An assortment of Duck Donuts from its new store in...

An assortment of Duck Donuts from its new store in East Meadow. Credit: Newsday/Marie Elena Martinez

If you’ve spent any time in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, you’re probably familiar with Duck Donuts, which opened its fourth Long Island store in East Meadow’s Meadowbrook Shopping Center — the second in Nassau — last month.

Joining sister spots in Hauppauge, Selden, and Garden City Park, the brand’s customizable doughnut concept is one of the more straightforward in a category that has been defined by the oversized, stuffed doughnuts of companies like North Fork Doughnut Company and Grindstone. Duck Donuts are a little smaller, a little simpler and a little less expensive.

Start with the only base Duck offers: a vanilla cake doughnut ($3.50). Boring to some — there had been rumors of a chocolate base a few years back, to no avail — but not once you start to layer on options that include coatings (cinnamon sugar, vanilla and chocolate icing, peanut butter, powdered sugar), toppings (sprinkles, chopped peanuts, cookie crumbles, shredded coconut, bacon) and drizzles (hot fudge, marshmallow, salted caramel, raspberry). While Duck offers fan-favorite combinations like blueberry lemonade, chocolate caramel crunch and strawberry shortcake, the individual possibilities are endless.

Half the fun of creating your own combinations is watching them come to life as Duck Donuts bakers dip, paint and sprinkle your doughnut fantasies in its sugar-powered assembly line. If that feels too stressful, premade variety boxes of 12 ($27) are available in themes like breakfast, which includes cinnamon bun, maple bacon and French toast doughnuts. The Duck dozen includes chocolate sprinkled, powdered sugar and Oreo cookie. There's a holiday assortment with a requisite red and green color palette.

Of course, nothing pairs better with doughnuts than coffee (from $3), milkshakes ($6) and ice cream. Sundaes ($6) and shakes can be customized just as creatively as the doughnuts.

Open at 7 a.m. daily, the shop even has BEC (bacon, egg and cheese, $5.50) sandwich options stuffed in between — wait for it — doughnut halves.

Boring vanilla cake doughnuts, you say? We beg to differ.

Duck Donuts, 2334 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-500-3910, duckdonuts.com; Monday-Wednesday 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

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