Votes are in: Utah’s best donut is sold out of a Kamas gas station
The team of bakers at Mirror Lake Station used to think they made the best doughnuts in the state. Now, they have a plaque to prove it.
Last weekend, the Kamas gas station was given the Utah’s Best Donut Award during the Utah Dough Show, a convention for donut-lovers that took place for the first time this year, in Salt Lake City. The station’s raspberry fritter beat out doughnuts from 22 other bakeries from around the state.
Kristin Wade, owner of Mirror Lake Station, said around 1,200 people attended the show to eat doughnuts and support local businesses. Six judges from outside of Utah cast their votes for the best doughnut, and they named Mirror Lake Station as the winner. Wade said she and the other bakers were shocked.
“We were not expecting it at all,” she said.
Many of the show’s attendees were surprised, too. Wade said many guests were amazed when they found out that the top doughnuts in the state come out of a small gas station in the mountains.
The Mirror Lake Station doughnuts have been a Kamas favorite since the station started serving the sweet pastries 40 years ago. Wade said people drive up from Salt Lake City or take detours on road trips to pick up the doughnuts. Bakers make all of the doughnuts from scratch in a bakery behind the station. On average, Wade said they make 400 doughnuts a day.
She said the bakers show up at 2 a.m. to start making and frying the dough. At 4 a.m., another baker joins them to top the doughnuts with vanilla, chocolate, maple and milk chocolate frosting or fill them with fruit flavors.
Wade said the team decided to submit its raspberry fritter to be judged because Mirror Lake Station is most known for its fritters, which also come in apple and blueberry flavors. The bakers pull them out of the oven around 9:30 a.m., and Wade said in the summer, there are often people waiting outside the bakery door to snatch the first batch.
She said most of the doughnut recipes have remained the same over the last 40 years. The bakery also makes cookies, bagels, turnovers and croissants. Clara Sargent, the bakery manager, has led the bakery for 15 years.
Wade said she is proud of the work Sargent and the other bakers put in every morning, and she is glad they received recognition for their early hours and hard work.
“It’s a great honor and it’s a great compliment for the bakery ladies,” she said.
Wade, who has owned the station with her husband for about two years, said she grew up going to the station to get doughnuts. She has known since a kid that the doughnuts were tasty, but getting compliments from doughnut experts from inside and outside the state meant even more to her.
“To hear people that you don’t know say, ‘Wow, that’s a good doughnut’ or ‘That has really great flavor,’ that is great,” she said.
Wade said she also appreciated the ability to meet other bakery owners and share their passion for doughnuts. Plus, she said, she got some ideas for new flavors that she hopes to incorporate into the station’s new flavor of the month doughnut.
She said she wants to switch things up a little, but she intends to keep the crowd favorites on the shelves for the next 40 years.
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.