The Nivenses don't know where the recipe originated, just that H.L. Britt bought it from someone in the 1930s. They bought the recipe from Mr. Britt and they keep it a close secret. Just the two of them know it, not even their daughters. They note that the recipe is tucked away in a safe.
Whatever it is, there are no preservatives in those doughnuts. I remember one summer when I came up with the brilliant idea of ordering a dozen the night before, intending to have them for breakfast. They were not good at all. You have to eat them as soon as possible to get all the goodness.
We have found that a few drops of water and a 7-8 second stint in a microwave does bring back some of the sugary sweetness the next morning. But, don't wait two days to eat 'em.
This past July when we went, the three of us ordered a dozen of them and ate six. We bought the last six back to the Topsail Beach place and when cousin Vicki found out we'd gone to Britt's earlier in the day, her first words were, "Did you bring any back?" That took care of two of them.
So, You CAN Have Your Britt's and Eat 'Em the Next Day. --Roaddog