A friend tipped me off to an unusual Reuben-themed offering at the Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio, in the Cincinnati area. The Starlight building is a rather non-descript, unassuming building on a side street in an older part of town. We were able to find a space to park across the street and entered, not knowing what to expect.

Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.
Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.

On their October 2022 specialty flavors menu, they offered the “Reuben Dip” doughnut and described it as follows: “48 hour toasted caraway studded brioche doughnut, filled with a scratch made reuben dip composed of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, and thousand island dressing - served hot.”

We obviously had to get there before the end of October so that we could try it.

The Reuben Dip Doughnuts from Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.
The Reuben Dip Doughnuts from Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.

Once inside the doughnut shop, we were greeted by the owner, Ben Griewe, and his father, Denny. They were very friendly and said that the Reuben Dip wasn’t in the display case because it’s made fresh and hot when ordered. We ordered some of the Reuben Dip doughnuts along with a couple of other varieties.

Katherine Rowland selects doughnuts. Owner Ben Griewe and his father, Denny, are behind the counter.
Katherine Rowland selects doughnuts. Owner Ben Griewe and his father, Denny, are behind the counter.

My wife and I both ate one of the Reuben Dip doughnuts when we got back to our car, and I had bought another one to take home.

The Reuben dip is nestled in the middle of a savory brioche doughnut. In the doughnut itself, in the ring around the “dip” area, you can definitely taste the egg ingredients, and it was soft and delicious. The caraway seeds that they had rolled the doughnut in before frying were noticeable in a few of the bites but certainly didn’t overwhelm anything.

A Reuben Dip Doughnut from Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.
A Reuben Dip Doughnut from Starlight Doughnut Lab in Norwood, Ohio.

The Reuben dip itself had a good sauerkraut flavor and nice little chunks of corned beef mixed in. It was both a little creamy and crunchy. The cream cheese mixed with Swiss cheese served the dip well and there was just a hint of Thousand Island tang. Overall, the dip portion of the doughnut, since it had to fit into such a small diameter hole, was rather small, but Starlight was able to do a good job mixing the ingredients so that all of the vital flavors made their appearance. Despite the proportion of brioche doughnut to the dip being obviously heavier toward the doughnut side, the whole package worked well and definitely tasted satisfying.

Whatever proportions Starlight Doughnut Labs used in their dip recipe would really serve well for a number of Reuben-flavored concoctions, but the savory doughnut that they use was a perfect match.

Hopefully they will bring back this specialty flavor in the future. You can access their Instagram page here: Starlight Doughnut Lab.