Raised Potato Doughnuts

Last week I bought a deep fryer and made doughnuts. The results were impressive, but I think I’ve found a better recipe.

potato doughnut

With mashed potato in the dough, these are ethereally light textured, not-too-sweet, and pretty much the best doughnuts I’ve ever made (keeping in mind I’ve only made doughnuts 3 times).

potato doughnuts

This recipe is adapted from Baking in America: Traditional and Contemporary Favorites from the Past 200 Years, but I halved it, scalded the milk in the microwave and used my stand mixer. While boiling and mashing a medium potato adds another step to the process, the doughnuts are pretty easy to make and need an extra head-start since they require an overnight chill time. After making the dough, you let the dough rise as usual at room temperature, punch it down and chill it overnight, form the doughnuts with the cold dough, then let them rise at room temperature before frying. In short, perfect for a project that starts Saturday and ends on a leisurely Sunday morning.

After my last doughnut adventure, a couple of people advised me to fry in shortening rather than oil. Shortening seems like a good idea, but I only had oil on hand and had to use that (vegetable, not peanut). Also, the glaze in this recipe is sweeter and less rich than the other glaze, but it works perfectly here and adds the sweetness the doughnuts need; so don’t skip the glaze (not that you would).

potato doughnuts


Raised Potato Doughnuts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Doughnuts made with mashed potatoes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
  • 6 oz (medium) potato, peeled and cut into chunks (Idaho or Yukon Gold)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (divided use)
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast (half a packet)
  • 1 large egg plus 2 tablespoons of beaten egg
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Put the potato in a saucepan of water and boil for 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup, scald the milk. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let cool to 115 degrees F. Sprinkle yeast over 115 degree milk mixture and set aside to proof.
  3. In bowl of stand mixer, combine the egg, remaining sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg and vanilla. Stir in the bubbly yeast mixture and a cup of the flour. Meanwhile, drain and mash the potato and add the mashed potato. Continue adding flour and stir well. With dough hook attachment, knead dough until smooth & elastic.
  4. Put dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 ½ hours. Punch down the dough. Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface, press cold dough down to make a circle that’s about 1/3 of an inch thick. Sprinkle a little more flour over top if needed. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter or rim of a glass (I use a glass for the doughnut and an apple corer for the hole), cut as many doughnuts as you can. Set them on the parchment lined pan cover with a kitchen cloth and let rise for about an hour. If dough is cold, it might take a little longer.
  6. Heat oil to 365 degrees F. Fry doughnuts for 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Drizzle with glaze. To make the glaze, mix the sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth.
  7. Makes about 10 or 12 doughnuts depending on size of cutters.

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  1. says

    Could I cheat and use instant potatoes?

  2. Jennie says

    I believe a true fasnacht (forgive the poor spelling!!) is a potato doughnut. Made on Fat Tuesday, these are THE BEST donuts ever!! My grandmother used to make them for my sisters and I every year. I swear my mouth starts to water just at the thought of them!
    Your recipe sounds much like what she used to make. Glad you are enjoying them!

  3. says

    Oooh yum! We have a fryer but I’ve never made donuts. Definitely going to have to try soon though 🙂
    Ahhh, you know what is fabulous fried? Not something to eat all the time, obviously but still fabulous-fried moonpies. I’ve made them at work (we drop them in funnel cake batter) and eat them with vanilla ice cream… pretty much the most amazing thing EVER 🙂

  4. Yet another Anna says

    Oh! I’d forgotten which recipe I’d used the other week when I made doughnuts, but this was it! Very tasty indeed. Definitely a keeper.

    Mine turned out gigantic, though, so next time I think I’ll just use biscuit cutters and make them smaller, instead of using my ginormous doughnut-specific one.

  5. says

    I have a “fear of frying” after doing a batch of tempura that required a few days of kitchen cleaning, but those look like they might be worth it.

  6. says

    I haven’t made donuts forever! I used to make them a bit in college but the whole apartment would smell like oil and donuts for weeks! Looking at these makes me want to pull out my old fryer and surprise the husband this weekend. He may need to settle for caramel rolls.

  7. says

    I’m drooling. And my husband loves donuts so I’ll have to try these. Question: I’ve been considering a donut pan for the oven. Have you tried such a thing?

  8. says

    thanks for trying out the recipes first, sure saves me some that step. Hopefully I will try this recipe this weekend, My brand new fryer is still wrapped in plastic on the counter.

  9. Lee says

    These look so good, but would you have a recipe for baked donuts?. Would really like to try those, would mabey not be as good but better for me as i cant have jusy one, thanks

  10. Paula B. says

    OMG, again, wish I was at your house for breakfast! Yes, a baked donut recipe would be more tempting for those of us with “frying issues”! S’il vous plait..

  11. says

    Lee and Paula, I need to try some baked doughnut recipes, but in my mind a baked doughnut is just a muffin shaped like a doughnut.

    This recipe tastes like doughnuts…


    …and while the cakes are dipped in butter, they probably have less fat than a doughnut. They’re also smaller, so if you can be satisfied with one or two, these might be a better choice than a doughnut. It’s hard to say. On one hand, a properly fried doughnut doesn’t absorb enough oil to make it a calorie nightmare. On the other, it’s hard to eat one doughnut and frying can be a nasty mess.

    So I think there’s room for baked doughnuts.

    I read about the doughnut pan and am now kind of interested….

  12. Carol says


    I have been collecting some baked donut recipes lately. I need to get a pan or 2, but I am having a hard time finding them at the stores. I will probably order them on-line.

  13. S Notari says

    I made these today trying to recreate an old italian potato fritter I have made before but lost the recipe. They turned out great!!!! I skipped the overnight rise and let them rise once for 2 hours, then rolled them out and cut them and let them rise again for 2 hours. I fried them with lard and dusted them with cinnamon sugar. They were light and not greasy and not too sweet at all! Everythone loved them and they are already gone. I will add this recipe to my favourites. Thanks!

  14. says

    I am so happy to hear that! I am definitely not an expert doughnut maker and only make them once in a blue moon, but I do remember these as being very good. Thanks for taking the time to post a review. It’s much appreciated.

  15. Sabrina Bennett says

    My dad and I made a gigantic (20 dozen or so) batch of potato doughnuts every year when I was a kid, we used his great aunt’s recipe. Reading your recipe makes me feel like doughnut time is coming again!

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