How to Make a Luther Burger

By Elizabeth Rice

A hamburger made of two donuts as buns is an old creation but still trending. The official name is the Luther Burger.

There are many places where you can get the Luther Burger including ballparks such as the ballpark for The Gateway Grizzlies in Saugut, Illinois, at many restaurants including Gourmet Burgers and Dogs in Naples, Florida, Sugar Shack Donuts in Chesterfield, VA, and at state fairs including Wisconsin State Fair with a booth by The Machine Shed.

The creator of the burger is unknown. The burger is known to be named after Luther Vandross who is a singer songwriter and record producer though.

Paula Deen stated that she was the creator during her interview on Leno. She also had an episode on her show Paula’s Home Cooking back in 2008 where the burger named the “The Lady’s Brunch Burger” appeared. She said “It came by accident, it happened by accident y’all…” on the show.

However, Bobby and Jamie Deen who are her sons stated against her that she was actually not the original creator on their Daily Mail interview. They said “You know what’s funny is that’s it not her recipe. That was a Minor League Baseball thing, and my mom did like a spoof on it. That’s the only thing really bothered me was they gave us credit for that recipe but it wasn’t even our recipe. The Minor League Baseball team did one of those things, you make the craziest things you can think of. So they made a cheeseburger on a donut. And it was on the national news cycle for about five minutes and somebody from our production team put it together. I have never tasted or seen my mom ever made a Krispy Kreme cheeseburger in my life.

The  burger has also appeared in the show The Simpson on the episode called “Bart’s Friend Falls in Love,” the episode called The Burger.

Yet Luther Burger, the restaurant, says,  “Story has it that late one night, Luther Vandross was making smashburger. When he finished cooking the patties, he realized he didn’t have enough buns, but instead a box of donuts. In the moment of panic, hunger and genius, the Luther Burger was born.” This restaurant has the options of beef burgers, turkey burgers, crab burgers, and vegan burgers.

While these burgers aren’t the healthiest and can be as up to 1,500 calories, they’re an interesting choice of meal.

Make a Luther Burger!

Total: 22 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 12 minutes

Yield: 1 serving


  • 2 slices bacon

  • 1 glazed doughnut (Krispy Kreme is recommended)

  • ⅓ pound ground beef (organic grass-fed prefered)

  • ⅛ 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.

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