How Many Donuts in a Baker’s Dozen? – Let’s Clarify

Published Categorized as Journal

Ever looked at the menu for your favorite donut shop and noticed that they offer a “baker’s dozen.”  If you’ve always wondered exactly what this term means and how it differs from a standard dozen, or 12, donuts, you’re in luck.  Today, I’m going to help you learn how many donuts in a baker’s dozen.  We’ll also take a look at where the term “baker’s dozen” came from.

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How Many Donuts In A Baker’s Dozen?

How many donuts are in a baker’s dozen ?

Before we talk about a baker’s dozen, let’s just recap what a dozen means. 

A dozen means 12.  When you buy a dozen eggs, you get 12 eggs.  When you buy a dozen roses, you get 12 roses.

So, if you buy a baker’s dozen donuts, you should get 12 donuts, right?  Wrong! 

When you order a baker’s dozen donuts, you actually get 13 donuts

While this can sound a bit confusing, it isn’t too difficult to remember. 

A baker’s dozen simply means you get one extra donut than you would if you only got a dozen (12 donuts).  Understanding what a baker’s gross is, however, is a bit more complicated.  You can check out the blog post about it to see how it compares to a baker’s dozen.

baker's dozen donuts

Baker’s Dozen History

So, why is there 13 in a baker’s dozen?  The history is actually pretty interesting and traces back a lot farther than you may guess.  In fact, the term likely originated in the 13th century in medieval England.  

To increase their profits, some dishonest bakers were purposefully making their loaves of bread and other baked goods smaller than the standard size.  This way, when a customer ordered from them, they’d get more money than the proportional cost of the ingredients.

Understandably, customers were not happy.  Soon, King Henry III passed a law to remedy the situation.  He made it illegal to sell baked goods that did not meet the standard size or weight.  Bakers that violated this law faced time in jail or even flogging.

Understandably, bakers didn’t want to face either of these outcomes.  However, ensuring that their baked goods met the standard size wasn’t as easy as it would be today.  Without the exact measuring tools that we have now, they weren’t able to guarantee that each loaf of bread or other baked goods would be large enough.  

In fear of their baked goods ending up smaller than the standard size, many bakers started tossing in a free loaf of bread or other baked goods with each purchase.  This way, even if the loaves were a bit smaller than they were supposed to be, they wouldn’t be in danger of shorting the customer.  

This is why a baker’s dozen means 13, not 12.  A few bakers were even a little extra careful and tossed in 2 extras, giving 14 total instead of 12.

Baker’s Dozen Donuts: A Little Extra Bonus

I personally love it whenever I see a baker’s dozen being offered on a menu for a donut shop.  It means that if I pay for 12 donuts, I’ll get an extra one for free.  I’m all about bargains (and extra delicious treats), so it really makes my day when I can grab a baker’s dozen donuts! 

What about you?  Now that you know what a baker’s dozen is, are you ready to run out to your favorite donut shop?

how many donuts in a baker's dozen

FAQs

Why are there 13 donuts in a baker’s dozen?

The reason there are 13 donuts in a baker’s dozen can be traced back centuries to medieval England.  After some bakers were caught making their baked goods smaller, without lowering the prices, King Henry III passed a law stating that it was illegal to sell loaves of bread that were below the standard weight.  Because they didn’t have the precise measuring tools that we have today, bakers protected themselves from inadvertently breaking the law by adding one extra loaf with each dozen they sold.  This helped ensure that they weren’t shortchanging their customers and putting themselves at risk of jail time or physical harm.

Is a bakers dozen 11 or 13?

A baker’s dozen is 13.  It is one more than a dozen, which is 12.

How many is a baker’s half dozen?

The term  baker’s half dozen isn’t used as commonly as baker’s dozen.  A half dozen is 6, but a baker’s half dozen is 7.  Just like a baker’s dozen adds one more to 12, a baker’s half dozen adds one more to 6.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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