Check Out The Apple Fritters At Firecakes - Chicago

Firecakes' doughnuts have staying power

It's easy to get distracted at Firecakes, the new doughnut shop from chef Jonathan Fox of La Madia.

But you'd do well to resist the siren call of butterscotch frosting, chocolate-hazelnut cream or lemon verbena meringue, and try the apple fritter ($3) first.

It's an exemplary version of the traditional sweet, so often a hulking, over-glazed behemoth. Fox sources Macintosh and Granny Smith apples from Michigan's Klug Farm, cooking them with vanilla bean, cinnamon and mace before folding them into yeast dough.

We'll still make the occasional journey to Old Fashioned Donuts to pay homage to its classic version, but this fritter–dense, moist and brushed with apple cider glaze–is our new benchmark.

The chocolate doughnut ($3) is also a requisite. Nearly brownie-like, its complex dark-chocolate flavor enhanced by coffee and a touch of buttermilk, it's topped with Valrhona chocolate glaze and cocoa nibs.

And then there's the jelly doughnut ($3), currently filled with a thick preserve of Klug Farms raspberries simmered with blood orange, lemon and lime.

Our two complaints: that there's only La Colombe coffee on hand, not tea, and that we couldn't purchase a pot of the raspberry preserves to take home and eat by the spoonful.