What you should absolutely never order at Krispy Kreme

Show of hands: Who loves Krispy Kreme?

Krispy Kreme rules. Krispy Kreme is the ultimate, most sugartastic thing ever. It's decadent, it doesn't cost much, and it's instantly gratifying. It's almost too good to be true. If you've never had a Krispy Kreme doughnut, run there. Right now. Not to the market for a who-knows-how-old box of 'em, but to an actual Krispy Kreme store. It's worth it for the smell alone.

Having said all that, there are definitely a few things on the Krispy Kreme menu you should absolutely never order, most of which have nothing to do with the fact that doughnuts are bad for you. We're not here to scoff at your choices. Even Krispy Kreme admits it. A 2014 ad used those exact words: "Doughnuts are bad for you." It then goes on to list what else is bad, starting with cream cakes, lie-ins, and loud rock music. You get the picture. Live a little. Just don't order these.

Any doughnut with sprinkles

Sprinkles are stupid. Sprinkles exist solely to provide whimsy, and no self-respecting adult should be eating whimsical food. And that goes for rainbow sprinkles, chocolate sprinkles, bacon-flavored sprinkles, whatever. If you want to call sprinkles "food," that is. They're more like a cheap thrill for the visually jaded. In fact, in his article That's Not Food, It's Stupid, Chris Stang of the foodie website The Infatuation claims when it comes to Instagram, to get people excited "you'll need to appeal to whatever part of the young human psyche finds pleasure in absurdity. And you're probably going to have to do it with sprinkles."

Face it. Sprinkles are for 4-year-olds and people who don't realize food isn't supposed to taste like wax. They're the lazy man's decoration, superfluous at best, and — for whatever reason — always stale. This changes the whole point of a Krispy Kreme doughnut. They're supposed to be soft and doughy, not dry and prickly. Sprinkles make zero sense. Look away and get something else.

Any doughnut with a pile of crumbles on top

Thanks to whoever figured out how to shove stuff inside them, doughnuts are perfectly capable of being self-contained. This is an important and useful feature for keeping things like custard and jelly from dripping all over you. It also prevents waste, and helps keep your hands relatively clean. It's what you might call "effective food engineering," and it works just fine.

Krispy Kreme doesn't really see it that way. Enter the New York Cheesecake doughnut, one of the richest, most decadent doughnuts on the menu. It has a creamy cheesecake filling, cream cheese icing, and a mound of graham cracker crumbles on top. Herein lies the problem. By definition, those crumbles will not be staying intact. And unless you keep that thing in a totally horizontal position, they'll fall everywhere. They'll get on your clothes, in your car, maybe even in your hair. A little powdered sugar on a doughnut is one thing, or a simple glaze, but putting crumbles on top is just asking for trouble. It seems to us they could have made room for the crumbles inside the cheesecake doughnut and called it a day. It probably wouldn't taste any different, and nobody is under the impression this is an actual cheesecake anyway. It's a doughnut. It should act like it.

Any doughnut with colored icing

See that super cute doughnut made to look like a strawberry? Well friends, according to Krispy Kreme's own list of ingredients the icing on it may contain red #40, a popular food dye that has been linked to cancer. Or it could have red #3, a much more vibrant shade of red very possibly responsible for things like thyroid tumors and chromosomal damage. Then there's the pineapple doughnut. It contains yellow #5, which is linked to the aforementioned maladies as well as asthma, hyperactivity, and violent behavior. The Key Lime Pie Doughnut also has yellow #5, along with blue #1. Also called Brilliant Blue, blue #1, may also cause chromosomal damage and even brain cancer.

Artificial food coloring is basically poison. It's so bad for you some countries in Europe have actually banned it, and the ones that haven't are required to use warning labels. The good news is that the more common side effects of consuming artificial dyes — namely, behavioral problems and ADHD in kids — occur in less than 1 percent of the population. Still, that's a lot of kids who have possibly been misdiagnosed, or simply misunderstood. "So many people think their kids are reacting to sugar," one mother and clinical social worker says, "but always this dye is the shadow behind the sugar." 

Cake doughnuts

If you want to know what dreariness tastes like (and who doesn't), have a cake doughnut. They're hard, they're dry, and they're incredibly boring. Honestly, they shouldn't even qualify as doughnuts. Just call it cake.

Unlike yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts use baking powder as a leavening agent and that's how they get their texture. Apparently, people like them because they're so dense they won't fall apart when you dip them in hot coffee. This is troublesome for two reasons. First, why are you dipping anything in coffee. It's not exactly the most mature thing to do. Also, if it's to soften up the obnoxiously hard rock in your hand they dare to call a doughnut, we're here to remind you there are plenty of Krispy Kreme options that need no modifying whatsoever. Do yourself a huge favor and skip this one. Cake doughnuts suck.

The cruller doughnut

In case you've never heard of one, a cruller (which rhymes with "duller") is a French pastry that looks like a tire you might see on a tractor and isn't really doughnut-y at all except for the fact that it's round with a hole in the middle. All similarities end there. Crullers are traditionally made with pâte à choux, a light, flaky dough you'd find in a cream puff, then deep fried and dipped in a sweet glaze. Krispy Kreme makes theirs the same way they make cake doughnuts, slaps some glaze on there and calls it a cruller, even though it's clearly not. Perhaps a more accurate term would be "crullerish," but that sounds kind of evil. Let's call it "cruller-like" and leave it at that.

Messing around with French food is never a good idea. The French pretty much know what they're doing. So if you want an authentic cruller, forget about this one and go find a French bakery. 

The dulce de leche doughnut

Fact: We're wired to crave sugar. The human body needs it for energy, and so do animals. Chimps in the wild have been known to break into hives of angry bees just to get a taste of honey. And because sugar hasn't always been as readily available as it is now, thanks to our primate heritage the unevolved part of our brains gets super excited when we come across it. This is not a sign of weakness. It's evolution, y'all. But we're here to tell you the dulce de leche doughnut is way too much of a good thing.

Ned proof? Just look at Krispy Kreme's description of the dulche de leche doughnut: "Thick dulce de leche filling is inside; crunchy, granulated sugar coats the outside." Seriously, who's eating these things? Are they not concerned with diabetes? Heart disease? Premature cell death? We can get behind the caramel filling, but at some point you have to draw the line. Nobody needs that much freakin' caramel in their lives. 

Any doughnut that's too complicated

When it comes to Krispy Kreme flavors around the world, there's definitely no shortage of funky ones. There's the Lotus Caramelized Biscoff doughnut, a cookie-filled (and topped) doughnut from the UK, the green tea Kit Kat doughnut from the Philippines and the square South Korean tiramisu doughnut. In Thailand, you can get a doughnut topped with shredded parmesan cheese. Australia has a salted caramel slider, which looks like a hot dog bun with salted caramel ice cream, caramel sundae sauce and vanilla biscuit crumbs. And here in America, we have Oreo Cookies and Kreme. Yowza!

The question is, are these flavors really necessary in one doughnut? Yes, they sound awfully tasty. (Except for the green tea Kit Kat one. We'll pass, thanks.) And yes, they're artful. But there's something about a plain ol' glazed doughnut that keeps you coming back. It's simple, it's consistent, and it's always available. All these newfangled flavors may sound amazing, but to be frank, they also sound like a huge stomachache. Stick to the classics and you'll never be sorry.

The apple fritter

Krispy Kreme states its version of this classic is "bursting with cinnamon and apple flavor, all covered in glaze." Hallelujah, a doughnut with actual fruit! It must be at least slightly healthier, right?

Nope, think again. With 350 calories, the apple fritter is the absolute worst thing you can order. (To compare, a plain glazed doughnut only has 190 calories.) A further look at the nutritional content shows the fritter has 9g of saturated fat (about half of your recommended daily intake) and 26g of sugar. And to make matters worse, the apples they use are full of preservatives and smothered in high fructose corn syrup, a known cause of stuff like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and premature aging. You're literally better off swallowing a spoonful of lard.

This is not, however, the information one California woman was given. In 2017, Jacqueline Salem filed a lawsuit against Krispy Kreme for duping her into thinking the apple fritters she had been eating on a regular basis for the last four years were the healthier choice because a nutritional chart showed they contained only 210 calories and 4g of sugar. She claimed Krispy Kreme had been "feeding false information to consumers in order to deceive them into making purchases that they would otherwise not make to obtain an unfair and unjust benefit." For reasons unknown, the suit was eventually dropped, and Krispy Kreme went on to sell probably a million more apple fritters. 

People with nut allergies, you're out of luck

In 2016, Krispy Kreme introduced the Nutty Cocoa Ring Nutella Doughnut, a concoction "filled with pure Nutella hazelnut spread, dipped in chocolate flavor coating and topped with white chocolate flavor and hazelnuts." This was amazing news for who love Nutella, but for those with nut allergies, not so much.

People freaked out. Up until that point, Krispy Kreme — who never said they were strictly nut-free to begin with — was considered "safe" for allergic consumers. But with hazelnuts around, the risk of cross-contamination was too much. So on behalf of the approximately 3 million people in the U.S. who would like to enjoy a doughnut without dying of an ensuing anaplylatic reaction, one woman started a petition on change.org called Stop the Krispy Kreme Nutella Doughnut. It got exactly 576 signatures. 

Krispy Kreme kept the doughnut for a while, though it no longer appears on their menu. Still, other nut-filled delights have since crossed their menu for limited time runs, like the Reese's Peanut Butter Doughnut in the fall of 2017, and the Nutter Butter Cookie Twist Doughnut in the spring of 2018. So much for petitions. The point is, if you're one of those 300,000 people, you might have to make Krispy Kreme doughnuts at home.