Baking Donuts Above 7000 Feet

Our mixes were created and perfected in Denver, Colorado, at 5400 feet above sea level. Since launching our mixes in June 2019, they have been purchased, gifted, and shared by folks throughout the U.S. and Colorado. We have been beyond delighted to see, based on the photos shared by our customers, that our donut mixes perform consistently with no modifications to the directions or ingredients, independent of location.

Recently, we decided to put our mixes to the ultimate elevation test and bake up some batches in Leadville, Colorado, 10,152 feet above see level. 

Though we were pretty pleased with the results with no modifications (see pics below), we did find that the donuts baked at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes were fluffier than those baked at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. We recommend this one change to anyone baking our mixes above 7000 feet

Additional Tips:

  • We recommend using a newer, shiny metal pan when baking above 7000 feet to ensure that donuts don't stick. Silicone donut pans are not recommended for high altitude baking. 
  • Letting the donuts cool in pan will help offset some of the drying effects as well. To ensure that they don't stick to the pan upon cooling, cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan then flip the pan over to dislodge the donuts, then put the donuts back in the pan to cool the rest of the way. Letting the donuts cool in the pan does takes more time but we think the extra time is worth it. 
  • We normally ice the shiny, top side of the donut, however, at higher elevations, we advise that you flip the donuts over and ice what would normally be the bottom side. Because the bottom side does not develop a crust like the top does, the surface remains porous and dries out quickly. Icing helps to seal the surface and lock in moisture. Incidentally, after spending way too long researching this on the web, there seems to be no agreed upon "right side" when frosting donuts.
  • Since baked goods dry out very quickly at high elevations, we recommend moving your finished donuts into a container with a lid as quickly as possible. For extra freshness, cooled donuts can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

Chocolate Sprinkle Donut Mix when baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes in Leadville. (Photos courtesy of Katherine W. Harrington)

 

Vanilla Sprinkle Donut Mix when baked at 350 degrees for 15 minutes in Leadville. (Photos courtesy of Katherine W. Harrington)