A Doughnut Revival Hits Norwich

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Update: Sadly Doughnut Lab has stopped operating. A message from the owners was posted on Instagram earlier this year to say that Ryan, the mastermind behind the business is seriously ill. Our thoughts go out to the pair. Is very sad news indeed – May 2016.

I’ve fallen in love with the Doughnut Lab and I’ve fallen hard. And at the worst best-possible time, whilst I’m mid-ballooning in the final month of my pregnancy. But oh boy, has it been worth it.


The Doughnut Revival Hits Norwich

Made in Norfolk by Sophie and Ryan Winstanley, if you haven’t encountered these rather remarkable – posh yet quirky – doughnuts, then that’s because they can only be found in a handful of Norwich’s best coffee houses, usually from Thursday until Sunday, but it varies depending on the outlet. My favourite of said coffee haunts being the lovely Kofta on Unthank Road.


The fact that these cushions of sweet joy are only available towards the end of the week, and in a few select establishments, make them all the more special, but lets hope more and more people stock these little beauties soon. I also love that you never know which four flavour combinations will be on sale each week (until you see the Doughnut Lab’s Instagram feed every Thursday morning).


What’s different about these doughnuts you ask? Everything. The fact there are: homemade in Norfolk, are lighter and fluffier than any doughnut you’ll ever taste, grease-free and contain premium ingredients – not to mention the diverse flavour combinations which put Krispy Kreme to shame. Forget I even mentioned that name. These guys are in a whole other league. (See below – that’s a fresh strawberry with homemade meringue pieces and whipped cream – and that’s just the topping!)

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The Talented ‘Dough-Scientists’ Behind The Doughnut Lab

The talented couple behind the business started trading in May this year and both have backgrounds in hospitality – Ryan was a chef for over 20 years and Sophie worked front of house for 12 years.

The pair were tired of working 70 hours a week (who can blame them) and of never spending any time together. They’d always wanted to run their own business and one day they realised you couldn’t find a decent doughnut anywhere, and hey presto, these clever dough scientists opened the Doughnut Lab.

Here are just some of the flavours:

Lemon zinger

Eton mess

Popcorn salt caramel

Black forest

Rhubarb and strawberry mess

White chocolate lemon almond
Passion fruit coconut

Peanut butter banana bacon


Salt Caramel

Banana salt caramel

Banana choc nut


Lemon meringue

Chocolate eclair


Tea and biscuits

Strawberry cinnamon

Chocolate praline

Chocolate strawberry

Fruit (whatever is in season) crumble

And many more.

Plus, they are always coming up with new, quirky flavours.

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The secret?

The Doughnut Lab’s doughnuts are yeast risen, so the dough needs to prove over night. They then portion out and roll the dough and leave to prove for another two hours. Then it’s fry time followed by cooling time. They then fill and glaze with yummy homemade fillings and toppings! It’s a labour of love and a long process, that’s what makes them so special.

If you liked this post you might also like to read about a few other local gems in East Anglia. Read more in my feature for Sainsbury’s Magazine this month.



Doughnut Lab stock a few cafés in Norwich at the moment: Kofra, Franks bar, Little Red Roaster (all three sites on Saturday: St Andrews, the market and Grove Road) and Milk and Moss at various different days of the week, and all of them on Saturday.

They also cater for private events, parties and weddings and are happy to deliver to people’s homes and offices in Norwich.

www.doughnutlab.co.uk (coming soon)

@DoughnutLab Twitter and Instagram


3 thoughts on “A Doughnut Revival Hits Norwich

  1. Pingback: Zen and the Art of Making Coffee | Roots and Toots

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