The votes are tallied, and five kids, five grown-ups, and three Bashas’ employees are finalists in this year’s Donut Flavor Craze Contest.
One of them is a Peoria resident — Delaney F.,13, who created Pompeii, a strawberry donut with chocolate sprinkles and strawberry icing filling.
The sixth-annual contest created by Bashas' invited Arizona kids and grown-ups to draw some inspiration from their previous travels to dream up the best new flavor for the hometown grocer’s donut cases. The donut flavors did not disappoint, with ideas ranging from a Greek Baklava donut and a Peru-inspired, Bavarian-cream-filled donut to a Limoncello-flavored cake donut, an Arizona Prickly Pear donut, and an Aloha donut with pineapple and coconut flavors.
Judges carefully weighed creativity, flavor combination, and individuality to choose the finalists based on a 100-word description of their best donut idea, including the proposed name, key ingredients, and why the donut is a sweet treat or guilty pleasure. Entries spanned three categories this year: kids ages 8-17, adults 18 and older, and Bashas’ employees.
Child finalists were:
•Alfajores: A vanilla-flavored donut dipped in dolce de leche and covered in shredded coconut. (Queen Creek resident Bryssa Y., age 13)
•Chai-Tastic: A baked, spicy donut with a cinnamon glaze, made with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, and Greek yogurt. (Lake Havasu City resident Emily B., age 8)
•Dough-Taki: A chocolate donut with a mild spice cream glaze made with cream cheese and topped with Takis rolled tortilla chip crumbles. (Tucson resident Aaliya P., age 12)
•Kinder Joy: A cream-filled donut with chocolate hazelnut spread with crushed wafer cookies sprinkled on top. (Queen Creek resident Braxton B., age 12)
The following five adults were named finalists for their flavor submissions:
•Baklava: Explore Greece with a Baklava donut made with cinnamon, dipped in a honey glaze, and topped with chopped pistachios. (Phoenix resident Heather H.)
•Aloha: A raised jelly donut stuffed with pineapple jelly, glazed with coconut, and dusted with coconut flakes and li hin mui. (Chandler resident Jenta L.)
•Rosquilla de Desierta: A sweet donut with prickly pear injected into the center, topped off with a drizzle of honey that has subtle notes of mesquite. (Tucson resident Christine C.)
•Limoncello: A fruity donut inspired by the coast of Italy, this Limoncello-flavored cake donut is topped with raspberry icing. (Gilbert resident Leslie P.)
•Livin’ La Vida Mocha: A donut with a whipped cream center with notes of mocha, sprinkled with crushed espresso beans, and topped with a chocolate drizzle. (Mesa resident Brian V.)
The following three Bashas’ employees were named finalists for their flavor submissions:
•Delirium: A Bavarian-cream-filled donut inspired by Peru, topped with chocolate icing, crushed pecans, and caramel drizzle. (Mesa resident Kristine Pearce, who works at the Bashas’ supermarket at Baseline and Crismon roads in Mesa)
•Berry Red Chili Razz: A sweet-with-a–little-heat donut that is raspberry filled and glazed with a light Sriracha/Raspberry preserve. (Chandler resident Krista Levine, who works at Bashas’ Family of Stores’ corporate office in Chandler)
•Earthquake: A donut with minty green icing and Oreo crumbs on top. (Gilbert resident An Ngo, who works at the Bashas’ supermarket at 48th Street and Warner Road in Ahwatukee).
Three winning donut flavors (one youth, one adult, one member/employee) will be selected by a panel of local celebrity judges. The winning donuts will be available in Bashas’ bakery cases across the state for a limited time, during the month of June, joining the grocer’s additional 59 donut flavors and varieties that are available year-round.
Bashas’ is known for the made-from-scratch bakery treats that it makes each morning, including donuts, fritters, croissants, danishes, brownies, frosted cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more.
In addition to having their winning donuts featured in Bashas’ bakery departments across the state, the three winners will be named Official Bashas’ Donut Ambassadors for 2021, and receive $500 worth of prizes, including a Bashas’ grocery gift card, baking/cooking gadgets, family-fun activities, and one dozen donuts every month for a year.
Bashas’ will also distribute a $50 grocery gift card to the runner-up in each age category, and a $20 grocery gift card to the honorable mentions in each age category.