Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Doughnuts

These are baked doughnuts, and after you try these, you will never miss their fried counterparts again.  Besides their soft and tender texture, the sweet potato flavor is just incredible, and we get that pure flavor by mixing in 1 cup of mashed sweet potato directly into the dough.   The awesomeness of sweet potatoes apparently knows no bounds.  Keep your eyes out for sweet potato creme brulee!  But in the meantime, here’s how to make some sweet potato doughnuts:

12 oz sweet potato total (so we can end up with 1 cup)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup milk (I used skim)
2¼ tsp instant dry yeast (not active dry)
½ cup granulated sugar
3.5 oz light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
1¼ tsp sea salt
½ vanilla bean***, seeds scraped
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp dark rum
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg yolks
15 oz bread flour (3 cups)

Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

***I buy these Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans on Amazon, 7 beans for $6, and free shipping.  Way cheaper than anything you will find at the grocery store.

Prick the sweet potato several times with a fork and microwave for 8 minutes, until tender.  Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh out.  Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 cup of sweet potato).

Either just melt the butter, or if you wish to take your sweet potato doughnut flavor to the next level, brown the butter in a small skillet (you all know how much I love browned butter from my brown butter toffee blondies post last Friday).  Let it cool.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk to 105 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).  It’s important not to go over 105, or you risk killing the yeast (this happened to me the first time I made these…oops).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, let the yeast and warm milk sit for 5 minutes.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, nutmeg, and rum, and whisk to combine.  Add the mashed sweet potato, butter, egg and egg yolks, and beat until well combined.

Change to the dough hook, and add the flour.  Beat at medium for 2 minutes, then bump the speed up to medium high and knead until a soft dough forms and the sweet potato dough pulls away from the sides and toward the center, about 5-7 minutes.

Dump the dough out, form it into a ball, and let it rise on the countertop for 2 hours (don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t rise all that much…it won’t).

Gently redistribute the yeast by kneading lightly, then roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (the dough will be sticky, fyi).  I rolled my dough out to about 3/4 inch thick for my doughnuts.

Cut circles out, then stamp out the centers to make little holes.  Place the doughnuts on two parchment paper lined sheet pans, and let them rise for 2 hours, covered with plastic wrap.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.   Bake the doughnuts in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes, until the doughnuts have risen and are golden brown (they should be 200 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).

While the doughnuts are baking, make the cinnamon sugar topping by melting the butter in one bowl, and whisking the sugar and cinnamon in another.  While the doughnuts are hot out of the oven, toss them in the butter, then immediately toss in the cinnamon sugar.  That’s it!  Enjoy your doughnuts =)  Look at the little vanilla beans seeds and that awesome fluffy texture!
Yield: About 24 doughnuts

Click here for the printable recipe.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine’s Doughnut Recipe.

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47 Responses to Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Doughnuts

  1. OMG…these are fantastic. I am so afraid to try this. I am a lousy baker. My mouth is drooling…can you send me some or a dozen or two ;}

    • Joanne says:

      They ARE fantastic! These disappeared in two days, not kidding. I know, it’s sort of a long recipe and I could see how that would be intimidating. But they are easy, I promise! I would be so proud if you made them! If you have an instant read thermometer, they are VERY easy because you don’t have to worry about accidentally killing the yeast, which is probably the part that would screw people up most for these.

  2. Jennifer Johnston says:

    Joanne, I believe that you have found the solution to the distict lack in good doughnuts around here. I am most definately going to be making these! I mouth statrted watering as soon as I saw the picture. You are awesome! Keep it up! :o)

  3. carlysulli says:

    Yum yum yum! Those look sooo delicious!

  4. These are awesome! I’ve never had a sweet potato doughnut before, but now I totally want to! I just love these.

  5. Those are absolutely GORGEOUS! 😀

    I love your blog! 😀

  6. yumtherapy says:

    Yum, these look amazing! And relatively guilt-free! 🙂

  7. seedotkay says:

    I was wondering for the vanilla bean part, can you replace it with extract?

  8. Leah says:

    Yummmm these look so amazing. I will be making them soon!!!

    • Joanne says:

      If they turn out as well as your version of the chocolate chunk muffins, they will be AMAZING. But seriously, the doughnuts are SO good. Pete and I ate them all in 2 days. Not kidding.

  9. Jaqie says:

    I made em! well, my nephew helped me too 🙂 it was our project for the day, and man oh man, its so good!

    • Joanne says:

      YAY! That makes me happy Jaqie! They are a bit of work, but so worth it! Don’t you love the sweet potato flavor? I love that you twisted yours too. Such a great idea…I will try that next time.

  10. Patty says:

    These sound and look amazing – thanks for sharing!

  11. Oh my heaven these look good! If I had any sweet potatoes I seriously think I would go make them right now. I love the smell of fresh doughnuts!

    • Joanne says:

      I have 10 pounds of sweet potato in my pantry because they are so cheap right now! 49 cents/lb. Woohoo! Let me know if you make these…they are so worth it.

  12. I will have to take this recipe to try. What a delicious treat. Can’t wait! Thanks.

  13. I made them yesterday and they were TO DIE FOR! So delicious. They came out great and were easier to make then I thought. Thanks for sharing this great recipe. I didn’t have the right cutter for the donuts, so I got one today for the next time which will be very very soon.

    • Joanne says:

      That is FANTASTIC! Thanks for letting us all know. And yes, I think they aren’t difficult at all, they just take several steps to make them (have to give the yeast time to work their magic). I actually cut mine with my metal measuring cups LOL. The handle made it a little awkward, but it got the job done. Sometimes I use my teacup too. I bet the cutters you got will make it super easy.

  14. huntfortheverybest says:

    wow those look great!

  15. Simran says:

    These look fantastic. my mother insists on calling them spudnut’s. Will be trying these on 8th may for mothers day.Can’t wait to see the look on her face.

  16. AikoVenus says:

    Ooh, those look good! I’m torn between making Korean cookies or going crazy and making them donut-style like these. 🙂

  17. Oh my goodness….now these are my kind of donut!!!

  18. Lauren says:

    XP from Tastestopping:

    For some reason, I can’t see the comment I left previously, but I edited this picture for color and contrast and resubmitted it to Foodgawker for you. It was accepted!

    WOOHOO! Congratulations!!!

  19. Jenn says:

    Wow – now that is a donut!

  20. alyssa says:

    Great pictures, I can’t wait to try this one! I buzzed you!

  21. Sarah says:

    These look delicious! Do you think these would work just as well, without changing ratios, with regular white potatoes? I love sweet potatoes, but the husband doesn’t. Kill joy! I’ve made potato donuts before, but they were fried.

    • Joanne says:

      Hey Sarah, Hm…while I can’t be sure without trying, I don’t think the white potatoes would work well, just because the sweet potatoes are sort of soft and a little sticky, but white potatoes just sort of crumble and break down. Even if your husband doesn’t like sweet potatoes, I really think he will like these doughnuts! The sweet potato flavor is very delicate, and seriously, these doughnuts are SOOOO GOOD!!!

  22. We used to have a deep-fryer years ago and my Mom made yeast-risen doughnuts. Heaven. I haven’t seen a baked doughnut recipe that I wanted to try until now. Thanks! — Sharyn

  23. Pingback: sugar and spice and everything…good for you? | kelly bakes

  24. I made these yesterday and mine turned out to be more like bagels, shading toward hockey pucks. I am an experienced yeast bread baker and I was so disappointed: the dough was light and tasted and smelled wonderful: the doughnuts were heavy and not doughnut-like.

    • Joanne says:

      Sharyn, that makes me sad! How disappointing. I am honestly really surprised to hear they didn’t turn out well!!! I’ve made them many times and they are one of my most popular recipes that people have made, and I’ve always been told they are a hit. They are supposed to be pretty fluffy and soft and relatively light..not hockey puck like!!! Out of curiosity, do you weigh your flour or do you measure? Also, do you have an oven thermometer?

      • I measure: spoon in and level off. I don’t have an oven thermometer — our oven runs a little hot, but I compensate for that. I’ll try them again next time I have extra sweet potatoes, but I’m thinking there was too much sweet potato in the dough or too much flour in the cutting out, although I tend to be careful about that. They looked good before they went into the oven and they taste okay — it’s a texture thing.

        • Joanne says:

          Did you think that they rose at all during either of the room temp rises? They don’t rise all that much, but there is definitely some difference. If they did rise some, my best guess is there was too much flour maybe. Or you’re right, possibly too much sweet potato. Something made them heavy! You will see in my last photo on the post that the crumb is very light and fluffy. I’m sorry they didn’t turn out well this time and I hope if you do make them again they go better! Because they really are my favorite doughnuts ever!

        • Joanne says:

          That’s so strange. I was going to say, they don’t seem to rise all that much while they’re out in room temperature and I’m always concerned I’ve killed the yeast or something, but then when I pop them in the oven they just puff up like crazy. I’m stumped!

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