Busken’s Lite-Hearted Donut: The Latest in Cheeky Sweets

Written By Caroline in Articles, Reviews

One Clean Plate - Busken Bakery - Lite-Hearted Donut by Caroline Wik

A dozen hearts that won’t break yours.

Busken Bakery’s Lite-Hearted Donuts and OTR Pop-Up Shop

Over the Rhine
1218 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202

Rating: 4 out of 5 Plates
Hours: Thursday: 7:00 p.m. – Midnight
Friday & Saturday: 7:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.


Did you know Busken makes more than those smiley-face cookies?

Indeed, it’s true. Although they are most known for the cookies and cheeky-billboard advertisements Busken makes lots of other baked goodies – including donuts. And now, they’re making a special donut just for the calorie-counters out there. Because who doesn’t want something sweet every so often while dieting?

Cheekily-named the Lite-Hearted Donut, the new low-calorie pastry is a heart-shaped glazed donut with only 140 calories, 2.5 grams fat, and no trans-fat or saturated fat. For reference, a normal glazed donut from Busken is 300 calories and 16 grams fat which makes the Lite-Hearted donut just a bit less than half the calories.

This is not Busken’s first venture into diet-food land, in fact the most popular is its Skinny Cookie, a lower calorie sibling to the Busken Original Iced Cookie. In just three years Busken has already sold over 890,000 of the Skinny Cookies.


I think it’s pretty common for people to have very low expectations of “low-calorie” or “light” versions of full-fat treats, and generally this skepticism is earned. So, cup of coffee in hand, we prepared to try them.

One Clean Plate - Busken Bakery - Lite-Hearted Donut by Caroline Wik

Just like a regular donut – these fluffy little hearts are sweet and soak up coffee well.

At first glance the Lite-Hearted donut looks no different than a normal donut – other than, you know, the shape – and you can smell them through the box. They’re fluffy and even hold coffee well when dunked.

The icing is very rich, and there’s a hint of lemon too – reminiscent of a royal icing. Whether dunked or un-dunked, these literally tasted just like most glazed donuts we’ve had (aside from the lemon). Considering these are “diet” donuts, we were stunned at just how good they were, and how they didn’t have any odd taste one would normally expect. The donuts could probably do with a touch less sugar, but other than that we really don’t have any complaints.

The Lite-Hearted Donut is available at all 10 Busken Bakery locations as well as at several United Dairy Farmers and Remke-Biggs locations.

In addition to releasing the Lite-Hearted Donut, Busken has also announced a pop-up shop open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting February 14th and running until March 16th located at 1218 Vine St. Between A Tavola and Sloane Boutique. There visitors will not only be able to sample free donuts but also view a gallery of installations that tell the story of the Lite-Hearted Donut. It’s set up to show the “late-night” side of Busken, being open from 7:00 p.m. until midnight on Thursdays and 7:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Check back soon for a review of the pop-up shop.

Want to see some more pictures of these sweet hearts? Find more over in our Busken’s Lite-Hearted Donut Photo Gallery on Facebook. While you are there, be sure to Like us too!

Verdict: You Would Never Know It’s Half the Calories

I’m not certain by what witchcraft they’ve pulled it off but Busken has managed to make a low calorie glazed treat that actually tastes as good as its full calorie cousin. The royal icing style glaze gives just a little kick of lemon that blends with the sweetness to make a perfect pairing for coffee – something every donut should aspire to. The consistency also fell right between fluffy and firm making them stand up well to dunking without needed to be hard as a rock.

If you’re heading in to pick up a dozen glazed donuts and are getting worried about the calories, you’ll probably love this lighter option as a replacement. If nothing else, it means you can eat twice as many.

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