Doughnut Formulations & Premix – Pros and Cons

Most doughnuts produced today are made from prepared doughnut mixes. Some of the more important advantages of using prepared mixes (or premix) are:

  1. A greater degree of uniformity of production, especially with less-skilled employees.
  2. A lesser chance of making an error. Errors are more likely when scaling a greater number of ingredients.
  3. A certain amount of time savings in production.

Some of the major disadvantages of using doughnut mixes are as follows:

  1. The finished doughnut quality is similar to the doughnut of others who use the same prepared mix or mixes of the same quality.
  2. The ability to innovate and be creative is limited to such things as doughnut sizes and shapes and innovative recipes for fillings and toppings.[1]

As explained by a program participant during the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Bakery Engineers,

“…scratch formulations versus prepared mix products…Each has its good points and its bad points…Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of each.

First, we have scratch formulations. These require an operator to purchase, inventory, precheck, scale out and completely make the formula. One could state, ‘I have complete control over my product, what goes into it and what I am paying for each item.’ Another thought is that one must be skilled in ingredient evaluation, formula composition and basic problem solving, if and when one arises.

A formula which has approximately 10 to 12 ingredients that have to be scaled for each batch has 10 to 12 chances of error. When slight fluctuations in components arise, the problems could be multi-fold if the skill to combat these is not present. Also, if production volume is high, time factors could become quite critical. Needless to say, the space required for ingredient storage, cost of ingredients in small or moderate quantities, and a steady supply line of ingredients must also be considered.

Let’s move on to the prepared mix field. The prepared yeast-raised doughnut mix can be broken down into different categories, depending upon individual requirements. One shop might require a complete mix – where only yeast and water need be added. A second shop might have neeed for a prepared product that could be used with the shop’s bulk flour system from the bread department. Here, a base could be considered. A base could also be one in which  the bakery prefers to add its own sugar, or shortening, or egg, or various other ingredients – alone or in combination.

My shop is a unique one when compared to a typical wholesale bakery. We produce one product line, on which we concentrate with almost ferocious single-mindedness. Doughnuts are our only business. We don’t debate scratch formula versus prepared mix, because we are concerned solely with the end product of our production system – the best possible doughnut we can make…

We look at raw materials for their functional value…We want to maintain a standard of uniformity and quality that will always identify our products to the consumer in favourable light!!”[2]

Ultimately, the decision to use premix or scratch formulations depends on the individual needs and capabilities of each bakery.

Additional information are available on the following articles:

Doughnut Premix

Sample Doughnut Formulations


  1. Lawson, H., Food Oils and Fats, Technology, Utilization and Nutrition. 1995: Chapman & Hall.
  2. Roth, R.L. Fried Yeast-Raised Production. in 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Bakery Engineers. 1975. Chicago, Illinois. ASBE.




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