Bread and Yeast Goods

Potato Donuts (Spudnuts)

July 11, 2022

These donut holes are extra fluffy and tender from a secret ingredient – potato! They’re tossed in cinnamon-sugar after frying for an irresistible treat you’re going to love.

Potato Donuts / Spudnots

Potato Donuts / Spudnots

Potato Donuts / Spudnots
Potato Donuts / Spudnots

I was thinking of giving these donuts a different title at first, something like secret ingredient donuts, because I feared that by mentioning potatoes, you’d run the other way and miss out on ever trying them. But I hope that the use of potatoes has made you curious enough to try these delicious donuts, because they really taste unbelievably good. They are different from any other donuts I’ve tasted before, and you’d never guess there are potatoes in them!

Speaking of which, you are probably wondering why put potatoes in donuts in the first place? Well, it’s really there for texture. It makes the donuts extra fluffy, tender, and soft.

This recipe is from the cookbook, Our Sweet Basil Kitchen, by Carrian and Cade. I took a quick look through the recipes but quickly found myself in the dessert section, and (of course) I wanted to make everything! But the spudnot recipe was calling my name. The book promised these would make the fluffiest donuts ever, and as you already know, it delivered big time.

Potato Donuts / Spudnots

How to make potato donuts

This recipe makes about 50 smaller or 40 larger donut holes.

  1. Start by making the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Set aside.
  2. Cook and mash the potatoes: Bring a saucepan of water to boil over high heat and add the potatoes with the peels still on. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Let the potatoes cool slightly and then mash in a large bowl with skins on until no chunks remain.
  3. Add the eggs and milk to the potatoes and stir well to combine.
  4. In a separate, whisk together 1 cup sugar and baking powder to combine. Stir into potato mixture, followed by the salt, shortening/butter, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms (I used all 4 cups, but you may need less). The dough should be just slightly sticky, but easy to roll. Do not knead the dough.
  6. Heat the frying oil: Heat 5 inches/12 cm of oil in a cast-iron skillet until the oil is 350°F.
  7. While the oil heats, roll out the dough on a floured surface about ½-inch thick. Cut out donuts with a donut cutter the size you want (I used a 2-inch/5-cm round cutter), and carefully add a few donuts at a time to the hot oil (Note: To prevent oil from splashing and burning you, do not drop the donuts into the oil from more than 1 to 2 inches above the oil. Place them in the oil gently). Once the bottom of donuts are golden brown, flip to the other side. Drain any excess oil on a paper-towel lined plate and then immediately dredge hot donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Does it matter why kind of potatoes I use?

No, you can use any kind of potatoes you want (not sweet potatoes). They should weigh about 1.5lbs in total before cooking, but you’ll need 1 cup of mashed potatoes for the recipe.

How can I tell if the oil is ready for frying without a thermometer?

If you don’t have a thermometer, here are two ways to test the oil to see if it’s ready for frying:

  1. Drop a small, 1-inch piece of bread in the oil. If the bread toasts in under a minute, it’s ready for frying. This signifies that the oil is around 350-360°F.
  2. You can also place the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles form and float around the handle, your oil is ready for frying. If the bubbles are bubbling too hard, the oil is too hot. Turn it off briefly to let it cool, then check the temperature again.

What else can I top the donuts with?

I love tossing them in cinnamon and sugar and then eating them with a dollop of chocolate ganache or Nutella.

Should spudnuts be served right away?

The donuts taste best the day they’re made, but will still be good the following day.

More of my favorite donut recipes

3 from 1 vote
Potato Donuts (Spudnots)
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
YIELD: 8 -10 servings (40-50 5cm in diameter doughnuts)
 

Moist, light, and fluffy donut holes tossed in cinnamon-sugar with a secret ingredient that gives them amazing texture – potato!


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 lbs (about 2-3 medium) potatoes (you'll need 1 cup mashed potatoes for the donuts)
  • 2 large eggs , beaten slightly
  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) shortening or butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 cups (420-550g) all-purpose flour (I used all 4 cups)
  • canola oil , or another oil that’s good for frying
Instructions
  1. Make the cinnamon sugar mixture:

    Place 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.

  2. Make the donuts:

    Bring a saucepan of water to boil over high heat and add the potatoes with the peels still on. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Let potatoes cool slightly and then mash in a large bowl with skins on until no chunks remain. Measure mashed potatoes. Keep 1 cup in the bowl and discard any extra.

  3. Add the eggs and milk to the potatoes and stir well to combine.
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together 1 cup sugar and baking powder to combine. Stir into potato mixture, followed by the salt, shortening/butter, and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms (I used all 4 cups, but you may need less). The dough should be just slightly sticky, but easy to roll. Do not knead the dough.

  6. Heat 5 inches/12 cm of oil in a cast-iron skillet to 350°F (see note on how to test oil for readiness without a thermometer).*

  7. While the oil heats, roll out dough on a floured surface about ½-inch thick. Cut out donuts with a donut cutter (I used a 2-in/5mm cutter) and carefully add a few donut holes at a time to the hot oil. To prevent oil from splashing and burning you, do not drop the donuts on the oil from more than 1 to 2 inches above the oil. Once the bottom of donuts are golden brown, turn to the other side. Drain any excess oil on a paper-towel lined plate and then immediately dredge hot donuts in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Recipe Notes

*If you don’t have a thermometer, here are two ways to test the oil to see if it’s ready for frying:

  1. Drop a small, 1-inch piece of bread in the oil. If the bread toasts in under a minute, it’s ready for frying. This signifies that the oil is around 350-360°F.
  2. You can also place the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles form and float around the handle, your oil is ready for frying. If the bubbles are bubbling too hard, the oil is too hot. Turn it off briefly to let it cool, then check the temperature again.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Cecília Almeida
    December 6, 2017 at 4:32 am

    Hello! Would sweet potato be ok? Thanks

    • Reply
      Shiran
      December 6, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hi! I’m not sure what the result would be, because it would affect both the flavor and texture. If you try it you might want to use less sugar.

      • Reply
        Cecília Almeida
        December 6, 2017 at 11:49 am

        It´s the texture I’m thinking of, not worried about flavor, it would certainly be different.

  • Reply
    Alfina
    May 15, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Hello, why the skin on and why measure the potatoes after mashing and keep aside extra?

    • Reply
      Shiran
      May 16, 2018 at 6:51 am

      Hi Alfina, there’s no need to peel the potatoes for this recipe. You’ll need 1 cup of mashed potatoes for the recipe, so to make sure you have enough, you might end up with more than you need.

  • Reply
    Rosemarie
    June 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I haven’t made this yet but have a quick question before I make these I know it says no need to peel potatoes but do I remove the peel from the mashed potatoes because the picture doesn’t show any skins in the finished donuts, and can any other potatoes besides Yukon gold be used? And if I can use other potatoes which would be good.
    I know loads of questions but I just want make them and not make mistakes

    • Reply
      Shiran
      June 27, 2018 at 11:19 am

      Hi Rosemarie, you can use another type of potato that is good for baking, russet potatoes will be great. There’s no need to peel the potatoes.

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