Scandinavian Donuts at Lindstrom Bakery

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Hungry or not, frequent travelers on U.S. Highway 8 through Minnesota’s Chisago County can’t help but notice the sign beckoning to them as they drive through Lindstrom. Scandinavian Donut. Regardless if it’s time for breakfast or mid-afternoon, sugar-glaze fiends may find it hard to tune out the call of sweet, flaky donuts. So if they pull over and saunter into Lindstrom Bakery, will they find a donut nirvana waiting for them?

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Sadly, no. A recent visit to Lindstrom Bakery, a mere 15 minutes after the advertised promise of “fresh and hot” rolls by 7:30 am Monday through Saturday, was beyond disappointing. The dry, seemingly day-old donuts (60¢ each) were no magical treat designed to put a sugary smile to your face and a good start to your day. Of the four varieties (plain, cinnamon and sugar, glazed, and chocolate drizzles), only the glazed and the chocolate drizzle donuts offered any comfort, with their respective toppings adding much-needed moisture.

When asked what makes the donuts Scandinavian, the woman at the counter replied, “I don’t know, dear, but they say the Scandinavian is better. It’s supposed to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.” Crunchy — nope. Soft — nope. Picture a warm, light, and fluffy Krispy Kreme donut, and then imagine its polar opposite. That’s the Scandinavian donut.

So the next time you cruise through Lindstrom, don’t let that sign tempt you. Sugary bliss does not wait for you inside. It’s a cruel lesson to learn on a cold winter’s day.

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Jill Lewis

The great-granddaughter of an Eastern European Jewish baker, Jill Lewis cannot escape her genetic predisposition to carbs. Her love of baked goods, wine, cheese and chocolate may not come in handy for her day job as a Twin Cities PR professional, but it proves infinitely helpful for her gigs as a contributing writer for The Heavy Table and the co-author of the Cheese and Champagne blog. A former resident of Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and suburban Washington, D.C., Jill now lives with her husband, two young sons and cat in St. Louis Park.

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  1. Aw, I’m sad to hear the Lindstrom Bakery didn’t deliver. I grew up not far from it and my dad used to drive out there on the odd Sunday and bring home Scandinavian donuts. They’re the reason I taught myself how to make donuts as a kid.

  2. Johnny 02/09/2010 Reply

    Back before there was a stoplight in town, these were a amazing.

  3. “a warm, light, and fluffy Krispy Kreme donut…”

    If that squishy chain crap is your gold standard donut, yeah, dude, you’re not going to like the donuts at Lindstrom Bakery. But for me, nothing – NOTHING – beats their plain donut.

    Here’s a review by someone who gets it:

  4. Maybe you had a bad batch. These are fantastic donuts. We stop here (and Eichten’s) every time we visit the inlaws in WI. Crispy on the outside, and nice and moist on the inside every time I’ve had them. I don’t know what makes them scandinavian either, but it doesn’t matter when they’re that good.

  5. This review made me stop in there today. Luckily, they are as excellent as they have always been. Ever try dunking a Krispy Kreme donut? Not gonna happen. These are a different animal, and I and many others prefer them. Light & flaky – no. You need a raised yeast donut for that. These are cake donuts, and the best around. Crunchy on the outside? Yes! Light on the inside? Not even close, but great. And pick up some Limpa Rye while you are there, after arguing with the wife whether or not to get it with orange peel. Toast it & butter it. Real authentic great food. Not affiliated – just a grateful fan.

  6. I am eating one of their donuts as I write. AWESOME!

  7. Jill, you couldn’t be more wrong. I just recently tried the Scandinavian donut, and my entire family is addicted. If you you were looking for so much sugar it makes you gag, well you can get the same old same old at the gas station down the street. These are a delicious, fresh and slightly unique take on the old-fashioned donut and better than ANYTHING I’ve had yet.

  8. I have to say I agree that the donuts there are a disappointment. I don’t care for Crispy Cremes though either!!! World’s best donuts in Grand Marais though… now we’re talking!!!!!

  9. Keith Olson 05/09/2014 Reply

    Jill Lewis could not be more wrong. These are simply the best donuts anywhere.

  10. Not ture you must have stoped late in day cuz these are really good and the best of the best

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