Moist, Stunning Cake Donuts and Fluffy, Outstanding Yeast-Raised Donuts Fried To Order! - Oliboli Donuts [Thoughts + Pics]

Full caveat: I am not a Donut fan (I know, I know, don’t hate me!). :sweat_smile: Besides enjoying them as a kid, these days, I find most Donuts to be far too cloyingly sweet and just a waste of calories. I usually enjoy 1/4 of a Donut before giving up, and would rather enjoy other types of Desserts (like Republique’s Mango Passion Fruit Cream Pie!). :slight_smile:

However, I appreciate what elevated Donut Shops like Sidecar and Blue Star are trying to do, with unique flavor combinations and better ingredients, but they still feel saccharine. But after hearing glowing reports from @js76wisco @Hungrydrunk about a new shop called Oliboli, we finally decided to give it a try.

Opened by Victor and Brooke DesPres, along with their daughter who helps run the store, Oliboli Donuts is a family-run business with a simple tagline, “Old World Donuts, New World Flavors.” Their name comes from a play on the word “Oliebollen”, the Dutch word for one of the very first Donuts in history. Neat. :slight_smile:

Walking into the clean, minimalist modern-looking store, you are greeted by a stunning array of Donuts on display (all of their seasonal flavors).

It turns out Oliboli Donuts makes both a Yeast-Leavened Donut and a Cake Donut. The Yeast-Leavened Donuts are fresh fried-to-order(!). Every single Donut. Fried fresh when you order. Wow! :open_mouth:

Their Cake Donuts are made once an hour; still nice.

Bavarian Cream Donut (Our 40-Hour-Yeast Dough Dipped in a Rich Chocolate Glaze with a Scoop of our Vanilla Pastry Cream on Top):

Taking a bite: It’s indeed freshly fried to order! So fresh, pillowy, airy! Oliboli’s Yeast-Leavened Donuts use their 40 hour yeast dough with 30% Hard Winter Wheat stone-milled flour. I’m not a professional baker, but besides it sounding pretty wonderful, the taste is that much better.

It’s incredible: There’s a light, subtle tang, airy, a slight chew to the softness, and the Chocolate and Pastry Cream combo works beautifully together! :heart:

And, it’s not saccharine sweet like so many Donuts we’ve had over the years. :slight_smile:

Meyer Lemon Donut:

Another Yeast-Leavened Donut, this was ridiculous! :heart: :blush: :heart:

Again, nearly piping hot (cool enough for them to glaze it), super fresh, it was like biting into a cloud! :blush: There was a subtle tang again with their 40 hour yeast dough base, and the Meyer Lemon glaze was beautifully citrusy, aromatic, and not overly sweet again. Highlight of the batch! :heart: (@PorkyBelly @J_L @attran99 @TheCookie and others!)

Bibingka Donut (Vegan) (Inspired by the Celebratory Coconut Cake Traditionally Served in the Philippines at Christmas time, Vanilla, Coconut Milk, Topped with Toasted Coconut):

We wanted to try a good range of offerings on this first visit, and seeing a Vegan Donut that’s inspired by Bibingka sounded intriguing.

This was a Cake Donut, and it was fantastic! :blush: Moist, full of flavor within the tender, crumbly cake center, it tasted of Coconut, Vanilla and happiness. Probably one of the best Vegan Donuts I’ve ever had and it stood on its own next to their Non-Vegan Donuts. :blush: (@hanhgry)

Bumbleberry Donut (Made with Raspberries, Marion Blackberries and Wild Blueberries):

From their website, “the name stems from the East Coast when home-cooks would make Bumbleberry Crisps because it was a way of using up the berries that you had on hand.” This was a Cake Donut, made with Stone Milled White Sonora Wheat and Kefir(!).

Stunning! The Berry flavor was bursting through (natural Raspberry, Blackberry and Blueberry flavors), and their Cake Donut center was moist and Cake-like, with a nice lightly crisped exterior! :heart: This was probably the closest comparison to Sidecar’s Huckleberry (which I enjoy), but I think Oliboli’s Bumbleberry is tastier and less sweet. :blush:

Cocoa Nib Donut (Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Chip, Vanilla Bean Glaze, Sprinkled with Valrhona Chocolate Cocoa Nibs):

Another Cake Donut, also very good. Totally for Chocolate lovers, the Cocoa Nibs really added a more interesting textural and flavor grounding to just “Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate” vibe. :slight_smile:

2nd Visit:

We were very impressed with Oliboli and wanted to give them another try to see how consistent they were.

Matcha Latte (with Almond Milk):

A great accompaniment for the Donuts. :slight_smile:

First, yes, Oliboli has a section for Savory “Donuts”(!). :sweat_smile: But our server explains to us that their 40 hour yeast dough is unsweetened, so they can use that like a “Fry Bread” of sorts, and put savory toppings to make it like a snack / meal.

Oeuf (Poached Egg Nestled on Top of our Homemade Ricotta Cheese and 40 Hour Yeast Dough. Topped with our Homemade Béarnaise Sauce and Greens):

I wasn’t sure how this would turn out, my mind was already in “Donut Mode,” so I kept thinking it would be sweet with savory toppings. But taking a bite:

This was delicious! :blush: Beautifully Poached Egg, delicate, creamy Ricotta Cheese, I loved the peppery snap from the Arugula and Dill and other Herbs, and their Housemade Béarnaise Sauce brought it all together, over a freshly fried, piping hot fried dough base with subtle tang (yeast-leavened). :slight_smile:

Banoffee Donut (Inspired by the Traditional English Banoffee Pie. We Top our Yeast Dough with Homemade Banana Whipped Cream, Fresh Banana Slices, Toffee Sauce, and a bit of Streusel Crumbs):

This was a pretty tasty Yeast-Leavened Donut. Airy and freshly fried hot, the Banana came shining through, but could’ve used a bit more Toffee flavors.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut (Homemade Strawberry Glaze on Top of our Yeast Dough. Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Topped with Pie Crust Crumbles, Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, and Strawberry Dust):


Intense, concentrated, floral Strawberry flavor (natural aromas and taste), Oliboli uses Harry’s Berries’ Organic Strawberries(!), the Rhubarb helped to balance out the overall combination, some light crunch from the Pie Crust Crumbles and that Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream was light and airy, and the entire thing was not overly sweet like all the other Donuts we’ve tried over the years. Add to that, being fresh fried to order, so it arrived fresh and hot, and this was another highlight! :heart: :blush: :heart: (@A5KOBE @J_L @PorkyBelly @attran99 @paranoidgarliclover @Hungrydrunk @js76wisco @hanhgry and others!)

PB & J Donut (Peanut Butter Glaze and Topped with our Seasonal Homemade Jam (Currently, Strawberry Rhubarb)):

The actual Yeast-Leavened Donut was again, nice and freshly fried, but there wasn’t enough Peanut Butter flavor for my tastes (but I love Peanut Butter). :wink: It wasn’t overly sweet again, and the Strawberry Rhubarb Jam was so naturally fruit-forward and fragrant that it dominated the Donut. It was tasty, but needed more Peanut Butter to balance it for a true “PB & J” flavor.

Burnt Butter Bourbon Bacon Donut (Burnt Butter Bourbon Glaze, Fried Fresh Bacon Bit Crumble):

It seems like the “Maple Bacon Donut” is becoming so ubiquitous these days that it’s sort of like Avocado Toast; you see it everywhere. We weren’t sure about ordering this, but our server enthusiastically recommended it so we gave it a try.

I’m so glad we did.

First, not only is the Yeast-Leavened Donut freshly fried and hot, but the Bacon is freshly fried to order as well! :open_mouth: :blush: :heart: (@PorkyBelly @J_L @attran99 and others!)

Yes. Freshly Fried Bacon with the Freshly Fried Donut.

Come on!

The Bacon was crispy and that Burnt Butter Bourbon Glaze wasn’t sickly sweet like some versions around town, so you got savory, crispy Bacon, Butter Bourbon Glaze, and the airy, cloud-like Donut.

So good! :heart: :blush: :heart:

(So much better than Sidecar’s Bacon Donut.)

Mexican Lime Donut (Whipped Crema, Mexican Lime Curd, Graham Cracker Crumbs):

Excellent! :blush: This Yeast-Leavened Donut arrived fresh-fried and hot, just like the others, made just to order. The first notes you get are a beautiful bright citrus aroma from the Mexican Lime Curd and Lime Zest, the Whipped Crema is silky and airy, and you get the crunch from Graham Cracker Crumbs and then you get the cloud-like fluffy fresh Donut. And it’s not too sweet again! :heart:

Meyer Lemon Donut:

As wonderful as the first time: Bright and citrusy, airy. :heart:

Jelly Filled Donut (Strawberry Jelly):

Their Jelly Filled Donut (or you can order Cream Filled Donut instead) was very good, Yeast-Leavened and packed with Strawberry Jelly. :slight_smile: But their Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut was a more interesting Strawberry experience, so this one got slightly outshone. Still quite tasty.

While gourmet or elevated Donut Shops are becoming more commonplace, what sets Oliboli Donuts apart are a few key things: (1) They fresh-fry every Yeast-Leavened Donut you order, when you order it(!). That alone is incredible and worth celebrating! :slight_smile: Their Cake Donuts are very moist and made fresh every hour (or sooner if they sell out faster).

(2) Their Donuts are not overly sweet / saccharine like every other Donut place we’ve tried, which lets you appreciate the other natural flavors more.

(3) Their flavors shine as a result: The Meyer Lemon Donut has a beautiful Meyer Lemon flavor that comes through. The Mexican Lime Donut was even more citrusy and not overly dominated by Sugar. The Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut is a celebration of Strawberry. :slight_smile:

We’ll defer to our FTC Donut aficionados about their favorites, but Oliboli Donuts is the first shop that made me think about wanting to return to try more flavors right after our visit. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

Oliboli Donuts
135 W. First Street, Suite #B
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: (714) 760-4876

Update 1:

Since we were in the area for a Little Saigon Journey, we decided finished things off with a stop by Oliboli Donuts. :slight_smile:

Their beautiful display of seasonal Donuts:

Oliboli Donuts had a healthy amount of customers coming and going (all socially distanced when ordering and awaiting their freshly fried Donuts).

(New) Pistachio Donut (Praline Glaze and Salted Crushed Pistachios):

One of Oliboli’s 40 Hour Yeast-Leavened Donuts, this was fried to order (as usual). As with their Donuts in general, the new Pistachio Donut was not overly saccharine (as you might expect with Donuts), and had a nice fragrant nuttiness. :slight_smile: (However, it was slightly underwhelming because Leo Bulgarini’s legendary Pistachio Gelato has ruined all other Pistachio Desserts / Sweets (yes, I know it’s not even the same category, but that’s how intense Bulgarini’s Pistachio is).) :wink:

Still, this was nice.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut (Homemade Strawberry Glaze on Top of our Yeast Dough. Harry’s Berries Strawberry Rhubarb Compote Topped with Pie Crust Crumbles, Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, and Strawberry Dust):

Ridiculously great again! :heart:

It makes total sense now, why the natural, floral Strawberry fragrance is so intense, and the Strawberry flavor is so stunning: Using Harry’s Berries’ Organic Strawberries, the Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut arrives freshly fried, fluffy, airy, with a delicate tug, the Rhubarb balances out the Strawberries and that Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream and the Pie Crumbles for textural contrast. So, so good! :heart: :blush: :heart:

Burnt Butter Bourbon Bacon Donut (Burnt Butter Bourbon Glaze, Fried Fresh Bacon Bit Crumble):

Making sure it wasn’t a fluke, the Burnt Butter Bourbon Bacon Donut still arrives not only freshly fried warm-hot, but the Bacon is freshly fried as well, crispy and outstanding! :heart:

The Burnt Butter Bourbon Glaze isn’t too sweet and the salinity / savory aspect of freshly fried Bacon Bits just puts this over the top.

(New) Apple Crisp Donut (Homemade Apple Compote, Apple Cider Glaze, Vanilla Whipped Cream, Streusel Crumble):

This Yeast-Leavened Donut is like the rest on this visit, airy and cloud-like. Loved the Homemade Apple Compote, nicely balanced by the Apple Cider Glaze, Vanilla Whipped Cream and the Streusel Crumble gives it a nice light crunch to the fluffy Donut. :blush:

(New) Campfire Donut (Chocolate 40 Hour Wild Yeast Dough with Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Mousse, Cocoa Whipped Cream, Homemade Chocolate Meringue Sticks):


Shut the front door! :smile:

The Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut is one of the highlights, but Owner-Donut Maestro Brooke DesPrez is showing off real skills here: The Chocolate 40 Hour Wild Yeast-Leavened Donut is absolutely stupid-good! :heart:

I think @Hungrydrunk (and we also) thought the PB & J Donut didn’t have enough Peanut Butter. This is the answer to our prayers! :slight_smile: This arrived freshly fried, piping hot, the Chocolate 40 Hour Yeast-Leavened Donut itself was airy, fragrant and not overly sweet. Then you get melting Chocolate Chips inside, Chocolate Glaze, but then you get the Peanut Butter Mousse that is gorgeously nutty, like the essence of Peanut Butter, and you get a light textural contrast finish from the Homemade Chocolate Meringue Sticks on top, that resemble “wood logs on a campfire.” :blush:

This all combines to the ultimate Chocolate & Peanut Butter Donut. Do not miss this! :heart: :heart: :heart:

Oliboli Donuts continues to shine, with 3 new seasonal offerings showing up just one week after we last visited them. Their Yeast-Leavened Donuts are fried fresh for every single order. The 40 Hour Yeast Dough with 30% Hard Winter Wheat Stone-Milled Flour really shines through, giving each Yeast-Leavened Donut a subtle, beautiful tang. It is incredible as is.

But then you get those wonderful, varied toppings, like using Harry’s Berries Organic Strawberries for their Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut, them taking the time to make Homemade Chocolate Meringue Sticks just for 1 new Donut, and many more little touches like that, and it makes a difference in the final taste. Oliboli Donuts is a standout Donut Shop worth a visit.

Oliboli Donuts
135 W. First Street, Suite #B
Tustin, CA 92780
Tel: (714) 760-4876



Also @noddles shared some intel that they have doughnuts with Harry’s Berries strawberries this past weekend. That was in the opposite direction of my weekend travels so I missed it.


Haven’t asked directly but by the looks of it, all things strawberries are from Harry’s Berries. :grin:



Some consider them better than Sidecar!!!


Time for another trip. Great write up and pictures as usual @Chowseeker1999. Frying donuts to order makes such a difference.


I rarely eat them because they’re sooo bad for you… and Idk if I’ll be in Tustin ever. But! I :hearts: Donuts! And those look f-ing delicious!!

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Hi @noddles and All,

Thanks. We just confirmed with the manager and YES! Oliboli is using Harry’s Berries’ Organic Strawberries for all of their Strawberry Donuts! :open_mouth: :heart: :blush:

No wonder the Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Donut was so ridiculous!


Hi @js76wisco,

Thank you again for the recommendation and early reports. :slight_smile:

Awesome review and I’m glad you guys enjoyed it, my Go-tos are The Strawbery Donut (when Harry’s berries are in season), the Meyer Lemon donut and the Chocolate with Cacao nibs


Thanks for checking, @Chowseeker1999! Love their strawberry items so much.

This - especially considering Brooke was the original baker for Sidecar and has since moved on to, as we all now know, her own place in Oliboli with the fam. While still good, Sidecar has been on the downhill for the past few years in my experience.


Pretty sure I have never had better donuts than these two from February. Dayum, Oliboli.


I got a feeling Oliboli is gonna be LA FTC choice for donuts.

I’m on the east coast now and Dunkin is the worst donuts I ever had. Having places like Oliboli/Sidecar and mom-n-pop Cambodian places (which btw those donuts are way better than Dunkin) don’t take California donuts for granted!


HI @EattheWorldLA,

Nice! What flavors were they? I don’t think I saw them on the menu when we went, but it’s not surprising as they rotate in new seasonal flavors often. :slight_smile:

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I grew up on the East Coast and never understood the love for Dunkin. Their donuts are terrible. When they started opening up in the LA area I told my coworkers to stay away, LA has so many better donut shops than Dunkin, but they were curious to try anyway, and they told me I was right :laughing:. Maybe it’s a nostalgia thing for some people, because I remember for birthday parties in elementary school, kids would bring in a big box of Dunkin donut holes.


Donut holes were the best but I generally agree dunkin is terrible. I also loved their breakfast sandwiches when I was a kid so I think for me the bar was just really low.

It’s definitely nostalgia. In NYC lots of kids used to bring in Munchkins for their birthday. Dunkin is not good but people love their coffee.

Most people I know from the East Coast love Dunkin just for their coffee. We made a visit to our CT offices ages ago and the team there was so excited because it was an excuse to order Dunkin for coffee and doughnuts. I’m not a huge coffee fan, so I skipped both. At the time I lived close to Donut Man…enough said.

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Dunkin was the only place to consistently get black iced coffee in the winter 15 years ago so it was a must for me. Whether it is 100% nostalgia or not it seemed a lot better when it was “time to make the donuts” vs having them obviously not made on premises when I was a kid.

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Thanks for the warning @hanhgry (and @JeetKuneBao). I have avoided Dunkin thanks to some co-workers and FTC over the years. :wink:

I think you’ll like Oliboli @hanhgry, and it’s only a few minutes away from Little Saigon, where you can enjoy Cococane and all of the other other delicious eats, should you decide to head south. Oh, and it’s just down the street from Cream Pan if you haven’t tried it yet, for another bang x bang. :slight_smile:


Why would you order donuts at Dunkin - nobody (beside tourists) is doing it here