Seattle's Child

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Fried fritter alert: Rodeo Donut popping up in Ballard's Cupcake Royale

Rodeo Donut offers a lighter treat with a distinctly Northwest twist.


Rodeo Donut’s goal is to elevate the donut from humble corner-store fare to an elegant, delicious treat. The brainchild of Cupcake Royale founder Jody Hall and Seattle pastry chef Nicki Kerbs, Rodeo will pop up at Ballard’s Cupcake Royale starting Saturday, March 28 at 7 am. Rodeo’s beautiful and sizeable raised donuts are made from brioche dough and come in a wide spectrum of flavors. Chef Kerbs says that she wanted to create a selection of flavors with a balance between citrus and nut, and her commitment to this palette is apparent: There’s peanut butter and berry, bright green salted pistachio, orange blossom honeysuckle, and strawberry buttermilk donuts. The distinct donuts also have a Northwest flair: their glazes and fillings use local fruits and premium ingredients like foraged huckleberries and farm-made berry jam.

Photo: AnnaLise Bender-Brown


At a recent media preview, our favorite was the peanut butter and berry, a filled donut with house-made berry jam filling and a delicate but distinctly nutty glaze. Rodeo’s donuts are handmade from start to finish: even their pastry creams and glazes are made by the pop-up’s staff—a far cry from the big buckets of pre-made fillings so familiar at traditional donut shops. Rodeo also fries their donuts in rice oil for a healthy twist on the usually heavy fried donut; rice oil contains no trans fats and produces a lighter donut, Kerbs says.

The pop-up opens on Saturday, March 28, and runs from 7 am until donuts run out. Donuts will run you $2.50 to $3 each; get a baker’s dozen for the price of 12.