By Matt Mueller Culture Editor Published Oct 27, 2020 at 7:01 PM

Dunkin' is famous for its hot coffee, but now the nationwide chain is making headlines for a different kind of hot: spicy doughnuts. 

Yes, in honor of Halloween, Dunkin' reintroduced its cutely creepy spider doughnut (AKA an orange-frosted ring with a chocolate doughnut hole in the center and some chocolate frosting for legs). But the true taste-bud terror on the menu is the new spicy ghost pepper doughnut. The base pastry is just a classic doughnut, but it comes topped with strawberry icing mixed with a mix of cayenne and ghost peppers, plus sprinkles. Because nothing with sprinkles can hurt you, right?!

Well, that's the very important and very unexpected question OnMilwaukee dining expert Lori Fredrich and I sought to answer today as we snagged ourselves ghost pepper doughnuts from Dunkin' and met up on Facebook Live to nosh our paranormal pastries.

Would these new creations truly haunt our taste buds? Or would these just new breakfast snacks be as scary as a basket of puppies? Let's take a bite:

Credit where credit is due: These fire-red doughnuts were spicier than either of us expected, though admittedly that's not saying much. I expected these napalm-inspired pastries to bring about the same level of heat as an iced dunkaccino. And yet, there's a legitimate flickering flame of burn that comes from the cayenne and ghost pepper-infused frosting, and it's a heat that sustains throughout the process of eating the doughnut; but that heat is most likely from the cayenne since you'd be able to tell if the ghost pepper was making its presence known. If you're looking for something to wake up your taste buds while coffee wakes up your brain, these treats will do the trick. 

It's certainly the spiciest doughnut I've ever tasted. That being said ... who wants to eat a spicy doughnut? My brain suffered some extreme cognitive dissonance during our taste test, trying to grasp why this fluffy and caky doughnut, inherently sweet with the strawberry frosting and sweet doughnut base, was suddenly tasting like someone lit a small match in my mouth.

In the end, Dunkin' succeeded in creating a spicy doughnut; but to quote a favorite scary movie, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."

For more FoodCrush Live taste tests, click here – and be sure to listen to the FoodCrush podcast, with new episodes dropping every Wednesday!

Matt Mueller Culture Editor

As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.

When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.