The Luther Burger: A Doughnut Bacon Cheeseburger

Luther Burger: A Doughnut Bacon Cheeseburger

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 22 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1431 Calories
86g Fat
94g Carbs
67g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 1431
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 86g 110%
Saturated Fat 36g 178%
Cholesterol 244mg 81%
Sodium 1895mg 82%
Total Carbohydrate 94g 34%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 67g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 779mg 60%
Iron 9mg 51%
Potassium 990mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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, such as Krispy Kreme

  • 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.

    Ingredients for the Luther burger: a doughnut bacon cheeseburger recipe gathered

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

    Fry the bacon in a cast-iron skillet

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

    Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel

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

    Slice the doughnut in half

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  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.

    Toast the doughnut halves

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

    Shape the beef patty into a ball

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  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.

    Heat the cast-iron skillet and add the meat

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

    Flip the meat ball and smash slowly

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

    Let the burger cook

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

    Flip the burger and add cheese

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

    Cover until the cheese has melted

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

    Add the bacon

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  13. Serve immediately and enjoy.

    Luther burger: a doughnut bacon cheeseburger recipe

    The Spruce Eats

Recipe Variations

  • You can add other condiments to the Luther burger to your taste. For example, include 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 with a glazed doughnut of your choice.


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