These sweet potato old-fashioned donuts are so good that they might be a problem. Between the roasted sweet potato, the combination of spices and the perfect crunch of the crust, these might be my new favorite donut.
These donuts are fried, so you’ll need some special equipment listed below, but they come together really quickly, a perfect bite of fall. Also, if you don't know how to make sweet potato puree, read this first and then come back.
Old-fashioned donuts, often simply called "old-fashioned," are a classic type of donut that has a distinctive appearance and flavor. They are known for their slightly crunchy and irregularly textured exterior, often with cracks and crevices, which sets them apart from the smooth and round shape of traditional glazed donuts. Normally you see the classic sour cream donuts in the store and during fall “Pumpkin Spice”. Flavoring with sweet potatoes as a pretty simple update to this classic fall treat.
The term "old-fashioned" in this context refers to a traditional or vintage style of donut that hearkens back to earlier times. These donuts are typically cake-based, which means they are denser and have a more substantial texture compared to yeast-raised donuts. These cake-like old fashioned donuts are made with flour, sugar, eggs, milk, sour cream, baking powder, and sometimes spices like nutmeg or cinnamon.
As I mentioned above, this recipe is written to be deep fried. I have not tested this specific recipe using an air fryer or the oven. If you try either and they work, let me know.
- Dutch oven or heavy bottom pan
- Candy thermometer
- Metal slotted spoon
- Wax paper
Special Note about the wax paper. 99% of the time, I use parchment paper for everything, but this is recipe is that 1%. The batter for this recipe is so sticky that if you put a cut out donut on the parchment, it WILL STICK. You’ve been warned.
The batter is pretty straigthforward. You can use either a stand or hand mixer to make the dough. Mix the butter and sugar, followed by eggs. Mix in the sweet potato and vanilla extract and from there you alternate the remaining wet and dry ingredients until you end up with a very thick batter. The dough needs to chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before shaping.
To shape heavily, flour a clean countertop par, to gently roll the dough ½ inch thick. Flour the donut cutter (or biscuit cutters) like your life depends on it. Fold together any scraps and re-roll to cut out more donuts!
The Frying Set Up.
- Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot + candy thermometer
- Neutral Frying Oil
- Rimmed Baking Sheet with Wire Rack and Metal Slotted Spoon.
Fit the dutch oven with a candy thermometer and fill with about 2 inches of a neutral oil like canola or vegetable. The amount of oil you need will depend on the size of your pot. My Dutch oven is a 4 quart, and I used about 1 ½ quarts of oil.
The goal is to maintain the oil temperature of 325 degrees. Since I have a finicky gas stove I constantly adjust the burner up or down to make sure that the oil stays within a 10 degree range.
Once you’re ready to fry, gently drop two to three donuts into the oil. They will initially sink to the bottom of the pan, but will rise about 1 minute in. Let the donut fry on that side for another minute or so before flipping the donuts using a slotted metal spoon and fry another 2-3 minutes.
Remove the sweet potato old fashioned donuts from the oil and place them on the wire rack to cool. Continue frying in batches.
After frying, the sweet potato old-fashioned donuts are glazed in a quick vanilla glaze that consists of powdered sugar, corn syrup, vanilla extract, salt and hot water.
Let the glaze harden slightly before serving (we didn’t make this long) Almost all of the donut holes disappeared before I could even get around to taking the photos, much less having them completely cooled. What can I say, warm donuts are incredible.
How do they taste?
Like heaven. My husband asked me if I had any edits and I honestly couldn’t come up with anything I’d change. The sweet potato flavor is subtle and combined with the spices— cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and vanilla extract, the donut feels just spiced enough to feel exactly like fall — cozy and warm. The exterior of the donut has the delectable ridges which add a crunchiness to each bite, while the centers are perfectly fluffy and soft. It’s quite the experience.Print
Sweet Potato Old Fashioned Donuts
A southern spin on the classic old fashioned donut. Sweet Potato+ Cinnamon, Cardamom and Nutmeg + Vanilla Glaze = a new fall favorite.
- Prep Time: 75 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 8 3 1/2 inch donuts 1x
- Category: Donuts
- 3 cups (375g) cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks
- ⅔ cups sour cream
- ½ cup sweet potato purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Vanilla Glaze
- 3 ½ cups (350 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tsp corn syrup
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup hot water
- Whisk the dry ingredients [flour, baking powder, salt and spices] in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, or a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until combined.
Beat in the egg yolks, increasing the mixer speed to medium and beat for 1 minute until the eggs are well mixed
Then add in the sweet potato and half of the sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix until the batter just comes together.
Add in half of the flour and mix on low speed until combined.
Repeat alternating sour cream/flour additions. Scrape bottom of the bowl to make sure there’s no flour left.
Coat a large bowl with oil and put the batter in the bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 325ºF
Heavily flour the countertop and roll out dough – ½ to ¾ inches thick. Cut out donuts and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
For the glaze whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup, salt, vanilla extract and hot water together until smooth. Set aside.
Fry two to three donuts at a time. Initially they will sink to the bottom of the pot. When the donuts float to the top, flip and fry for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Remove the donuts to rack over a baking sheet and cool for 5-10 minutes before dipping in the glaze.
Keywords: Sweet Potato Old Fashioned Donuts