Sonja's celebrates 10th anniversary with donuts

ILLUSTRATOR Sasha Martinez

Red velvet probably would have managed to enter our lives one way or another, but it wouldn't have had the same impact or charm as when Cupcakes by Sonja sold it to us via a picturesque crimson package finished with luscious cocoa-sprinkled cream cheese frosting. We'd like to think that desserts aren't gender-particular, but we are aware that girls are more likely to think about sprinkles and icing. It was the reserved Sonja Ocampo who made even the brawniest, gym-obsessed stereotype go weak in the knees for a handheld, cream-topped heaven. 

But now even Cupcakes by Sonja is stepping out of the frenzy that they themselves started back in 2006 when they were the only reason anyone would brave a drive to "Fort." Cupcakes, while always desirable, have become a thing of the past. This year, everything is all about fried confectionary—from churros to beignets to the current snack du jour, the mother of all fried pastry, a good donut.

Always in search of the best desserts, the cupcake maven spent a year trying to find the perfect donut. After going through the U.S. and Italy, she found her answer in London's Bread Ahead Bakery. She trained with Justin Gellatly directly to come up with her own amazing interpretation of a bomboloni.

Sonja's donuts will be launched as a limited edition in time for their 10th anniversary. There will be a dozen flavors because, like eggs and hotdog buns, donuts are better when they come in 12: Vanilla Bean, Creme Caramel, Chai, Cafe ai Lait, Truffle, Olive Oil and Basil, Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate, Mixed Berries and Cream, Toasted Rice, Gianduja, and Cacio e Pepe


Expectations have to be managed when you bite into one of the more savory flavors. While they're not undesirable, the earthy magic of the Truffle might come as a shock when you're used to sweeter chocolate, Bavarian, and strawberry. Even the Cacio e Pepe, a cheese and cracked pepper combination usually seen in pasta or risotto, is rather enjoyable once the initial surprise winds down. Think of it as an excuse to enjoy donuts as an actual meal and not just a dessert. That way, you can have the Vanilla Bean for dessert. We know Homer Simpson would be happy. 

Ocampo has come full circle. The bomboloni will be available from October 28 to 31 at the original Serendra branch. 

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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