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Mashed Potato Doughnuts

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Yes! You can turn mashed potatoes into doughnuts. As if you needed another good reason to make more mashed potatoes than you need – these doughnuts are what you make with the leftover mashed potatoes you haven’t yet eaten with butter and salt.

So… the leftover leftovers.

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The recipe comes from my friend Caroline, who sings and plays in a retro pop rock band called the Lovebullies, and whose family makes enormous batches of these mashed potato doughnuts every Christmas. Christmas doughnuts seem like a great idea to me – not only are they delicious, you could, if you were so inclined, probably hang them on the tree. And making doughnuts is more of a production than one would generally take on on a regular weekend – which is really what the upcoming holidays are all about. Staying in your PJs until noon, and spending an hour making homemade doughnuts, to be doused in sugar and eaten with large cups of coffee and hot chocolate.

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They’re cake doughnuts – that is, a quick dough risen with baking powder instead of yeast – like banana bread is to a white sandwich loaf, texture-wise. Cake doughnuts (think of the sour cream glazed at Tim Hortons) are denser than yeasted ones, but far easier to stir together, pat and cut while an inch or two of oil heats in a small pot or shallow pan – you don’t need a deep fryer, honest. Nor a thermometer, really – I have one, but rarely pull it out – heat your oil until it’s hot enough that a small scrap of dough sizzles when you dip it in. My aunt would test the oil for her croquettes by dipping the handle of her wooden spoon in – if the oil bubbled around it, it was ready. (If you have a thermometer, aim for around 350F.)

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I don’t have any memories of relatives making doughnuts – and so I decided to be that relative myself. When you have your nephews over on a Saturday afternoon and make them doughnuts? Yeah. They remember.

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The dough itself is spiked with cinnamon and ginger, and so I stuck to just plain sugar in a shallow pan to dip them in while they were still warm, but feel free to spike that sugar with cinnamon, too.

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Of course you can cook the doughnut holes right along with the doughnuts, but to be honest, the scraps are my favourite part – I don’t bother re-rolling them, but just fry the pieces – they wind up with the wonkiest shapes, the most nooks and crannies and crispy bits. And if you eat them all, they don’t count.

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Mashed Potato Doughnuts

AuthorJulie

1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 large eggs
2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger and/or nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
canola oil, for cooking
regular or icing sugar, for dusting or dousing

1

In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes, sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt; stir until you have a thick, sticky dough. If you like, refrigerate your dough for an hour or so, or overnight.

2

Generously flour the countertop, place a piece of the dough on it, and shake flour over it before patting about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a doughnut cutter while you heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot until hot but not smoking – you’ll know it’s hot enough when the oil bubbles around a scrap of dough dropped in.

3

Cook the doughnuts a few at a time, without crowding the pot, until golden on both sides, flipping with tongs or a slotted spoon as needed. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then dust in icing sugar or roll in a shallow bowl of regular sugar to coat while still warm. Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.

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Ingredients

 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
 1 cup sugar
 1 cup milk
 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
 1 large eggs
 2 1/2-3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
 1 tsp. cinnamon
 1/2 tsp. ginger and/or nutmeg
 1/2 tsp. salt
 canola oil, for cooking
 regular or icing sugar, for dusting or dousing

Directions

1

In a large bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes, sugar, milk, butter and eggs. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt; stir until you have a thick, sticky dough. If you like, refrigerate your dough for an hour or so, or overnight.

2

Generously flour the countertop, place a piece of the dough on it, and shake flour over it before patting about 1/2-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a doughnut cutter while you heat a few inches of oil in a heavy pot until hot but not smoking – you’ll know it’s hot enough when the oil bubbles around a scrap of dough dropped in.

3

Cook the doughnuts a few at a time, without crowding the pot, until golden on both sides, flipping with tongs or a slotted spoon as needed. Transfer to paper towels to drain, then dust in icing sugar or roll in a shallow bowl of regular sugar to coat while still warm. Makes about 3 dozen doughnuts.

Mashed Potato Doughnuts
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43 comments on “Mashed Potato Doughnuts

  1. Meta
    November 23, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I like to eat the doughnut holes since there are no calories in holes.

    • Anonymous
      May 27, 2018 at 11:04 am

      LOL if I knew that i wouldn’t have eaten the doughnuts!!!

  2. Chef Sous Chef
    November 24, 2016 at 9:15 am

    There always seem to be mashed potatoes left over at the end of the week. I’m always looking for creative ways to repurpose them. This seems too good to be true. Can’t wait to give them a try!

  3. Carolyn
    November 24, 2016 at 11:21 am

    I bought 3 liters of canola oil the other week when it was on sale and have been wanting to try my hand at deep frying. This recipe (and the fact that I won’t need to use a vat of oil) is inspiring me to get started. You’re right – a great project after Christmas. Thanks!

  4. ria
    November 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Leftover mashed potatoes??? Maybe extra, but there are never leftovers! 🙂

    • Julie
      November 28, 2016 at 7:22 am

      Ha! I always make loads, so that there are!

  5. Anonymous
    November 24, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    I can’t wait to try these. I deeply love mashed potatoes and this transfiguration into doughnuts will take them to a new level of adoration.
    I love your blog. It makes me so very happy.Thanks, Julie!

    • Julie
      November 28, 2016 at 7:21 am

      Aw, that made me so happy!

  6. KathyG
    November 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Spudnuts!

    • Julie
      November 28, 2016 at 7:21 am

      YES! We need to trademark that! 😉

  7. Jackie H
    November 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    What type of potatoes would be best for this?

    • Julie
      November 28, 2016 at 7:20 am

      I like using floury russets!

  8. esmeralda
    November 29, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I tried these. Mine were more like random blobs than doughnuts, but oh, they were delicious. All I have to say is that I ate more than half of the first batch myself, and there wasn’t enough left to go around. So I made another batch. They are to die for. Perfect texture and so tasty. Best doughnuts I’ve ever had, even counting mini-doughnuts. Thanks, Julie!

    • Julie
      November 29, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Ha – that’s such a great story! you made my day! 🙂

  9. Linda
    December 7, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Many years ago in Lethbridge there was a hole in the wall outfit called “Spud Nut” and that is what they made – potato doughnuts. They were so awesome.

  10. Barbara Karr
    January 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    In the 1930´s my Grandmother bought a cookbook from The Bay City Times in Bay City, MI. This recipe was in that book. The recipes came from people who subscribed to the Times. I was floored to see this recipe! It is indeed a small world. I have always loved these doughnuts. They were my Dads favorite. The recipe brought back wonderful memories from the past for me. So glad you enjoyed them. Also happy to see this old recipe being enjoyed. Thanks for sharing and for the memories. B. Karr

  11. Loli Fowler
    January 25, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Does it matter what you made your mashed taters with? I make mine with butter and cream cheese after boiling them in chicken broth. Will they be too savory for donuts? This recipe sounds so easy and delish. I want to try it right away.

    • Julie
      January 27, 2019 at 10:56 pm

      I think that would be just fine! It might be weird if they’re overly garlicky, but cream cheese sounds delish!

  12. Alicen
    August 2, 2019 at 8:42 am

    I have no leftover mashed potatoes, could I just microwave ‘bake’ a large potato and use that instead? Peeled, of course.

  13. Jennifer Connett
    September 3, 2019 at 11:28 am

    So I’m trying to make them… my dough is not thick and definitely can’t be patted out without adding a lot of flour.. Maybe my mashed potatoes were too creamy? Is there a way to fix it?

    • Julie
      September 4, 2019 at 7:42 am

      It could be! Just add more flour until you have a workable dough!

      • Jennifer Connett
        September 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

        Thank you! That is what I did! I coated some in cinnamon sugar and others I dunked in melted vanilla icing to form a thicker glaze. They turned out pretty good! My picky eater loved them!

  14. Janice Sherman
    November 30, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    I love mashed potatoes and I definitely LOVE donuts! I am going to make these right now! Thanks for such an easy to make ( I hope) recipe!

    • Julie
      December 5, 2019 at 6:36 am

      Good luck with it!

  15. Tina in WV
    March 25, 2020 at 8:20 am

    Hi Julie!
    We are quarantined today as is the rest of our state & country. I love to bake and looked for a recipe for mashed potato donuts. My mom used to make these for me & my sisters more than 60 years ago. Her cookbook looked like it was 50 years old then! My dough is sitting in the fridge hoping to firm up so I can pat them out & cut them. Looking forward to the result. My mom is looking down & smiling. Thank you!

    • Julie
      March 25, 2020 at 7:48 pm

      Aw, I’m so glad! I hope they reminded you of your childhood!!

  16. J
    April 4, 2020 at 10:50 am

    Isolation had my 6 yr old longing for donuts… and we have mashed potatoes. I had him smell the ginger and nutmeg to choose which he’d use. He’s selected a bit of both and mixed the dough but can’t believe this will work… But he remains hopeful. And plans for hot cocoa and donuts by afternoon tea time. Thank you. I love how you repurpose what’s in our home. Perfect for isolation times but general sustainability

  17. Betty Gibson
    April 20, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but can’t wait too. We used to have a doughnut shop in my hometown that made spudnuts. Now they’re gone & I really miss those donuts. Maybe these will (hopefully come close to the taste of theirs.)Can’t wait to try!

  18. Angie
    April 22, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Is it possible for these to be backed instead of fried?

    • Seema
      May 30, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Did you try to bake these? I’m going to try tomorrow as I have no canola oil for frying

  19. Lori T
    April 23, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Hi Julie,
    I had the potatoes all mixed and ready to make them yesterday. But, I got distracted. Do you think the dough would still be good to use for today? I made the mixture on 4/21 they should have been made 4/22 but here we are?

  20. Rebecca
    May 6, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    These failed so much. I added more than a cup of flour over what the recipe called for and it still wasn’t a dough, it was a thick batter that wouldn’t hold its shape at all when moved. Very disappointing.

    • Julie
      May 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      Oh no! were your mashed potatoes very runny to begin with? unfortunately that can make a difference..

    • Alisha Ruiss
      September 14, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      I had the same problem with the dough being too runny but even after I added more flour, they wouldn’t roll into balls at all – and I doubled the recipe so it was a huge waste. I could make them all as pancakes but my intent was to make donut holes to give to my neighbours but they don’t look nice enough to do so. Also the texture looks entirely wrong. I did add some protein powder which I am sure made it a bit heavier and I tried both coconut oil and butter but neither made any difference. The taste is fine but I now I’m going to have potato pancakes for ages.

      • Julie
        September 18, 2020 at 3:48 pm

        Hmm.. I’m sorry to hear it! I think a lot depends on the mashed potatoes – if they are wet, they’re going to absorb more flour…

  21. Lori T
    June 12, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Hi Julie,

    I am making these right now. A thought came to mind. Have you ever made just the doughnut holes?
    And have you ever thought to fill them with Jelly??
    If they are made a little bigger. I’m wondering if they would taste yummy? I might have to try this.

    • Julie
      June 17, 2020 at 11:36 pm

      Yes! they work great as holes. I haven’t filled them with jelly – usually I do that with yeast-raised doughnuts!

  22. eric
    September 15, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    i’ve always been taught to make mashed potato donuts, the only kind back in maine, with potatoes that have been riced and had nothing done to them so i add some extra potatoes when i’m going to mash and pull that much out. i have found that when i make mashed potatoes the way that i like them that they make the dough too wet.

  23. Florence M Steinmetz
    September 21, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Would using a different oil work as well ?

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