Food First Blog | Tip of the Week: Balancing Cake Doughnut Formul

Food First Blog


Solutions today for tomorrow's global food industry.

Tip of the Week: Balancing Cake Doughnut Formulations
Tip of the Week: Balancing Cake Doughnut Formulations

A number of ingredients must be considered when balancing a formula. All emulsifiers tend to increase fat absorption, but to varying degrees. Increased fat in the cake doughnut formula also dramatically increases absorbed fat. On the other hand, soy flour and nonfat dry milk are quite effective at reducing fat absorption, and certain sugar sources and starches increase water retention.

Thus, the balance of these ingredients is critical to developing a doughnut that has an acceptable fat content in the final product. An optimum doughnut can also be achieved when key ingredients are all balanced at relatively higher or lower levels than the true optimum. However, the tolerance to varying processes and ingredient quality will be poor. With a proper balance and optimum relative levels of critical ingredients, tolerance of the formula to quality of ingredients and processing conditions will be significantly improved.


Minor variations in formula ingredients can result in the development of distinctive doughnut varieties. The common varieties encountered include honey wheat, chocolate, and old fashioned.

Honey Wheat

Honey wheat doughnut formulas have the addition of bran or some whole wheat along with dried honey. Sugar is reduced to accommodate sweetness provided by the honey. Leavening must be rebalanced due to the presence of the bran. The formula will also need further balancing to optimize fat absorption. Cinnamon is commonly added as a spice for flavor, and glaze and cinnamon sugar are common coatings for this type of doughnut.


Chocolate doughnuts have cocoa added for flavor and color. Cocoa affects viscosity, so the formula ingredients and water must be balanced to optimize batter flow. Depending on the pH of the particular cocoa chosen, the leavening will need to be optimized based on the effect of the cocoa on batter pH. Generally, cocoa levels that allow acceptable doughnut performance yield a mild chocolate flavor. If a stronger flavor is desired, cocoa extenders can be added. However, the best method to increase chocolate flavor is to coat the product with a quality chocolate icing, further enhancing the total chocolate impact of the product.

Old Fashioned

Doughnuts produced with a dramatic crack on one or both sides are called “old fashioned”. The cracking effect is produced by reducing leavening with a more acid pH balance, and by mixing a stiffer and colder batter. This delays the product’s rise time to 8– 14 seconds, depending on the style of doughnut. Because the batter remains for a longer time under the surface of the frying fat, the top crusts over. This restricts flow, causing the batter to eventually break through the crust and form the crack. If the leavening is reduced even more dramatically and the rise time increased beyond 14 seconds, the product will have a very wild break or crack on both sides.

The cracking effect that is characteristic of old fashioned doughnuts also impacts fat content. During frying, the cracked area tends to absorb more fat. Thus, formula rebalancing may be needed to optimize the amount of total fat contained in the finished product. In addition to leavening and rise time, strength of flour and amount of sugar in the formula further determine the properties of an old fashioned doughnut. Strong flour and/or lower sugar levels produce a lighter colored, smoother crust, and firmer eating properties with less fat. Weaker flours and/or more sugar give a tender doughnut with a darker, more flaky crust, and a higher absorbed fat content.

b i u quote

Save Comment
Showing 0 Comment

click for back To Top click for back To Top