Discontinued Dunkin' Donuts Menu Items That Need To Make A Comeback

It's hard to imagine, but there was a time when there wasn't a Dunkin' on the corner of every block in America. The coffee and donut behemoth began way back in 1948 as a Massachusetts restaurant named "Open Kettle." Founded by businessman William Rosenberg, the restaurant specialized in 5 cent donuts and premium cups of coffee, according to The New York Times.

Two years after opening, Rosenberg changed the restaurant's name to Dunkin' Donuts and made it his goal to "to make and serve the freshest, most delicious coffee and donuts, quickly and courteously, in modern, well-merchandised stores" (via PR Newswire). Business boomed and, by the end of the decade, he'd created a franchise with new restaurants springing up in more than 100 locations.

Today, there are more than 12,000 Dunkin's located in 40 countries around the globe. The company, which Today reports officially dropped "Donuts" from its name in 2018, serves up more than 2 billion cups of hot and iced coffee annually and offers more than 70 donut varieties.

In addition to donuts and coffee, the chain has also become famous for introducing countless new menu items to its customers throughout its history. Some of them have stuck, but others have disappeared in a flash. Here's a look back at some of our favorite discontinued Dunkin' menu items. These are the ones we're still craving on our early morning coffee runs and the items that definitely need to make a comeback.

Dunkin' White Cheddar Bagel Twists

Bagels have been a mainstay at Dunkin' ever since the company started carrying baking them fresh daily back in 1996. By 2010, the company decided it was time to innovate their soaring bagel business and introduced Bagel Twists, essentially a standard bagel twisted into a long stick shape that made for easier eating on the go. The initial launch included six flavors: cheddar cheese, cinnamon raisin, sour cream and onion, pretzel salt, blueberry, and French toast (via Baking Business). Sales weren't as stellar as expected, however, and the twists were discontinued.

However, disappointed customers demanded the return of one particular fan favorite from the Bagel Twist bunch: the White Cheddar Bagel Twist. In 2016, Dunkin' obliged, bringing the Twist back for those who had missed its classic pairing of savory dough and sharp, aged Wisconsin cheddar. 

Sadly, the return didn't last long. In 2018, Bustle reported that Dunkin' had given the White Cheddar Twists the ax again as part of an ongoing effort to simplify their menu. You can still occasionally find Bagel Twists on select franchisee menus with owners who've gone rogue on the elimination, but as many disappointed fans will attest, it's time for the White Cheddar Bagel Twist to return to national distribution.

Dunkin' Big N' Toasted Breakfast Sandwich

The year 2011 was a big year for breakfast sandwiches. Food & Wine declared them one of the breakout trends of the year. Soon enough, fast food breakfast sandwiches got in on the new food fashion.

From this movement, the Dunkin' Donuts Big 'N Toasty Breakfast Sandwich arose. This monument to sandwich innovation included a massive pair of farm-fresh, black pepper coated fried eggs, four slices of cherrywood smoked bacon, and a hearty slice of American cheese, all sandwiched between two extra-thick slices of Texas toast (via Gothamist). At the time, Dunkin' called the jaw-dislocating monster its "biggest, heartiest breakfast sandwich ever!"

The epitome of food porn and perfect for posting on social media for hungry followers, the Big N' Toasted Breakfast Sandwich quickly became one of the chain's top sellers. However, despite its once-massive popularity, customers gradually gravitated away from the behemoth to newer Dunkin' menu items, and the Big 'N Toasty was eventually retired. Although the sandwich did stage a minor comeback in 2019, according to Brand Eating, it was dropped again shortly thereafter and has yet to stage its monstrous comeback.

Dunkin' Oreo Coolatta

Oreo cookies are all about the "dunk". That is the act of submerging the crisp chocolate and cream-filled cookie in ice-cold milk. So, it was logically only going to be a matter of time before Oreos and Dunkin' Donuts crossed paths. The blessed union finally took place in 2015 when Dunkin' introduced a series of cookie-flavored iced coffees, frozen drinks, and cookie-related desserts including the Oreo frozen Coolata.

A rich creamy blend of coffee, chocolate, cream, and ice all blended together like a smoothie, the Oreo Coolata also had another amazing trait Dunkin' customers instantly loved: tiny chunks of Oreo cookies called "mix-in's" that were blended into every sip of the drink.

Sadly, the Oreo Coolata's life was short and it was axed in 2017 (via Business Insider). As a modern mainstay on the Dunkin' menu, the flavors of Coolatas, which are basically sweet icy dessert shakes, change frequently as the company shuffles through various seasonal and special options in an attempt to keep consumer interest high. Some return year after year, while others, like the Oreo Coolata, exist only for a brief and precious time, never to grace our parched and craving lips again.

Dunkin' Croissant Donut

The Cronut, a lovechild of croissants and donuts dreamed up by NYC chef Dominique Ansel, was one of the biggest viral food hits in the early 2000s (via Conde Nast Traveler). The decadent Cronut looked like a donut but had flaky croissant layers inside and a cream filling inside. It was a hit practically the minute it appeared in 2013. According to The New York Times, people would show up to order the Cronut hours before the bakery opened with lines of eager and hungry consumers snaking around the block.

Inspired by the Cronut craze, Dunkin' introduced their own version of the treat, deemed the Croissant Donut, in the fall of 2014. That name made it legally distinct from the famed Cronut. It was an instant smash.

"The Croissant Donut received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests," Dunkin's president of marketing announced in 2015. But, as with any fad, interest ultimately plummeted and the item was discontinued. 

Dunkin' Pistachio ice cream iced coffee

Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins became corporate siblings in 2005 when a group of private-equity firms bought the chain for an estimated $2 billion (via The New York Times). Although it took more than a decade following the merger, the two fast food giants finally came together in the summer of 2017, when Dunkin' introduced ice coffee flavors modeled after some of Baskin-Robbins' best-selling ice cream flavors: Butter Pecan, Cookie Dough, Pistachio, Rocky Road, and Jamoca Almond Fudge.

Reaction to the new flavors was swift and overwhelmingly positive, with the Pistachio ice cream flavored coffee, in particular, becoming a favorite among Dunkin' devotees. Lifestyle site HelloGiggles called the flavor "life changing" and told the curious to "run, don't walk, to get your hands on this ASAP." Spoon University said it was extremely rich and nutty, saying that the drink was "not too bitter, not too sweet, but the perfect blend" and just like the pistachio-flavored ice cream you are used to buying at Baskin Robbins.

The following summer, Pistachio-flavored iced coffee was brought back again for another limited run, but it hasn't been back since, much to the disappointment of many an iced coffee lover.

Dunkin' Peeps Donuts

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Dunkin' started to develop an increasing number of menu items based on seasonal and holiday tastes. Christmas and Valentine's Day were obviously easy targets, but the company also scored a major success with its so-called Easter egg donuts. According to Thrillist, these so-called "eggs" were "chocolate-covered, sprinkled, egg-shaped donuts that came in their very own carton."

Three decades later, Dunkin' decided to revisit its Easter donut concept with Peeps Donuts. These pastel-colored pink, green, and yellow flower-shaped donuts were each topped with a tiny marshmallow fluff Peeps chick. A staple of holiday confections, the marshmallow-shaped chicks known as Peeps began in central Pennsylvania in the 1920s (via Food & Wine). Today, current Peeps' owner Just Born has turned Peeps into a culinary force, churning out enough of the sugar-coated marshmallow treats each year to circle the Earth twice.

Available nearly year-round today, though production has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Peeps are no longer just an Easter essential. You can buy them to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and even July 4th. So it only makes sense that the donut that introduced us to the incredible pairing of marshmallow fluff with flakey donut dough should return for year-round snacking as well.

Dunkin' Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich

Tailgating was having a moment in 2015. According to CNN, more than 18% of the 17 million sports fans who attended professional sporting events that year were hanging out in the parking lot, grilling up a selection of their favorite foods.

Those tailgating flavors were the definite inspiration for the Tailgater Breakfast Sandwich which Dunkin' Donuts introduced that fall (via PR Newswire). It featured a "mouthwatering combination of an egg, reduced-fat cheddar cheese and juicy split smoked sausage topped with fire-roasted peppers and grilled onion mix and Ancho Chipotle sauce on an oven-toasted French Roll."

Many who tried the sandwich at its launch were impressed. Brand Eating praised its juiciness and light, enjoyable smokiness, along with the sandwich's well-sauteed peppers and onions, calling it a "successful shake-up of a classic sandwich." Fewd Snobs agreed, saying the fresh bread on the sandwich blew other similar sandwiches away. The site ended their review by saying of the sandwich, "We absolutely cannot say enough good things about it."

But even with a proven winner, the Dunkin' food gods eventually retired the Tailgater. Perhaps the return of live sporting events in 2021—and the return to tailgating that's sure to follow—can inspire the celebrated sandwich's return.

Dunkin' Sweet & Salted Cold Brew coffee

The perfect combination of complementary flavors, Dunkin introduced its Sweet & Salted Cold Brew in 2017 to capitalize on America's booming cold-brew coffee trend. Fans considered cold brew's flavor to be less acidic and bitter than regular brewed coffee. Many were also drawn to its caffeine content, which CNET says may be higher than that found in regular coffee.

According to Dunkin', the longer steeping process for their cold brew coffee also helped to create a rich, ultra-smooth drink with an inherently sweeter flavor reminiscent of dark chocolate. To make their already crave-worthy cold brew even more irresistible, Dunkin' developed Sweet & Salted Cold Brew inspired by a similar coffee drink popular in China. In a release promoting its launch, the company explained the drink was "sweetened with liquid cane sugar and a special new, proprietary salted whipped topping, treating guests to an irresistible taste combination of sweet and salty in every sip."

Fans of the coffee raved on Influenster about the sweet and salty pairing in the coffee, saying it perfectly complemented coffee's natural robust flavor while a taster at MyRecipes called it "surprisingly delicious." Still, the drink didn't last long and mysteriously disappeared shortly after its launch. 

Dunkin' Donut Fries

Fries are an essential fast food staple. Perhaps that's why companies are always looking to innovate the fry category. Taco Bell has toyed around with Nacho Fries, while Burger King has its infamous Chicken Fries. So it seems only natural that Dunkin' would want to enter the "fry wagon" as well by introducing Donut Fries in 2018.

For Dunkin' aficionados, the company's idea, which Dunkin' described as "individual pieces of delicious, buttery croissant style donut dough that are tossed in cinnamon sugar and served warm", was even more delicious in reality than it sounded on paper. Reviewers at Food & Wine were smitten, praising the fries' similarity to French toast sticks and lauding them as "bite-size donuts that you can eat in your car at a red light, or quickly snack on before shoving your way into a packed subway train." Thrillist was even more direct, concluding their review by simply stating "Donut Fries are the future."

Still, despite the fanfare, donut fries are no longer part of the Dunkin' menu today, a fact that still depresses many a hungry morning coffee goer.

Dunkin' Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut

Introduced for fall 2020, Dunkin's Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut was one of the few good things to come out of an otherwise terrible year. Dunkin' called their creation a "deliciously daring donut that delivers the heat with every bite," dubbing it the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut. The treat was a traditional yeast-based donut frosted with strawberry-flavored icing. On top of this, the mad scientist chefs in Dunkin's test kitchen added a blend of sugars infused with cayenne and ghost pepper flavored heat.

According to the folks at PepperScale, a site that tracks the heat of all the world's various chile peppers, the ghost pepper is a sweet, fruity pepper with a bite that's among the world's spiciest, with a kick 107 to 417 times hotter than a standard jalapeno.

Dunkin' encouraged fans trying to Spicy Ghost Pepper donut to post their reaction on Twitter using #DunkinSpicySide, and fans complied in droves, extolling their love of the sizzling donut, with many anxious to buy more. Reactions to the Spicy Ghost Pepper Donut were varied, with some saying that it was at least worth trying once. The donut disappeared following Halloween, but we're among the many hoping for a return in 2021.

Dunkin' Angus Steak & Cheese Wraps

Steak was one of the biggest food trends of 2013, with industry watchdogs like Restaurant Hospitality both declaring the essential comfort food one of the foods Americans wouldn't be able to get enough of in every meal.

No wonder then that Dunkin' knew exactly what we were craving when they introduced Angus Steak & Cheese Wraps. Described by Dunkin' as "a full portion of great-tasting Angus steak wrapped in a warm, eight-inch tortilla," the company's Angus Steak & Cheese Wraps also included a white cheddar cheese filling and could be paired with either barbecue or ranch sauce for dipping. Dunkin' also debuted Chicken Salad and Tuna Salad wraps on their menu in 2013. Both were also served on a warm tortilla with added cheddar cheese and bacon add-on's available if desired.

While FoodBeast described the Angus Steak Wrap as "a perfect super late night/super early morning breakfast," the wrap was still ultimately retired. Whatever the reason for its premature disappearance, we see 2021 as the perfect time for a comeback.

Dunkin' Almond Joy Hot Chocolate

"I tried Dunkin' Donuts' new Almond Joy Hot Chocolate and it's just as delicious as it sounds." That's the way Bustle summed up Dunkin's then newest new hot chocolate drink which launched in the fall of 2017. And that's how most of Dunkin's regulars felt as well, charmed by the drink's warm, creamy blend of familiar milk chocolate, almond, and coconut candy flavors which the company had magically transferred from candy bar to cup.

The toasty creation was one of Dunkin's first pairings with the legendary Hershey company. Almond Joy and its cousin Mounds are among the most popular candy bars ever created. According to New England Today, Mounds came first in the 1920s. Almond Joy followed, debuting after World War II as rationing eased and consumers began to demand additions like almonds in the milk chocolate.

Sadly, Almond Joy Hot Chocolate was a one time only special at Dunkin'. But just like the heroine in some Disney flick, we're hoping it one day soon makes a magical return.

Dunkin' Pretzel Roll Roast Beef Sandwich

In 2013, inspired by the launch of Sonic's Cheesy Bacon Pretzel Dog and Wendy's Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, Dunkin' decided to try their own take on the pretzel-inspired sandwich (via FoodBeast). The result was the Pretzel Roll Roast Beef Sandwich which included hearty slices of roast beef and white cheddar cheese doused with Dijon mustard sauce and served in a freshly baked pretzel roll. 

In a story on that summer's pretzel roll fad, The Harvard Business Review dug into the subject, asking food expert Michael Moss to explain their appeal. "Salt is one of the three most powerful ingredients," Moss told the publication. "When it's on the outside of the food, it's the first thing that touches the saliva and hits the pleasure center of the brain." And the more different textures you can get into one bite, he explained, "the more wowed the brain is."

As with many of the sandwiches we've detailed, however, the Pretzel Roll Roast Beef soon disappeared from Dunkin's menu as quickly as it had shown up, leaving many to question if and when they'll ever get to sample its deliciousness again.

Dunkin' Girl Scout Cookie flavored coffees

Girl Scout Cookie flavored coffees are perhaps the most in-demand and most requested items to come and go from the Dunkin' menu. Their original launch in 2018 included three of the Girl Scout's most popular cookie flavors: Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel, and Peanut Butter cookies, according to Boston Magazine

The collaboration was Dunkin's first foray into peanut butter flavored coffee, creating a toasted, nutty, almost savory flavor that paired perfectly with the bitter bite of coffee beans. Similarly, the Coconut Caramel coffee flavor was another huge hit, meant to mimic classic toasted coconut and caramel Samoa cookies. A year later, the Coconut Caramel and Thin Mint flavors returned, this time paired with Trefoils Shortbread, which again brought the rich creamy quality of a whipped butter into Dunkin's line of hot and cold coffees and other coffee beverages.

While Girl Scout Cookie flavors have yet to return to Dunkin's restaurant menu, in the fall of 2020 the company announced that Thin Mints, S'mores and Coconut Caramel flavored coffees will be available again (via Taste of Home). Only this time they'll be in bottled iced coffees sold in grocery stores and convenience stores, rather than at Dunkin' itself.