How does a bakery located in what many would consider a small town sell upward of 3,000 doughnuts on a busy day? If you are Huron Mountain Bakery in Marquette, you make 42 different flavors for people to choose from.
Marquette has about 23,000 residents, which makes it the largest town in the Upper Peninsula, and yet it still is considered a small town. Locally-owned Huron Mountain Bakery has baked their way to being one of the top bakeries in the country by sheer volume alone. The shop makes everything from bread to pie, cookies to pastries, and wedding cakes to doughnuts.
We stopped by to try their doughnuts during our search for Michigan’s Best Doughnut, and were amazed when we were told that they make so many different kinds, every single day. And while they make a pretty incredible variety of flavors, they keep all of them pretty traditional. You won’t find any bacon on top of your long john here, or matcha tea in your icing. Joe Heck, head cake baker and decorator, explained that “We stay with the good classics. If it ain’t broke, don’t fry it.”
While we didn’t try all 40 varieties during our stay, we did try quite a few.
Classic sour cream cake is Heck’s favorite, and it didn’t disappoint. Simple, yes, but fried perfectly to create a lovely crispy edge, while maintaining a tender interior. Heck explained that the moisture in the sour cream causes the doughnut to split a bit when fried, creating even more crispy edges. “It doesn’t have any bells and whistles,” he said. And that is perfectly just fine with us. Huron Mountain typically offers several flavors of the cake-style doughnuts, from traditional vanilla and chocolate, to seasonal offerings like pumpkin, which will be starting soon.
Raised doughnuts here have a lightness and depth of flavor that you just don’t normally find. That’s because these “get time to rest” according to Heck, a rest that is much longer than most bakeries allow. These were like lovely clouds, from the jammy raspberry filled one to the signature “angel” doughnuts, that come filled with a light “angel cream” which is kind of like a whipped buttercream, and comes in both vanilla and chocolate.
The apple fritter comes out extra caramelized from the fryer, with loads of crunch chunks, offset by the sweet apple filling. Cooking this one just a bit longer than most, it’s the right call to really develop that flavor.
Our list of doughnut varieties could go on and on. Just trust us, there really is a flavor for everyone at Huron Mountain Bakery.
Owner John Scheidt is a true entrepreneur, who “just fell in love with baking” when he was in college and worked at a local supermarket baking bread. When he and his wife, Darcy, decided that it was time to open his own place, they came up to Marquette for the weekend and promptly fell in love with the town.
Since he opened Huron Mountain in 1996, he’s added another location in nearby Ishpeming, and also took over long-time Marquette bakery BabyCakes, where you can enjoy beautiful, French-inspired desserts. Scheidt also partnered with long time local baker Heck in 2016, and now Joe’s Cakes are sold at Huron Mountain. You can see Heck above, as he showed us the doughnut-making process at Huron Mountain. Next to him rolling out apple fritters is Scheidt’s son, Drake, who now works at the bakery full time.
We named Huron Mountain Bakery one of our top spots during our search for Michigan’s Best Bakery.
Heck shared his personal “Doughnut Buyers Guide with us. He uses this system to predict what doughnuts a patron will order when they come in. The most obvious observation is that anyone middle school and younger will inevitably order the doughnut with sprinkles, the more the better, and with no care to the actual flavor of the doughnut under it’s sugar crown. If you are older than 70, you’ll most likely indulge in a maple iced, coconut, or lemon filled. Huron Mountain opens early every morning at 5 a.m., so it’s not unheard to have someone coming in who may be a bit hungover, or still enjoying the rhythm of the night. Heck’s theory on these guests is to get them any doughnut, as quick as possible, and then get them out.
Huron Mountain is a busy spot every day, but on doughnut ‘holidays’ things almost come off the rails. On National Doughnut Day (first Friday in June) and National Donut Day (November 5), the bakery will do triple the regular number of doughnuts that they typically do. On Paczki Day, the bakery is filled with a forest of racks, filled with those famous Polish fat balls. They’ll fry upward of 16,000 paczki that day. “It’s out of control. It’s the busiest day of the year by far,” Schiedt said.
No matter what day of the year you stop by Huron Mountain, you are assured a high-quality and delicious doughnut. You are also assured an incredible variety of flavor choices, what might just be the most in the entire U.P.
Huron Mountain Bakery
1301 S. Front St.
Marquette, MI 49855
US 41 West
Ishpeming, MI 49849
More Michigan’s Best Doughnut coverage:
See our first 11 finalists in the search for Michigan’s Best Doughnut
We tried doughnuts at three popular chains, see who came out on top
You can check out all of our nominees here.
And read some of the most passionate pleas from our readers here.
Special thanks to Michigan’s Best Doughnut search sponsor, the Michigan Sugar Company, makers of Pioneer Sugar.
Source: Thanks https://www.mlive.com/michigansbest/2020/09/you-can-try-over-40-different-doughnuts-at-this-up-bakery.html