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Mashed potato donuts, also called spudnuts, are an old-fashioned-style doughnut everyone will love. They are unbelievably fluffy and tender, with no rising time needed!
If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that my kids will ask for donuts on the weekend.
We love to indulge in a box from our favorite local bakery, but when I have time, I mix up a batch of donuts at home.
Mashed potato donuts are a total classic, even if you’ve never heard of them before. They don’t rely on anything fancy, just the standard combination of flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and a handful of other basics.
These cake-style donuts don’t need to rise, so you can make a batch on Saturday morning without having to wake up with the sun. All you really need is some leftover mashed potatoes, and you’re ready to go!
I love tossing these spudnuts (as they are also called) in a blend of cinnamon sugar, but you can also coat with a thick sweet icing or chocolate glaze. Leave a few of them unadorned to dip in your coffee!
These donuts don’t taste like potatoes, I promise — they’re simply the most fluffy cake donut you’ll ever make.
Ingredients for mashed potato doughnuts
Flour – I use all-purpose flour for these donuts. If you want to use whole wheat flour, only replace up to half, otherwise the dough will be tough and dense.
Baking powder and baking soda – For lift.
Salt – Just a bit of salt added to the dough helps enhance the flavors.
Spices – I use ground cardamom and ground nutmeg. Freshly grated nutmeg works wonderfully too! You’ll need cinnamon for the coating too, if you plan to go the cinnamon-sugar route.
You can also swap in a baking blend like apple pie spice or pumpkin spice.
Granulated sugar – For both the dough and the topping.
Butter – Adding butter to doughs like this makes it really rich and tender. I recommend using unsalted butter. Make sure it is softened to room temperature or it won’t mix into the dough.
Eggs – You’ll need 2 standard large eggs.
Mashed potatoes – You can make up a fresh batch of mashed potatoes or use leftovers. If using leftovers, make sure that you haven’t flavored the potatoes with anything other than butter and milk. We don’t want cheesy garlic donuts here!
If your mashed potatoes are a bit lumpy, mash them until very smooth.
Milk – I use 2% milk. Whole milk also works well.
If you use nondairy milk, make sure it is unflavored and unsweetened.
Oil for frying – Use a neutral vegetable or canola oil to fry the donuts.
How to make this recipe
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together 2 ½ cups of the flour with the baking powder, salt, baking soda, cardamom, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup of the sugar and butter, mixing until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, then stir in the mashed potatoes until the mixture is smooth.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and ending with the flour.
You want the final dough to be between a batter and a bread dough in consistency. If you need to add more flour, mix in up to ½ cup, a tablespoon at a time.
Pour frying oil into a deep fryer to recommended level, or about 2 inches a dutch oven. Heat the oil to 365°F. A candy thermometer works great for monitoring the temperature on the stove!
While the oil is heating, it’s time to roll out and cut the doughnuts.
The dough will be very sticky, so make sure you use plenty of flour on your work surface and your hands. A silicone mat is handy here, and don’t forget to flour your cutters as well.
Scoop the dough out onto your floured surface and knead, adding just enough flour to prevent sticking, until the dough is stiff enough for rolling and cutting.
Roll dough out to a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick. Use a donut cutter or two round cutters to cut out doughnuts and holes. Gather together any scraps, reroll, and cut until all the dough is used.
Place clean paper grocery bags or paper towels on your counter or a cookie sheet to help soak up excess oil.
Fry donuts, a few a time, for about 2 minutes per side. They should be puffed and golden brown on both sides; if they are browning too quickly you’ll need to reduce the heat slightly.
You can use a large skimmer to help you lower the doughnuts into the hot oil, and to help them keep their shape. Don’t fret if they get a bit lopsided; they’ll still taste delicious! A wooden chopstick or skewer is helpful for re-forming the holes and removing the doughnuts from the oil.
Set the donuts onto the paper bags to drain while you finish the batch. Let them cool for 10 minutes before topping, otherwise it will melt.
Mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip in the donuts, one at a time, turning to coat on all sides.
You can also coat them with powdered sugar, or eat them plain.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
More donut recipes
For a seasonal treat, make apple cider donuts, one of my favorites.
The next time your donut craving hits, make a batch of these homemade potato donuts. Everyone will be glad you did!
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Mashed Potato Donuts
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and cutting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk
- Vegetable Oil, for frying
For the Topping
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- In a medium bowl, mix together 2 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the cardamom and nutmeg and set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, then mix in the eggs and mashed potatoes.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour. The dough will be more like a very stiff batter when finished — add up to 1/2 cup flour, a little at a time, to achieve this consistency.
- Pour vegetable oil into deep fryer or dutch oven and heat oil to 365°F.
- Scoop dough onto a very well floured surface and knead to make stiff enough for rolling and cutting, adding more flour as required to prevent sticking.
- Pat or roll dough 1/2-inch thick and cut out doughnuts and holes. (You can cook the holes or save to reroll the dough scraps.)
- Place clean paper grocery bags on a cookie sheet, for draining doughnuts. (The bags will soak up excess oil.)
- Fry doughnuts in batches for about 2 minutes per side, turning carefully with a wooden chopstick or fork. Drain doughnuts on prepared rack, and repeat with remaining dough, rerolling and cutting as needed.
- Mix together the 1 cup sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. When doughnuts have cooled for about 10 minutes, roll them in the cinnamon sugar and serve.
- Doughnuts are best the day of, but extras can be stored in a paper bag.
- Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
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