The Luther Burger: A Doughnut Bacon Cheeseburger

Donut Bacon Cheeseburger
Grilled Cheese Social
  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

The Luther burger, also known as a doughnut bacon cheeseburger, is no joke. It may sound strange and totally unhealthy—and it is-but this unexpected flavor combo is perfect for special occasion splurges and cheat day eats.

The Luther burger is reportedly named after R&B singer Luther Vandross and the first mention of it was in a 2006 episode of "The Boondocks." Since then, it has become a popular food at various ballparks, state fairs, and county fairs, as well as over-the-top restaurant menus.

You will use the smash method for cooking the beef patty. This method caramelizes the meat juices, providing a greater depth of flavor.

This recipe is for a single burger. You can scale it up as needed, but your cardiologist would probably not recommend you have more than one. To make it slightly healthier, use organic grass-fed beef.


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 glazed doughnut (Krispy Kreme is recommended)
  • 1/3 pound ground beef (organic grass-fed preferred)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 2 slices American Cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Begin by frying the bacon in a cast iron skillet. Turn the heat to medium and cook the bacon until crispy.

  3. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel, saving the rendered bacon grease in a small container.

  4. Next, slice your donut in half, being careful not to crush or remove any of the exterior glaze.

  5. Drizzle a little of the reserved bacon grease in the skillet and add the sliced doughnut halves, interior side down. Toast the doughnut halves until golden brown. Remove them from heat and set them aside.

  6. Meanwhile, start shaping your beef patty into a ball and sprinkling the outside with salt and pepper.

  7. Heat the cast iron skillet with the rendered bacon fat to medium-high and add the seasoned ball of beef. Let the beef ball cook for 3 to 5 minutes until crispy and golden brown.

  8. Flip the ball and smash slowly so the burger stays together.

  9. Let the burger cook for a few more minutes until the desired doneness is reached, about 5 to 10 minutes.

  10. Flip the burger one more time, add the cheese, and then remove it from the heat.

  11. Cover it for 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.

  12. Add the bacon to the top of the cheese cheeseburger patty then place it into the toasted doughnut.

  13. Serve immediately and enjoy.


  • The Luther burger is going to be messy, so make sure you have napkins handy and a sink to wash the sugary glaze off your fingers after eating.


  • You can add other condiments to the Luther burger to your taste. For example, lettuce, tomato, thinly sliced onions, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, dill pickle slices, or relish. You can get even more creative with different types of cheese or substitute with vegan bacon, turkey bacon, or even a vegetarian patty.
  • The Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut is just the right size for this burger, but you can substitute the glazed donut of your choice.