East Central Iowa · Family Adventures

The Iowa City Expedition-Part Three: A Trip Down Dingleberry For IC’s BEST Donut

The best part of the year for all your appley goodness! It's fall at Wilson's Orchard 4823 Dingleberry RD NE Iowa City, IA 319-354-5651
The best part of the year for all your appley goodness! It’s fall at Wilson’s Orchard.
4823 Dingleberry RD NE
Iowa City, IA
319-354-5651

Iowa City, IA: Johnson County

This article is NOT gluten free. It’s NOT free of sugar. And I feel like a better man for announcing that I crave a donut, from time to time, and my favorite place to go isn’t any of the local shops that specialize in one of the finest pastry inventions in food history. Some of them come close but close isn’t good enough when my inner Homer Simpson starts to channel my gullet. Some of the areas grocery and convenience stores do well, but for me……..they are still second, third and fourth best. When I can feel my own pulse in my sweet tooth, I head to Dingleberry Road. And then take a sudden right to Wilson’s Orchard and proceed directly to their Apple Cider Donut case. Team Goodvin made the trip, but I clearly called “firsties” on our way there and made sure that no one got in my way. Like a fat kid prancing in line for a donut, this fat kid (me) was prancing in line for a donut.

The most comforting sign at the orchard.
The most comforting sign at the orchard.
Don't talk. Just watch. And then move the hell out of my way! Apple Cider Donuts at Wilson's Apple Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
Don’t talk. Just watch. And then move the hell out of my way! Apple Cider Donuts at Wilson’s Apple Orchard near Iowa City, IA.

I guess I’m a little partial to Wilson’s Apple Cider Donuts. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good maple glazed Long John topped with bacon. Or a creme filled chocolate Bavarian. I’ve been known to breakdown and drown my sorrows over a huge cup of coffee and dunk away a couple bear claws while trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered life. (I actually have a great life but when your fantasy football team fails to make the playoffs, two years in a row, you start to wonder where it all went wrong) All quality choices, but there’s something to be said about simplicity and the execution of doing what you do best and never steering away from it. Sure they could tweak their recipe a little. Perhaps glaze it with a spiced frosting. Garnish them with caramelized slivered apples or stuff them with a caramel filling. All would be wonderful, but why do that? I’ll tell you why! Because Wilson’s has enough on their plate and why worry about the donuts when you don’t need to. Turn the whole orchard into a giant Scottish renaissance theme park, if you want, but don’t mess with the donuts!

This view you see just past the entrance. At Wilson's Apple Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
This view of the Wilson’s Orchard valley that’s just past the entrance. At Wilson’s Apple Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
Did I mention they get a little busy? At Wilson's Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
Did I mention they get a little busy? At Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
We make our way up one of the slopes to handpick our apples! At Wilson's Orchard near Iowa City, IA,
We make our way up one of the slopes to handpick our apples! At Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City, IA,

Two of Iowa City’s biggest celebrities awaits the Wilson legions to guide them through the proud orchard. Don’t leave without meeting Jack and hitching a ride on his prized tractor named Bessie. Not only will Jack take you to the heart of the orchard, but some of Johnson County’s most scenic views can be observed while you walk up and down the rows of trees or while getting tugged along by Bessie. You’re allowed to take your time at Wilson’s. And Jack will pick you up.

Jack and Bessie. Jack is the one in the blue sweatshirt. At Wilson's Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
Jack and Bessie. Jack is the one in the blue sweatshirt. At Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City, IA.
Rain has been plentiful in Iowa this year. The creek snakes its way through the valley of the orchard.
Rain has been plentiful in Iowa this year. The creek snakes its way through the valley of the orchard.
Wilson's grows many varieties of apples and they do a great job of categorizing each row of trees. They even put a QR code on the sign for all you smart phones out there.
Wilson’s grows many varieties of apples and they do a great job of categorizing each row of trees. They even put a QR code on the sign for all you smart phones out there.

I believe the best donut in Johnson County is at Wilson’s and that’s the main reason I visit this wonderful orchard. I’d be a liar if I didn’t partake in many of the other housemade masterpieces at Wilson’s. Come for the donuts and stay for the pies, turnovers, hot cider and more! Going to Wilson’s also means we get to dive into another Iowa City staple. And that would be the Heyn’s cinnamon ice cream! Heyn’s has made it to legendary level among Iowa City citizens. There shop is located in the southeast part of town and is proud to supply Wilson’s Orchard with their local ice cream. My kids would throw flaming road flares at my head if I tried to leave without letting them have a bowl of Heyn’s before leaving Wilson’s. So I don’t let that happen. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Heyns-Ice-Cream/120886011258668

Heyn's Ice Cream 811 South 1st AVE Iowa City, IA 319-354-1981
Heyn’s Ice Cream
811 South 1st AVE
Iowa City, IA
319-354-1981
Like pulling the sword from the stone, Leah proudly displays her Wilson's Orchard caramel apple with peanuts!
Like pulling the sword from the stone, Leah proudly displays her Wilson’s Orchard caramel apple with peanuts!
This table of samples welcomes in every visitor inside the showroom at Wilson's Orchard.
This table of samples welcomes in every visitor inside the showroom at Wilson’s Orchard.
The piping hot turnovers are amazing! Wilson's has the technique down to a fine art. They dice the apples for the filling and it assures you get a mouthful of Wilson's home grown apples in every bite!
The piping hot turnovers are amazing! Wilson’s has the technique down to a fine art. They dice the apples for the filling and it assures that you get a mouthful of Wilson’s home grown apples in every bite!
Brain freeze...Wilson's Orchard style. Monica enjoying the Apple Cider Slushy!
Brain freeze…Wilson’s Orchard style. Monica enjoying the Apple Cider Slushy!

I write this article with great sadness. Only because I’m out of the epic donuts that I love so much. The time will come to make the journey down good ole Dingleberry Road again and again. And I’ll chuckle like a nine year old every time I see the road sign. Then I’ll compose myself and get a gameplan for those donuts. Thank you, Wilson’s Orchard!
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2 thoughts on “The Iowa City Expedition-Part Three: A Trip Down Dingleberry For IC’s BEST Donut

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