In 1938, the first-ever National Donut Day was celebrated in Chicago, and the history of The Salvation Army’s Donut Lassies was officially immortalized. In 1917, these women were sent to France to establish field bases near the front lines. In makeshift huts, thousands of soldiers would come to stock up on essential goods and grab a sweet treat baked by the Lassies.
Both the presence of these courageous women and the donuts that tasted of home brought a light of hope and happiness to the battlefield — a much-needed morale boost for languishing soldiers. In fact, the Donut Lassies are also credited with popularizing the donut in the United States after the troops (commonly known as “doughboys”) came back from fighting in Europe. And still today, over a hundred years later, The Salvation Army continues to serve on the front lines through a wide range of social services for the most vulnerable Americans.
Below, you’ll find our century-old recipe so you can bake and share these sweet treats with whomever needs them most.
Yield: 2 dozen donuts
National media relations are handled by The Salvation Army National Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, and its public relations consultant, Lerma Agency.