What Krispy Kreme's Famous Glaze Is Really Made From

Ever since it first turned on its neon hot light back in 1937, Krispy Kreme has been serving up its famous glazed donuts straight out of the oven. The chain's infamous doughy bombs are made with yeast, which makes them airier and lighter than other donut varieties. However, the big thing that really sets Krispy Kreme apart from competitors like Dunkin' Donuts is not the donut itself, but what goes on top. We're talking about that shiny, sugary glaze. 

Every original glazed donut from the North Carolina-based chain is coated in the sticky sweet deliciousness by undergoing a glaze waterfall (via YouTube). The glaze is part of what made Krispy Kreme's signature treat so popular, according to the Associated Press, keeping customers licking their fingers and coming back for round two after all these years. But what exactly is the chain's sweet glaze made of? While Krispy Kreme has never revealed the full recipe, here's what we know about the frosting that fans can't get enough of.

Krispy Kreme's glaze recipe is super secret

According to the Krispy Kreme website, founder Vernon Rudolph bought the now-famous glazed donut recipe from a French chef who was living in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1937. After some success selling the donuts in grocery stores, Rudolph had the genius idea to start offering the sweet treats directly to consumers from a hole he had cut into the Winston-Salem factory wall. The chain claims this decision was inspired by the amount of people who would pause on the street outside, trying to figure out where that incredible smell was coming from.

According to Love Food, Krispy Kreme still uses that original glazed donut recipe from the '30s. (Though it has automated some of the process, no longer requiring each shop to make their donuts from scratch.) Krispy Kreme keeps the recipe locked in a vault in the company headquarters, hidden away from prying eyes and curious competitors.

Can you make Krispy Kreme donuts at home?

Like most restaurants with highly-coveted recipes, Krispy Kreme has never revealed the exact ingredients in its famous donut glaze. However, plenty of people have tried to guess what's inside the delicious icing. How Stuff Works did an in-depth analysis of the Krispy Kreme manufacturing process and reported that the glaze is "a mixture of sugar, milk and other ingredients."

Fortunately for those who don't live close enough to a Krispy Kreme to get the real deal, there are plenty of copycat Krispy Kreme glazed donut recipes (like our own, for example) that claim to be just as good as the original. While they're all slightly different, some of the common ingredients include confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar) and corn syrup. Let The Baking Begin, for instance, calls for confectioner's sugar, milk, and light corn syrup, while Food.com uses butter, confectioner's sugar, hot water, and vanilla extract. Hey, it never hurts to try out a few and decide for yourself. Even if it's not exactly like the Krispy Kreme treat of your dreams, you'll still get a pretty decent glazed donut out of your experiment.