Potato Doughnuts

published Nov 25, 2021
Potato Doughnuts Recipe

Pumpkin spice coating amps up the flavor in these potato doughnuts.

Makesabout 18 donuts

Prep30 minutes

Cook20 minutes

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donuts of different shapes and sizes with various glazes and sugars arranged on a pink background.
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

One of my favorite parts of any big holiday meal is using up the leftovers; it’s fun to find new and exciting ways to repurpose the dishes for days afterwards. Should you find yourself with a plethora of leftover mashed potatoes this year, consider these potato doughnuts. It’s a delightful way to surprise overnight guests with a unique breakfast made from dinner the night before.

Just make sure you are using plain leftover mashed potatoes in this recipe. If garlic, chives, bacon, or other goodies were added to the potatoes, they are best kept for savory applications, like fried mashed potatoes.

The finished nutmeg-kissed potato doughnuts can be topped in one of three ways: a classic vanilla glaze, a sugar coating made with pumpkin pie spice, or a hearty dusting of powdered sugar. They are wonderful fresh from the fryer with a warm cup of coffee on a chilly fall or winter morning.

Potato Doughnuts Versus Regular Doughnuts

Potato doughnuts tend to be a bit denser than regular doughnuts, but the leftover mashed potatoes also make the batter incredibly moist and flavorful. They are fried just like classic doughnuts and actually hold up better to freezing.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Can I Freeze Potato Doughnuts?

Yes, if you fry up a batch of potato doughnuts it is possible to enjoy some fresh and freeze the rest to enjoy later. Allow the cooked doughnuts to cool completely and coat as desired. Store in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and warm gently in the microwave before serving. Powdered sugar covered doughnuts will need to be dusted once more before serving if they have been frozen.

What Type of Potatoes Should I Use?

I usually make my holiday mashed potatoes using Russets. They create fluffy mashed potatoes that are wonderful during the family meal, and also work well for making potato doughnuts with the leftovers.

Potato Doughnuts Recipe

Pumpkin spice coating amps up the flavor in these potato doughnuts.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Makes about 18 donuts

Nutritional Info


  • 6 cups

    all-purpose flour, divided

  • 7 teaspoons

    baking powder

  • 3

    large eggs

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups

    slightly warm plain mashed potatoes (see Recipe Notes)

  • 1 cup

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 quarts

    (48 ounces) vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the coatings:

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

For the vanilla glaze:

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract


Make the dough:

  1. Sift 5 cups of the all-purpose flour with 7 teaspoons baking powder into a large bowl. Place 3 large eggs in a small bowl and whisk until well-beaten. Microwave 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a small bowl until melted, about 30 seconds.

  2. Place the eggs, melted butter, 2 cups granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 cups slightly warm mashed potatoes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth and well-combined. Add 1 cup whole milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

  3. Heat 1 1/2 quarts vegetable oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat until 375ºF. Meanwhile, prepare the coatings and glaze.

Make the coatings:

  1. Place 1 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice in a small bowl and whisk until combined.

  2. Place 2 cups powdered sugar in a small bowl and have a small fine strainer ready.

Make the vanilla glaze:

  1. Place 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons whole milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Fry the doughnuts:

  1. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of the all-purpose onto a clean work surface. Transfer 1/3 of the dough onto the floured surface; keep the remaining dough refrigerated. Using lightly floured hands, knead the dough a couple of times into some of the flour until stiff enough to handle. Pat to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut doughnuts out with a floured doughnut cutter (or use 2 round cutters about 3 and 1-inch in diameter). If the dough is too soft to cut out, work in some more of the flour from the surface. Separate the doughnuts and doughnut holes and discard any dough scraps.

  2. Use a thin metal spatula coated in flour to carefully transfer half of the formed doughnuts into the hot oil. Fry, flipping once, until golden-brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain briefly. Dip the tops in the vanilla glaze, then set on a wire rack glazed-side up. Repeat frying and glazing the remaining formed doughnuts. Fry the doughnut holes until golden and cooked through, about 90 seconds per side. Drain, roll in the glaze, and place on the wire rack.

  3. Repeat shaping, frying, and rolling the second portion of dough, then roll these doughnuts in the pumpkin spice sugar coating. Repeat shaping, frying, and rolling the final portion of dough, then roll these doughnuts in the powdered sugar.

Recipe Notes

Mashed potatoes: Use plain mashed potatoes for this recipe.

Storage: While the doughnuts are best served the day they are fried, they can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Warm briefly in the microwave or low oven before serving.