craze doughnut verdict: A satisfactory cranberry sauce clone

Whether or not a person will enjoy the second-best (in our opinion) tasting doughnut bite found in the Thanksgiving collaboration between McCormick and Dough Doughnuts likely comes down to one's preference for jelly doughnuts. After all, the Cranberry Craze doughnut bite is essentially just a cranberry jelly-filled doughnut — although one that feels like you're eating an actual slab of canned cranberry sauce baked inside delectable dough.

Now, given the fact this particular doughnut bite was indeed conceived to resemble cranberry sauce served with turkey, it's hardly surprising it actually tasted like the food in question. The expected tartness of the cranberries shone through thanks to the interior jam and an exterior glaze made of a cranberry-centric puree (though we couldn't detect the rosemary supposedly included in the puree).

Frankly, we have to admit our admiration for how well the culinary professionals at Dough Doughnuts executed their vision for these Thanksgiving dinner-themed desserts. And since we adore both jelly doughnuts and cranberry sauce — the jellied kind that plops from a can, of course — it's fairly obvious why this gourmet doughnut left us eagerly waiting for the fourth Thursday this November.

Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut verdict: One of the greatest pumpkin desserts we've tasted

The Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut demolished the competition — largely because it's the only one wholly derived from an actual dessert.

Between the utterly scrumptious pumpkin pie filling and the mouth-watering pecan streusel surrounding the doughnut (which gave it a delightful coffee cake-type texture and flavor), the Pumpkin to Talk About doughnut bite may have topped every pumpkin dessert we've ever encountered — and that's not an exaggeration. It isn't just the hands-down winner of the three Holiday Bites made by McCormick and Dough Doughnuts; it owns a legit claim to the greatest pumpkin-flavored dessert on the market.

We certainly appreciate the thought and effort that went into creating the It's All Gravy and Cranberry Craze doughnut bites — both of which required a bit of finesse to properly slide into a post-dinner slot. But as a collection of desserts, it's easy to see why the sole doughnut bite made with a dessert in mind would stand head and shoulders above its fellow Holiday Bites.