Mashed Potato Doughnuts

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Total time:
Yield: About 2 dozen doughnuts (plus holes)

Recipe photo

Berry Gordy Jr. wrote that he could "dance the mash-potato" but he probably never used mashed potatoes to make cake doughnuts. This magic ingredient and the following recipe from Grammie Nut will bring you back to that picture-perfect fall day ? the one that isn't complete without a cup of fresh cider and an old-fashioned (a.k.a. cake) doughnut.

Mashed Potato Doughnuts

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time: Overnight,
Yield: About 2 dozen doughnuts (plus holes)
Published: 09/09/2010



  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed potato
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 quarts (3 pounds) lard, shortening, or vegetable oil, for frying


  • granulated sugar or cinnamon sugar, for coating

Tips from our bakers

  • How do you add dry and wet ingredients "alternately?" In this case, you want to add the flour mixture and liquid in 5 additions, as follows: add about 1/3 of the flour mixture and stir until mixed. Then add half the liquid, stir until mixed, the next 1/3 of the flour, and so on until the ingredients form a dough. This is called the cake method of mixing and helps create a light, fluffy baked (or fried) food.
  • This doughnut dough can be held or refrigerated overnight. Equally good doughnuts will result from making the dough and frying the same day, OR making the dough one day and frying the next.
  • Older recipes are often very large — too large for today's bakers. For instance, the original recipe that inspired this one started with 5 cups of flour. This variation was cut in half for today's bakers.


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1) Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and nutmeg. Set aside.

2) In a separate bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and mashed potatoes to the shortening mix.

3) Measure out the milk. Add the flour mixture and milk alternately to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

4) The resulting dough will be quite soft, more like a drop-biscuit dough instead of a "rollable" dough. The dough can be covered and refrigerated overnight, if desired.

5) Turn the dough out onto a very well floured surface and knead a few times to make it stiff enough to roll with a rolling pin. Roll the dough using a well-floured rolling pin until it's about 1/2" thick. Dip a doughnut cutter in flour (each time you cut), and cut out the doughnuts. Save the holes; or re-roll them with leftover dough. Try to handle the dough as little as possible; the less you work the dough, the more tender the doughnuts will be.

6) Heat the fat to 365°F. Test the temperature with a thermometer; or with a slice of bread, as follows: lower half a slice of bread into the hot fat. If it takes 1 minute for the bottom side to brown nicely, the fat is at the best temperature for frying doughnuts.

7) Fry doughnuts about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Drain on brown paper bags or paper towels. Check one of the fried donuts after it is cooled to be sure the center is cooked through.

8) While still warm, shake doughnuts in cinnamon-sugar or plain granulated sugar.

Yield: About 2 dozen doughnuts (plus holes), depending on the size of the cutter.


  • star rating 03/18/2015
  • clearlyanidiot from alberta canada
  • I made a double batch of these yesterday. A couple things. For starters I mixed everything up the night before, but at the last minute decided to use up some cake flour in place of the allpurpose. I wouldn't suggest this as the next day when I took the dough out of the fridge it was more the consistency of whipped cream. I was able to work in a bit more flour to get the dough workable, but even then they were hard to handle. My fault not the recipe. The other thing is that I typically make yeast donuts and tend to skimp on oil, as old recipes often call for a gallon; yeast donuts don't tend to absorb much oil, so I typically just use a little in a pot. Do heat the amount of oil the recipe suggests as the donuts absorb a lot. Yes even with the oil hot enough. A couple people that tried the donuts would have given it 5 stars, but I kinda prefer yeast donuts to cake donuts. Having said that I would make the recipe again. Summery. Good donuts but do use the right flour, use enough oil, they do take as long as the directions say to cook.
  • star rating 09/15/2014
  • Denise from Madison, WI
  • I made this recipe with my 14-year old daughter over the weekend. We were underwhelmed -- a lot of work for "meh" results. I found the dough sticky and hard to work with, so we made many more "holes" than doughnuts. We carefully monitored the oil temperature but still found the end result greasy. She hasn't given up on finding a perfect doughnut, this just isn't the one. Next time we'll try a recipe with yeast.
    This is a very slack dough that benefits from enough flour to turn it from the drop batter into a soft dough. An overnight rest for the dough is helpful before you add enough flour that will thicken it into the soft dough that will hold it's shape when cut. Most of our cake doughnut recipes do start out quite slack. Maybe a baked doughnut recipe is a better place to start? Happy Baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 02/12/2013
  • Darla from NM
  • I made these with sweet potatoes because I had some baked and in my fridg. They were delicious and they were incredibly delicious when they were cold. My whole family loved them, from age 4 to 47. Thanks so much for such a fantastic recipe.
  • 12/01/2012
  • wryguy007 from KAF Community
  • Can this recipe be adapted to also use potato flour? How would that possibly change them? What would the/any adjustments have to be?
    Thanks for the inquiry about this frugal Yankee recipe - it works best using leftover mashed potatoes or a boiled mashed potato. Adjusting from 3/4 cup mashed potato to potato flour is quite a leap - we didn't even test this as smaller amounts of potato flour are usually used to prevent the crumbles in a yeast bread recipe, while the amount of potato in this recipe is for the moist texture of the doughnuts. Irene @ KAF
  • star rating 09/13/2011
  • KitaCooks from KAF Community
  • Made these Sunday night for my family, they LOVED them!! The outside was crisp and the inside moist and delicious! I'm thinking about adding chocolate to the recipe! My only complaint is how to store the leftovers so they aren't, for lack of a better word, soggy.
    Unfortunately doughnuts are best if consumed on the first day. You can certainly freeze them as long as they are completely cooled. If you are going to store them past the first day, be sure that they are thoroughly cooled before wrapping or storing in a container in order to minimize moisture. ~Amy
  • 02/18/2011
  • creeperdogs from KAF Community
  • Comment only at this time - Can't wait to try this recipe! In the early 1960's my dad was a Democratic Chairman for Franklin County, MA. He invited the candidate for Governor-Francis X Bellotti and the future Senator Ted Kennedy to our home for a meeting. My mom served these donuts and they became the "requested" favorite at every meeting. I'll let you know if they match up to my mom's! Seeing this recipe brings back very fond memories. Richelene, Warrensburg, NY.
  • 09/10/2010
  • chachassweetlesssweets from KAF Community
  • Can you bake these donuts? Also, can they be made with sugar substitute? I'm a healthy baker and most of the recipes here I convert to low or no sugar without a problem. Doughnuts are a favorite of mine.
    No, these doughnuts are designed to be fried. Baked doughnuts are made with a batter: We don't test with sugar substitutes. That will be an experiment. We'd appreciate hearing your results. Frank @ KAF.

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