“First I made it for myself, and then for my family,” says DelaCruz about the creation of the doughnut. His latest creation rested on a cake platform; he used tweezers to apply individual flakes of gold all over it.
“And now you’re making it for the world,” I offer. Journalists from Forbes had just left the restaurant; publications everywhere could not get over this $100 pastry. DelaCruz’s sister, Toki, who runs the restaurant along with their third sibling, Sam, said people were calling internationally to have golden doughnuts delivered to their friends in New York.
“Well, not the [whole] world,” DelaCruz responds. “Only those who can appreciate the golden doughnut.”
This, after all, was a doughnut filled with edible riches: Royal Purple ube mousse, ’97 Cristal champagne jelly that “‘[is] almost like a Cristal jello shot” when you bite into it. And then there is the gold. “I put medium or smaller flakes on [top] so it gets this crinkly effect,” DelaCruz says. He blows on it, to demonstrate. It looks like it’s exploding in golden lava. “Yeah, it catches the light and it really makes it sparkle,” he says. Beneath all those little flakes, the doughnut is swaddled in sheets and sheets of 24-karat baking gold. “I’m not one to say I can only afford to put three sheets of gold on it—it usually takes four to five,” says DelaCruz. “I just used six sheets of gold here. Now it looks done.”
“Yeah, now it looks like it is absolutely dripping in gold,” I say.
“Yeah, that’s what it should be,” says Delacruz. “You have no idea how amazing it is.”
I didn’t.—but I was about to. DelaCruz had offered to give a golden doughnut to our office, so that we could find out first-hand what eating one hundred dollars of glitzed-out fried dough felt like. DelaCruz’s sister put my golden doughnut inside a round black case that looked like a hat box, and secured it with a big purple ribbon. She handed me the package and I accepted, humbled, and walked out in possession of a golden doughnut.
DelaCruz, gilding the golden doughnut. (Natalie Rinn)
At the office I was greeted like a celebrity—that’s not normal. They knew I was coming, and what I carried. I unwrapped the doughnut, as all crowded around me, craning their necks to get a first glimpse of the fried crown jewel. The lid came off, the audience gasped. It was just so gold.
After everyone took a lot of pictures of the doughnut in various settings, I cut into it, and took a bite. Cameras went crazy as I put the first yam-Cristal-gold nugget in my mouth. It tasted… like a mousse-filled doughnut. Airy. With a sweet golden finish. Honestly, the gold was the best part. The Cristal jelly—the world’s most expensive jello shot—my least favorite.
Don’t worry, I didn’t eat the whole thing on my own. That would be so selfish! This was DelaCruz’s gift to us all. Here are some in-office reaction highlights:
“The grease taste of a classic doughnut was still the predominant flavor lol.”
“Personally, I take my Cristal straight and not in jelly form. But I’d do it again to feel like Kanye once more.”
“Full disclosure: I also had a doughnut this morning (whoops) and I honestly can’t decide which one was better. Like, this one was good, but it didn’t taste like $100? But again, it’s really pretty. And shiny. And it made me feel important, like I can now rub elbows with the rich and famous (or at least some Real Housewives), so, there’s that.”
“That purple mousse–purple! fit for a royal!–was as airy as a cloud, perfectly curbing what could’ve been an overpowering richness. Bernie Sanders wouldn’t like this doughnut, but I bet Kanye West would.”
“The symbolic juxtaposition of earthy root vegetables with the traditional icons of wealth and royalty come together on a canvas of dough, representing the fateful disappearance of the middle class.”
“I didn’t eat the donut, because I don’t live in America, but just thinking about it makes me feel like Scrooge McDuck if Scrooge McDuck’s money pit was full of delicious, delicious carbs.”
There you have it. DelaCruz can’t exactly give these doughnuts away left and right, so if you don’t wanna pay one hundred giant ones to experience your own golden doughnut, reading this is possibly the closest you will ever get to knowing what it’s really like to eat so much luxury. Was it worth it? Well, yes—we got it for free, so definitely. And we also got to eat a doughnut. Should you do it? Hey, you might never get the chance to eat this amount of gold in the same pastry for the rest of your life. And life is all about experiencing a lot of weird shit, telling your friends about it, and having a great Instagram game.
So—final analysis? You live only once. Eat a golden doughnut.