18th – 26th May 2024

Registration is open for National Doughnut 2024 via the easy to use website.

Bakers, cafes, bistros, delicatessens, coffee shops and small businesses can take part in the week which raises funds for The Children's Trust. All the money raised during the week goes directly to the charity which delivers rehabilitation, education and community services to help children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability to live the best life possible.

James Dedman, General Manager CSM Ingredients UK & Ireland, said:

“We are encouraging all bakeries of all sizes, cafes, delis, restaurants and foodservice operators to sign up this very special fundraising week. National Doughnut Week channels every penny raised directly to The Children’s Trust and every doughnut sold helps the important work that the charity carries out.  Registration is easy to do via the National Doughnut Week website which includes downloadable resources. There’s also an updated bakery finder so visitors to the site can quickly locate local participating bakers.”

Michelle Martin, Director of Fundraising and Communications at The Children’s Trust, said:

“We are thrilled to be supported by National Doughnut Week again this year. The support of every baker, café and customer makes a huge difference to the children and young people we support. Not only do they love getting involved in the week itself, but every penny raised helps us provide life-changing rehabilitation, care and education support to children with brain injury and neurodisability who need us most, and their families. Thank you for your support – happy baking!”

About The Children’s Trust

Every year 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness and many have to live with ongoing, long-term difficulties. The Children’s Trust gives children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability opportunities to live the best life possible by providing specialist rehabilitation, education and community services across the UK.

The history of National Doughnut Week 

Christopher Freeman of Dunns Bakery set up National Doughnut Week in 1992 after watching the harrowing report on the Ethiopian famine by Michael Buerk and wanted to use his craft and industry to also help children in need.

Since then he has gone to raise vital over a million pounds for two charities including the current beneficiary The Children’s Trust, has been the with the most recent The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury receiving over half a million pounds and counting.

Speaking about National Doughnut Week Karen Dear, CEO of the Craft Bakers Association said:

“The CBA has been supporting National Doughnut Week for over 25 years.  The week, which will run once again in May 2024, is dedicated to raising funds for The Children’s Trust, which supports children who have acquired a brain injury and provides therapy, rehabilitation and support for parents during which is undoubtedly the toughest time in their lives. The CBA continues to encourage its members to get involved with the week and to raise as much money as it possibly can for this fantastic charity. Year on year we see more members taking part and the donations from buying one doughnut, from participating bakeries can change a family’s life. Make sure you get involved in 2024.”


  • 1992 - National Doughnut Week launches and makes its first ever cheque donation 
  • 1993 - Christopher Freeman wins Innovation of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards for National Doughnut Week
  • 1994 - Actress Lynda Bellingham launches National Doughnut Week
  • 2022 - The Order of Mercy Award for Christopher Freeman wads presented by Lord Lingfield in recognition of fundraising

“When we started National Doughnut Week our goal was simple – for bakers to raise as much money as they could by selling one of the UK’S favour favourite treats, doughnuts.  We’ve been doing that now for over 30 years and to reach over £1million is remarkable.” Christopher Freeman

The history of the doughnut

Did you know that records show that doughnuts could have been created in the UK? Here's a history of everyone’s favourite treat..

It’s claimed that an early version of a deep fried doughnut originated in Ancient Rome when people started frying dough and putting sugar or cinnamon on it. 

The cookbook Küchenmeisterei (Mastery of the Kitchen), published in Nuremberg in 1485, offers a recipe for "Gefüllte Krapfen", sugar free, stuffed, fried dough cakes.[5]

Dutch settlers brought olykoek ("oil(y) cake") to New York or what known at the time as New Amsterdam in the early 18th century. These looked like current ones but no ring.

The most interesting UK related fact is that a recipe for fried dough "nuts" was published, in 1750 England, under the title "How to make Hertfordshire Cakes, Nuts and Pincushions”, in The Country Housewife’s Family Companion by William Ellis so they can be claimed to have originated here in the UK[1]

A recipe labelled "dow nuts", again from Hertfordshire was also found in a book of recipes and domestic tips written around 1800, by the wife of Baron Thomas Dimsdale, the recipe being given to the dowager Baroness by an acquaintance who transcribed for her the cooking instructions for a "dow nut".

The first cookbook using the near conventional "dough nuts" spelling was possibly the 1803 edition of "The Frugal Housewife: Or, Complete Woman Cook", which included dough nuts in an appendix of American recipes.

The most popular and stated fact is that one of the earliest mentions of "dough-nut" was in Washington Irving's 1809 book A History of New York, from the Beginning of the World to the End of the Dutch Dynasty:

“Balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called dough-nuts, or olykoeks.” [2]

However Hanson Gregory, an American, claimed to have invented the ring-shaped doughnut in 1847 aboard a lime-trading ship when he was 16 years old. Gregory was dissatisfied with the greasiness of doughnuts twisted into various shapes and with the raw centre of regular doughnuts. He claimed to have punched a hole in the centre of dough with the ship's tin pepper box, and to have later taught the technique to his mother.[30] Smithsonian Magazine states that his mother, Elizabeth Gregory, "made a wicked deep-fried dough that cleverly used her son's spice cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind," and "put hazelnuts or walnuts in the centre, where the dough might not cook through", and called the food 'doughnuts'.[[3]


[1] The Chicago Review Press 2014

[2] “Harper, Douglas. "doughnut"Online Etymology Dictionary.

[3] "History, Travel, Arts, Science, People, Places | Smithsonian". Retrieved 2015-06-10