Mystery Diner: Home Cut Donuts offers nearly 50 tasty varieties

Joliet venue has been family-owned and family-operated since 1966

Nothing can make a weekday feel like a weekend more quickly than someone bringing you a surprise box of doughnuts and coffee from Home Cut Donuts in Joliet.

Doughnuts, in general, are an easy, on-the-go treat. Many Joliet area people have memories tied to Home Cut, such as getting a box to share with family or friends on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

For a long time, Home Cut Donuts was the only place to buy a doughnut on a stick. And then there’s me, who prefers a plain doughnut over all others – and Home Cut’s is outstanding.

The venue on Jefferson Street has an at-home, friendly environment. One family member said he likes watching employees actually make the doughnuts when he goes there.

Another family member said you can always tell a fresh doughnut from a day-old doughnut by the “way it feels in your mouth.” Freshly prepared doughnuts have a certain texture. We’ve never had a stale doughnut from Home Cut.

Home Cut Donuts has a large selection – really something for nearly everyone. Its website lists nearly 50 varieties of doughnuts, eclairs and strudels. The top sellers (according to the website) are angel creme, honey dip, double chocolate, Bavarian creme and jelly.

A little background on this family-owned business: Three brothers, Bill, Bob and Dave Ruhaak “invested everything that they had” and opened Home Cut Donuts in April 1966, according to the website. Bill’s son Jim took over the business in 2000. The 55th anniversary is this month.

For starters, who doesn’t like a Bavarian creme? As one family member called it, “It’s a fan favorite,” and then added, “It’s got a little chocolate on the outside and a great custard on the inside.

“But it’s not so overly [filled] that it gets soggy. It has just enough to get a bit of custard in every bite.”

The angel cream is lighter and softer, with a filling reminiscent of cake frosting. One family member is partial to them simply because it reminds that person of an older family member (no longer with us) who really liked them. So an angel creme often winds up in our box of doughnuts, just because.

One of our favorites is the buttermilk cake. It has a rich, slightly sour taste on the inside with a sweet glaze and satisfying crunch on the outside.

The glazed sour cream, on the other hand, was much sweeter. And its outside was far crunchier.

The blueberry cake has nice blueberry flavor with little bits of blueberries throughout.

The cherry cake has a fun interior color that bursts of cherries, much more than one might expect in a doughnut. That was a pleasant surprise.

Because one family member is a kid at heart, we always seem to wind up with at least one sprinkled doughnut. That person is convinced: “The chocolate one is better than the vanilla.”

And let’s not forget the coffee. We’ve seen people coming into Home Cut just as excited for a cup of Home Cut coffee as they were for one (or more) doughnuts.

And if you serve a customer a Home Cut Donuts treat, they are going to want a cup of coffee to go with it.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at Shaw Media. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff when ordering or picking up the food. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.


WHAT: Home Cut Donuts

WHERE: Main shop: 815 W. Jefferson St., Joliet; outlet: 1317 E. Washington St., Joliet

WHEN: 24 hours daily (main shop); 5 a.m. to noon Monday to Saturday and 6 a.m. to noon Sunday (outlet)

INFORMATION: Call customer service and main shop at 815-727-3511, the outlet shop at 815-726-2132 or visit