Top 5 Dunkin' Donuts Dozen Combinations

Picking up a dozen donuts for some houseguests, the office crew or, um, just yourself on that lonely weekend night seems initially like a simple favor and easy act of generosity...that is, until you're standing at the counter of Dunkin' Donuts and find yourself completely flummoxed as to which and how many flavors to include. To prevent yourself from becoming completely embittered by what should be a delightful errand, here are five dozen combinations to try:

5. The Pedestrian Pleaser. Select: 6 Glazed, 6 Cake. Most people, I have found, who eat donuts like, or at least are okay with, glazed or cake donuts. They may not be the most exciting forms of the baked good, but their sugary, sticky/hearty simplicity is likely to please a wide spectrum. Best combo for a mixed family crowd with finicky child eaters and old farts completely resistant to anything but mild flavors.

4. "Fruit" Fun. Select: 2 Apple Crumb, 3 Blueberry Cake, 3 Frosted Strawberry, 2 Lemon Glazed, 2 Key Lime. For those who appreciate some citrus and berry tang in their donuts. The scare quotes, BTW, are to acknowledge that I don't think all of these donuts actually contain fruit. But you're not eating donuts to satisfy your RDA requirements. Fruit-flavored processed mass-produced baked goods may not be your cup of tea (but if they are, come to think of it, you should have them with tea).

3. Autumnal Assortment. Select: 4 Cinnamon Cake, 4 Frosted Maple Kreme, 4 Caramel Spice. Believe it or not, we're on the tail end of summer, which means all those fall-themed goodies will start appearing at our favorite corporate chains. Now, it's uncertain whether Houston locations will carry these seasonal varieties though they will if they know what's good for them, but perhaps this post will nudge them in the right direction. If all else fails, substitute in donuts frosted in fall colors.

2. Nut for the Allergic. Select: 4 Butternut, 4 PB&J, 4 Peanut Butter Kreme. Double-check on your companions' allergies before surprising them with this assortment (and don't even think about taking it to an elementary school). But if legumes are legal in your environment, this group of donuts boasts some crunch, savory flavors and/or texture contrasts not found in other varieties.

3. Chocoholic Collection. Select: 4 Glazed Chocolate Cake, 4 Chocolate Frosted Cocoa, 4 Chocolate Kreme-Filled. Exclusive flavor themes are fun; they're also a good way to alienate weirdos from your donut haul. Dunkin's assorted varieties of chocolate donuts taste sufficiently cocoa-y to satisfy chocolate-lovers but aren't so rich that you can only eat just one. Tip: Bring chocolate milk to pair with this batch.

1. Fillings Fantasmagoria. Select: 3 Boston Kreme, 3 Bavarian Kreme, 3 Vanilla Kreme/Peanut Butter Kreme, 3 Jelly. Only donuts with interiors sweeter than their exteriors need apply for this collection. What's almost as much fun as stuffing yourself with friends on those bloated beauties? Slapping them to expel the contents all over your neighbor. What, you're too mature? YOU'RE EATING A FROSTED BAKED GOOD FOR BREAKFAST.