Nov 16, 2023

Review: McCormick x Dough Holiday (Donut) Bites Collection

McCormick x Dough Holiday Donut Bites collectible tin with lid on.

McCormick x Dough Holiday Bites Collection features a series of "donut bites" in three flavors: It's All Gravy, Cranberry Craze, and Pumpkin to Talk About.

The Holiday Bites Collection includes a dozen donuts (four of each), which come in a collectible tin and cost $69.00, plus shipping, but I received this courtesy of McCormick. I looked it up and Dough's regular donuts cost $67.80 for a dozen.

Top-down view of McCormick x Dough Holiday Donut Bites in the collectible tin.

They call these "donut bites" but they definitely would not go down in one bite. They're more like donut balls and are slightly bigger than a tennis ball, but with some heft to them. They're not as wide as a typical donut but they're taller... I'd have to press one down to bite it properly but ended up eating it like an apple as I didn't want the filling to spill out. The donut dough was dense with a soft, fairly uniform structure. It was a little dry, which wasn't unexpected as these shipped from across the country but was still disappointing.

The It’s All Gravy donut is inspired by gravy and stuffing (but not turkey). The donut is made with McCormick Brown Gravy-infused dough with black pepper-flecked, maple cheesecake filling. It comes topped with a brown gravy glaze, ground sage, and black pepper stuffing crumbles sprinkled with garlic powder.

Top-down view of McCormick x Dough Holiday Donut Bites on a plate.

This was the most interesting of the donuts as the glaze did taste slightly like herby brown gravy but also like rich, buttery toffee. It was actually tasty. I didn't really taste any brown gravy in the dough though (but that might have been a good thing).

The maple cheesecake filling inside mostly just tasted like sweet, slightly buttery, cream cheese. I didn't pick up much of the maple or black pepper notes.

The stuffing crumbles on top added some crunch as well as some peppery, garlic notes. I ate half of the donut first and it was sweet but I ate the other half after eating the Cranberry Craze donut and the contrast made It's All Gravy taste almost completely savory.

Side-view of McCormick x Dough Holiday Donut Bites.

Cranberry Craze is a donut with a cranberry jam filling infused with McCormick Rosemary Leaves. It's finished with a cranberry and rosemary purée glaze, donut crumbles, and a trio of dried cranberries. 

Since it's jam and not jelly, it really embodied a sweet cranberry flavor with a thicker texture. The glaze echoed the same slightly bitter, very tangy flavor but with more sweetness, while the dried cranberries added more of the flavor but with a different texture. I didn't pick up much of a rosemary flavor and the crumbles seemed mostly there for aesthetics and very slight texture.

For the most part, this was a more upscale, cranberry jelly donut.

Pumpkin to Talk About offers a creamy filling made with McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon. It's topped with a pumpkin glaze, pecan streusel crumbles, and a meringue dollop sprinkled with cinnamon.

The creamy filling basically tasted like rich, heavily spiced, smooth pumpkin pie filling. I enjoyed it very much. Like the cranberry glaze, the pumpkin glaze echoed the same flavors. The meringue on top was well made with a delicately crispy texture and a lightly sweet, cinnamon-y taste. The streusel added some nuttiness and light texture.

Cross-section of McCormick x Dough Holiday Donut Bites

Of the three donuts in the McCormick x Dough Holiday Bites Collection, the pumpkin one was my favorite as the pumpkin pie filling turned out really well and the meringue made for an enjoyable twist on your typical whipped cream. The cranberry one was the most conventional and the gravy one managed to pique the interest without getting too weird.

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