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The Sweet Science Behind Dunkin’ Munchkins: How They Achieve Their Perfect Shape

How Dunkin’ Munchkins get their shape: A Sweet Tale of Donut Holes

Dunkin’ Munchkins have become a beloved treat for donut lovers around the world. These bite-sized, sugary balls of delight have a fascinating history and a fascinating story behind their iconic shape. In this article, we explore the origins of Dunkin’ Munchkins, the creative process behind their name, and the secrets of how these delicious donut holes get their perfect round shape.

The birth of the Dunkin’ Munchkin

According to the Dunkin’ website, Munchkins were introduced in the early 1970s and quickly captured the hearts and taste buds of customers. But they weren’t always known as Munchkins. Retired Dunkin’ CEO Bob Rosenberg revealed in his book that the original suggestion for the name of these doughnut holes was “Penny Poppers”. However, since the price point wouldn’t last forever, the idea was discarded. Eventually, the name “Munchkins” was chosen as a nod to the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Interestingly, the name was already trademarked, but Dunkin’ was able to purchase the rights to use it for just $1 a year.

A delightful variety of flavors

Munchkins come in a variety of flavors to meet different taste preferences. In addition to the classic chocolate, jelly, powdered sugar, cinnamon and blueberry glazes, Dunkin’ surprises customers with seasonal flavors. From the tantalizing richness of Red Velvet to other limited-time offerings, Munchkins never fail to delight our palates. These ever-changing flavors contribute to the enduring popularity of Munchkins, which appeal to both the young and the young at heart.

The secret of the round shape

One of the most intriguing aspects of Munchkins is their perfectly round shape. How exactly do these doughnut holes achieve their uniformity? Dunkin’ has provided a glimpse into the process of creating these snackable treats. It all started with a stroke of inspiration from Edna Demery, the wife of a Dunkin’ franchise owner. She watched the baker and came up with the idea of using the cut-out centers of regular doughnuts to create something unique.
Edna explained, “I was in the kitchen watching the baker, and I just thought of taking the center of the doughnut and putting it in the fryolator… We started making them for the employees, and then one day I put the plain ones in a little basket for samples. Eventually, we started selling them. The positive response to these doughnut holes led Dunkin’ to invest in special donut cutters designed specifically for Munchkins. Today, an automated cutter ensures that each Munchkin comes out as a perfectly formed ball of dough, ready to be fried and enjoyed.

The irresistible popularity of Munchkins

The popularity of Munchkins is undeniable. According to Dunkin’ CEO Bob Rosenberg, the company sells approximately 1 billion doughnut holes each year. This staggering number underscores the widespread love for these miniature treats. Munchkins have become a staple for Dunkin’ customers, whether enjoyed with a cup of coffee or as a snack on their own.
Competitive eaters have even challenged themselves to consume large quantities of Munchkins in record time. One such eater, Matt Stonie, devoured an astonishing 155 Munchkins in just six minutes, washing them down with two iced coffees. While such feats are impressive, most of us prefer to savor the taste and enjoy these delicious treats at a more leisurely pace.

Bottom line

Dunkin’ Munchkins have undoubtedly become an iconic part of the brand’s offering. From their humble beginnings as a creative way to repurpose doughnut centers to today’s automated production process, Munchkins have captured the hearts and taste buds of doughnut lovers around the world. Whether you prefer the classic flavors or eagerly anticipate the seasonal varieties, Munchkins continue to bring joy and satisfy our cravings for a delicious sweet treat. So the next time you indulge in these bite-sized doughnut holes, remember the story behind their shape and savor every delicious bite.


Dunkin’ Munchkins are bite-sized donut holes offered by Dunkin’ (formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts). They are small, round and come in a variety of flavors including glazed, chocolate glazed, jelly filled, powdered sugar, cinnamon and blueberry glazed.

How did Dunkin’ Munchkins get their name?

Originally, Dunkin’ Munchkins were almost called “Penny Poppers. However, the name “Munchkins” was chosen as a tribute to the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz. Although the name was already trademarked, Dunkin’ was able to secure the rights to use it for a nominal fee of $1 per year.

How are Dunkin’ Munchkins made?

Dunkin’ Munchkins are made by reusing the cut-out centers of regular donuts. An automated cutter is used to create perfectly shaped balls of dough, which are then fried to achieve their signature texture. The process ensures that each Munchkin is uniform in size and shape.

What flavors of Dunkin’ Munchkin are available?

Dunkin’ offers a variety of flavors for Munchkins, including the classic glazed, glazed chocolate, jelly-filled, powdered sugar, cinnamon and blueberry glazes. In addition, Dunkin’ introduces seasonal flavors to surprise and delight customers, such as red velvet and other limited-time offerings.

How popular are Dunkin’ Munchkins?

Dunkin’ Munchkins are incredibly popular, with Dunkin’ selling approximately 1 billion doughnut holes each year. Their small size and wide variety of flavors make them a favorite with customers of all ages.

Can you eat Dunkin’ Munchkins as fast as competitive eater Matt Stonie?

While competitive eaters like Matt Stonie have performed impressive feats by consuming large quantities of Munchkins in a short amount of time, most people prefer to enjoy these bite-sized treats at a more leisurely pace. So feel free to enjoy Dunkin’ Munchkins at your own comfortable pace!

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