Ambergre Sloan serves up gourmet, almost guilt-free doughnuts from her bright turquoise truck on the streets of Charleston.
IF YOU LOVE EATING DOUGHNUTS but can’t stand the nutritional guilt (or the extra pounds) that come with the traditional variety, Charleston’s Diggity Doughnuts has the answer.
Diggity Doughnuts doesn’t have a fixed storefront, but the truck is usually parked at Coast Brewery (1250 North 2nd St., North Charleston) on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood (2130 Mount Pleasant St., Charleston) on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
This mobile bakery makes fresh doughnuts in a myriad of flavors—all with whole-grain unbleached flours, cane sugar and organic soymilk. No eggs or dairy are used, and if you need sugar-free or gluten-free, that’s no problem, either. These doughnuts are all natural, which means there are no preservatives, and nothing artificial, chemical or fake is added. But don’t think this means flavor is sacrificed in the name of nutrition.
“Doughnuts don’t need to have 45 ingredients to be good,” says owner Ambergre Sloan. “I wanted to make something that people like myself could feel a little better about eating, a doughnut that was made with ingredients you could actually pronounce. A treat that was kind of ‘bad’ but secretly you know it’s not going to ruin your day with guilt.”
Though the Diggity Doughnuts truck may be small, the menu is anything but. Sloan turns out new vegan recipes and changes her menu daily. Stop by the truck and you can find traditional flavors like chocolate sprinkled with coconut or mint, as well as Sloan’s more complex creations: mojito, pomegranate, lemon and dark chocolate, strawberry-jalapeno, cranberry, orange, sweet potato and oatmeal raisin cookie.
If you’re looking for a really sweet treat, the tamarind doughnut, which tastes like a sweet tart, may be up your alley. And, if you want something sweet and spicy, try the peanut butter and sriracha (a Vietnamese chili paste Sloan has turned into a glaze). People go crazy for the creamy sweetness melted with the spicy kick, and Sloan says the flavor was a runaway hit from day one.
Sloan draws her inspiration from flavors found worldwide. She’s used elements of Spanish, Moroccan, Danish and Japanese baking in her own recipes to create doughnuts that are not only better for you, but taste better, too.
“Doughnuts don’t have to be predictable,” Sloan says. “I make small-batch, craft doughnuts. I want to keep it interesting and exciting.”Classic flavors, like cinnamon and sugar, are $2 each, and specialty flavors, such as key lime pie, are $2.50. You can also pick up a hot or cold organic drink to sip alongside your doughnut. Iced Malaysian milk tea, mochaccinos and unsweetened pomegranate green tea are popular in summer, and organic dark roast coffees and flavored lattes are popular in winter.
The ability to deliver her doughnuts city-wide was what lured Sloan to a food truck. And while being a bakery on wheels may have its limitations, taking vegan doughnuts to the masses often offers sweet rewards.
“There are a lot of kids with milk allergies or egg allergies,” Sloan says. “I’ve had many happy moms say, ‘My 5-year-old has never had a doughnut until now.’ ”