National Donut Day (Offers, Coupons, More)

National Donut Day

National Donut Day

The first Friday of June is National Donut Day. Celebrated across the United States, this day is the perfect excuse to indulge in Homer Simpson’s favorite treat. The ultimate combination of fat and sugar, donuts are everything that’s bad for us, and everything that’s right with the world at the same time.

Perfect with a cup of steaming hot coffee, donuts are one of America’s favorite snacks. This National Donut Day one of the most anticipated food holidays of the year.

What is National Donut Day?

There is some confusion regarding the dates for National Donut Day, with some believing it is held in September. That’s because the current day, which is held during the first Friday of June, is a continuation of a previous day that was held at the end of September.

The day started with the Salvation Army, who gave free donuts to war veterans. The spirit of giving and of free donuts is a theme that is still explored by National Donut Day. You can generally get a free donut from the biggest chains during this day.

National Donut Day remains as a celebration of the donut, and a day to raise awareness for war veterans. It is one of the biggest food holidays on the calendar, and one that all major retailers and food chains acknowledge in some form.

National Donut Day Deals 2017

National Donut Day 2017

A s’mores donut, combining marshmallow and chocolate.

This section will be updated at least a month before National Donut Day each year (next up, June 2017). It will include all of the upcoming deals offered by the biggest donut chains in the country. So, make sure you bookmark this page and come back in time for National Donut Day each year.

To tide you over until then, and to prepare you for it, below you will find some deals that have been offered during previous National Donut Days.

We have also included some ideas on how you can get involved during this day. After all, it’s not just about self-indulgence.

Previous National Donut Day Deals

National Donut Day Deals

Speciality donuts adorned with edible flowers.

Many chains focus on giving away free donuts during National Donut Day. But as you might expect, it isn’t as simple as that. Many of them are happy to give away to charity, which is good, but less than happy when it comes to their customers. Still, you can usually get a free donut with a purchase of another item, with a coupon, or by triggering a certain clause.

All of the following promotions have been offered in the past. They will likely be offered again as well, but you should double-check with the updated National Donut Day deals section above just to be sure.

Dunkin’ Donuts:

During the 2016 National Donut Day, you could get a free donut at Dunkin’ Donuts with an order of any drink. So, all it took was one cup of coffee and you could get a donut of your choice, with a huge number of them to choose from. Many of their previous National Donut Day deals have revolved around the same process, and they have coupons, deals and promotions to look forward to every time this food holiday rolls around. (See Dunkin’ Donuts coupon page for more deals).

Krispy Kreme:

National Donut Day Coupons

National Donut Day is the perfect excuse to sink your face into a box of donuts and then blame the Salvation Army when you get fat.

Krispy Kreme have been a little more forthcoming where National Donut Day deals are concerned. In fact, you could get a free donut with no obligations in 2016, and during many previous National Donut Days. This wasn’t limited to their US locations either. The same promotion could be found in most of their international locations, with others offering free samplers, and with Malaysian locations giving free donuts to everybody who liked their Facebook page. (See Krispy Kreme coupon page for more deals).

These two big brands are not the only ones that offer National Donut Day deals. All of the following have also gotten involved and are worth checking out during future holidays.

Duck Donuts:

This chain went the whole hog and offered customers a free donut with no obligation in 2016. They have done similar things in previous years as well, which makes Duck Donuts a worthwhile store during National Donut Day.

Randy’s Donuts:

This L.A. donut shop offered free donut holes during specific hours in 2016. They have run similar National Donut Day deals before that as well.

Shipley Do-Nuts:

You could get a free donut during the morning hours at this chain in 2016. The promotion ended at noon on National Donut Day, but it was there during breakfast.

National Donut Day Events

National Donut Day Dunkin' Donuts

Homer Simpson’s favorite flavor: pink.

As well as indulging in this delicious baked treat, and seeking as many freebies as you can grab, National Donut Day is also a day of celebration, appreciation and remembrance. If you want to get involved, to do your bit for the donut or for US veterans, there are a number of options to explore:


The Salvation Army still plays a big role in this food holiday. They were the ones who started it, and they are the ones that carry it to this day. The Salvation Army work with the armed forces, and as a non-profit organization, they need all of the help they can get. So, offer your time, donate some money. Every little bit helps.


Many people make donuts at home and give these to local businesses, schools, charities and homeless people. There are many ways that you can help out, and they all begin with you cooking a batch or two of fresh donuts.


If you don’t want to give the donuts away directly, then simply sell them and give the proceeds to charity. There are many charities that look after veterans, and you can also give directly to The Salvation Army. Just be sure to look into any bake-sales or events that are happening near you, as you may be able to offer your services there rather than arranging one yourself.

The History of the Donut

National Donut Day Krispy Kreme

A selection of some of the most popular donuts (or “doughnuts”) from Krispy Kreme.

The invention of the donut (or “doughnut” as they are also known) is much disputed. The most common theory is that they were invented by Dutch settles in North America, at which point they were known by a word meaning “Oil Cake”.

In 1847, American Hanson Gregory decided to change the recipe. Although he enjoyed the treat, he didn’t like the shape and the problems it caused. The donuts would often be raw or undercooked in the middle, and incredibly greasy on the outside. Gregory punched a hole in the donuts to fix this problem, before passing this technique onto his mother.

Gregory’s mother combined this trick with some additional ingredients, including cinnamon. From her, the donut grew and became more widespread in North America and then further afield.

Doughnuts or Donuts?

The words “donut” and “doughnut” are used interchangeably. “Doughnut” was likely used first and this is still common in many countries around the world. However, in the United States, “donut” is most common.

This is helped, in no small part, by Dunkin’ Donuts, who preferred the shorter variation. This brand has spread like wildfire across the United States and has become synonymous with this treat for many. The same goes for Mister Donut, which used to have a substantial presence in the US but is now mostly confined to Japan.

Krispy Kreme, who have been one of the main competitors for Dunkin’ Donuts, have used “Doughnuts” in their slogans and it’s also in the Voodoo Doughnuts name, while Winchell’s have taken Dunkin’ Donuts’ lead in their slogans and promotional materials.