Moonshine Doughnuts founders matt and simon have a clear vision for their doughnuts, and the results are delicious proof that these two are doing something very right. first, they want everyone to be able to eat them – Moonshine Doughnuts are vegan-friendly (no dairy and no eggs), and they also make a selection of doughnuts that are vegan-friendly and gluten free. second, it’s important that their treats are always as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the palate, so the selections for their boxed doughnuts are chosen partially due to colour. Moonshine Doughnuts are a labour of love – matt says that ‘we’re pretty personal with them – everything is made in small batches, hand-dipped and homemade. you can count the ingredients on one hand. it’s pretty whole – as whole as a doughnut can be!’
i had a chance to meet these two at the City Market Downtown, where you can find them most of the summer (they’re away now, but will be back at the market in september!). i had a chance to hear about the beginnings of their clever business:
‘i’ve always been someone who liked baking stuff and cooking for people,’ says matt. ‘i was a teacher when the cupcake craze started, and then when i graduated i saw that donuts were becoming a cool thing, so i thought, “i’m gonna do that!” so it was all self-taught, and we started going to farmers markets. in the first year, which was two and a half years ago, there was only moderate interest, but in the last 2 years, there has been tons of interest, especially with clients for weddings. i think that food has trends just like clothing has trends, and i think that the trend right now is that people instead of necessarily wanting [wedding] cakes they want something more personalized that they can put their own personal flare on.’
inspired by gourmet doughnut shops they visited while travelling, matt and simon launched into creating plenty of unique flavours – in fact, over the years they’ve been in business, they’ve lost count of the flavours they offer!
of course, Moonshine Doughnuts can be ordered for your wedding – and, like all of our favourite edmonton small businesses, they love making personalized, custom orders. their wedding clientele has grown organically, and they’ve had their busiest year yet in 2014. luckily, it’s a market they love to serve.
‘wedding orders are really fun to do because we get to be a little more creative, and we get to know the client personally, as opposed to someone who just comes and just buys a box and walks away. you get to create a dialogue with them and get to know them… dessert tables are becoming a big thing at weddings, whether it’s bite sized items or just having a variety of options for their guests to have, as opposed to having cake. but so far, donuts are fitting really really well into that. it doesn’t necessarily need to be the only dessert, its another option that goes on the dessert table.’
couples that are looking to do something a little different often approach simon and matt with some ideas, and then begin a dialogue where options are created for the bride and/or groom, and they are invited to come and try some. colour plays a big part in the dessert menu that is created, so the doughnuts can be part of the couple’s colour scheme, or just to look visually appealing on their own.
i went home with a pretty little box of moonshine doughnuts, and i was utterly pleased at the taste of each one! these are very moist cake doughnuts, with distinct and decadent flavours.
i started with the blueberry earl grey doughnut (second from left, above), which was a flavour combo i was surprised to find worked very well together. i’m a bit of a purist when it comes to anything earl grey-related, but the blueberry icing was a perfect compliment to the distinct earl grey flavour of the cake.
next, i tried the red velvet flavour (left, above), which was the closest to a ‘typical’ doughnut flavour and consistency in the bunch – simple and sweet.
the matcha vanilla doughnut (second from right, above), which is a crowd favourite among farmers market customers and couples alike, was a light, subtle vanilla in a very moist cake. the matcha flavoured icing was nicely paired with almond slivers, and this was probably the prettiest doughnut in the box.
finally, my favourite: the s’more doughnut (right, above). now, i fully intended to only try a slice of each doughnut, and save a bit for my roommate and my man. with all of the other flavours, i did just that (oh, and by the way, they loved them too!), and with the s’more one… i swear i tried! but a third of that heavenly little circle of goodness was just not enough, and i couldn’t just leave it in the box with the others – i devoured the whole thing. it’s a rich and decadent chocolate doughnut with chocolate icing and a graham cookie crumb sprinkle, complete with a roasted marshmallow on top. it. was. amazeballs.
you simply have to give Moonshine Doughnuts a try! you can find them at City Market Downtown in september, and on select thursdays at the 124 Grand Market. you can follow them on Instagram for a constant stream of pretty doughnut pictures and the occasional giveaway. definitely go say hi on Twitter, or follow them on Facebook too! and if you like the idea of these tasty treats making an appearance at your wedding, get in touch with them directly by emailing moonshinedoughnuts [at] gmail [dot] com.