It’s a funny name; The Fractured Prune. If you ask your kids what they think this shop sells, we’re betting you’ll get a blank stare. Here’s a hint: It’s the Cold Stone Creamery of deep-fried dough. Yup, that’s right! At The Fractured Prune, you and your little ones become donut flavor inventors, by mixing and matching nearly twenty glazes and over a dozen toppings; that’s over four million possible combinations! If you’re feeling uninventive, you can choose a tried-and-true favorite from the menu, like French Toast (a combination of maple glaze and cinnamon sugar) or Blackberry Cobbler (blackberry glaze, graham crackers and powdered sugar).
The Fractured Prune is a small, regional chain that is poised for a nationwide expansion this year. The closest outpost to Washington, D.C. is located in Frederick, Md; the tiny shop sits in a nondescript shopping mall on the outskirts of town. It’s a simple operation with a mom-and-pop vibe that feels faintly reminiscent of the company’s 1970’s roots.
Everyone starts with the same, basic donut; a cake-base reminiscent of a cider mill, which has a slightly crispy exterior when it comes out of the fryer. After sliding off the fryer’s conveyer belt, each ring of fried dough is customized to your liking. This hands-on approach from batter to topping takes approximately five minutes, so don’t come here in a rush! Because of the piping hot nature of the dough, glazes and toppings become melted gooey concoctions; you’ll need to grab a fork and knife to enjoy these. Die-hard aficionados suggest waiting for the donut to cool and dry, so that it develops a crusty bite, but we’re betting you and your wee ones won’t want to wait!
It’s inevitable…and totally worth it. But, if you want to burn off some of that extra energy before the car ride home, you’ve go some pretty cool options. Window shop in Downtown Frederick which is packed with stores, galleries and (if you’re lucky) live corner entertainment. There’s also Rose Hill Manor Park and Children’s Museum (a neat little blast from the past that offers guided tours of a manor house, icehouse, log cabin, barns and more), and Walkersville Southern Railroad, where kids can ride on a vintage train.