For years, weekend ski trips meant predawn pilgrimages to Sunrise Donuts in Idaho Springs. The friendly bakery's hot coffee and not-too-sweet maple bars were as much a part of the mountain journey as was loading my car with gear. But one early Saturday morning in 2007, I discovered Sunrise's lights off and the doors locked. It took some sleuthing but the short story was that the owners had retired.
After searching in vain for a suitable substitute along the I-70 corridor, I gave up. Then, just a few weeks ago, word came of a new spot—Morning Gold Bakery—in Idaho Springs. The first time I attempted a doughnut run, the shop was closed. But another try yielded gold: perfectly crunchy and nutmeg-y apple fritters; cake doughnuts with ideal crumb; cinnamon twists without a hint of oiliness. Turns out Morning Gold opened on the town’s main drag about three years ago but many out-of-towners are only just discovering the storefront. In addition to a full roster of cake, glazed, and filled doughnuts (maple bars too, although I found them a bit too cloying), the bakery sells fresh-baked breads and muffins. Ski season or not, Morning Gold treats are a must-stop on your I-70 trek.
Extra: Morning Gold's heavenly apple fritters come in two sizes: big and small. Small is still big enough to share but I appreciate the attention to detail.
1637 Miner St., Idaho Springs, 303-567-2443
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock