Monday, September 5, 2011

Spiced Sweet Potato Donuts

These donuts. They're something else. And actually kind of healthy... (for a donut).
Health is rarely a selling point with me when it comes to dessert, especially donuts. But with just a few tablespoons of butter, two sweet potatoes, and no deep frying? And they still taste amazing? Please. You can't beat this.
I pitched the idea of sharing one for breakfast with the boy, and his 4 year old brain couldn't handle it. "But Mom," he said, "they're not THAT healthy. They're covered in sugar! Let's have Cheerios with blueberries instead. That's a much healthier breakfast, and we'll feel better if we eat it." Fine, kid. But I'm very disappointed. 

And now, if you excuse me, I have some Queen to listen to. Happy birthday, Freddie!

Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Donuts
adapted from Fifteen Spatulas

1 cup mashed sweet potato total (I used 2 medium-sized potatoes)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup milk (I used whole)
2¼ tsp instant dry yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 extra large egg
2 extra large egg yolks
3.5 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling

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

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.  It will be hot. Be careful. Mash it up with a fork.

Melt the butter, and let it cool.

In the microwave (or a saucepan if you’re fancy) heat the milk to just below 105F. Any higher will kill your yeast dead.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, let the yeast and warm milk sit for 5 minutes until foamy.  Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, 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.  Mix 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 centre, about 5-7 minutes.  If it doesn’t pull together, add a little bit more flour.

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, and then roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  ¾ of an inch works. (Or 1.5cm if you’re Canadian like me!)

Using a circle cutter, gently cut out circles and poke the middles to make holes. If you have a donut cutter like I did, even better! It will do the annoying hole part for you. 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 centre of the oven for about 10 minutes, until ther 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.


  1. Your donuts came out perfect! It is hard to believe these are not fried. thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. Yum!

  2. YAY!!!!!! That's awesome you made these. Aren't they absolutely DIVINE? Looks like yours came out really well. And yes, they're coated in sugar, but that's necessary to hide the fact that they're not fried (because you don't get that same edge). That little guy is smart though!

  3. Reason number 500,000 why I NEED one of those donut pans!

  4. Oh this is the perfect fall/holiday recipe! I think I've already mentally planned them for Thanksgiving breakfast ;-)

  5. Amazing, healthy and perfect for a weekend breakfast. I'm making this as soon as I get a donut cutter! These look delicious...and I'm sure they taste even better. Thanks for sharing, friend. I hope you are having a beauty and joy-filed day. Hugs from Austin!

  6. sounds yummy! :) what's the yield?

  7. I like you doughnut gadget, but I have to say I love your sweet potato doughnut recipe more. I am so going to make this.

  8. Leanne, this is the first time I've ever read a doughnut recipe all the way through. I mean, I don't even like doughnuts. But I do love sweet potato and things that AREN'T deep-fried, so I think these are amazing (plus, I really, really want a doughnut cutter!) Lovely to discover your blog, look forward to trawling your archive for more inspiration...

  9. These donuts look amazing!! gloria

  10. Thanks, everyone!

    And anon, they make about 24 donuts, although my batch made 16 because I wanted a lot of little donut holes ;)

  11. its so amazing how talented you are at making donuts- i honestly am not sure i could ever make something like this but it definitely makes me want to try. oh and i love this more because they are made with SWEET POTATO!!

    btw. good call on making less donuts just to make sure theres lots of donut holes to enjoy :) :)

    xoxo <3

  12. I just made these donuts and they are the best I've ever had I think even including the traditional favorites like chocolate and cream and etc... These are so good and now my top favorite donut. Easy to make (and fun) and they are so freaking good! My hubby and I are tryng not to eat all of them in one sitting but it's really hard! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, it's awesome.

  13. Wow! These look superb. I think I'd try them with pumpkin, too!

  14. My sister just sent me a link to this post because my name is Leanne and I love baking and sweet potatoes, too! I think I just found our next super special holiday treat... Thanks!

  15. lol "kill your yeast dead" love your side commentaries on the recipes. very amusing and helfpul!

  16. these look orange, are you supposed to use yams or sweet potatoes?

  17. @Anon>


    Sweet Potatoes
    The many varieties of sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are members of the morning glory family, Convolvulacea. The skin color can range from white to yellow, red, purple or brown. The flesh also ranges in color from white to yellow, orange, or orange-red. Sweet potato varieties are classified as either ‘firm’ or ‘soft’. When cooked, those in the ‘firm’ category remain firm, while ‘soft’ varieties become soft and moist. It is the ‘soft’ varieties that are often labeled as yams in the United States.

    They are sweet potatoes, like she says, which are orange.

  18. I made them last week and came out delicious donuts. Thank you for the recipe!

  19. I really would love to make these for breakfast, but I'm put off by the 4 hours total rise time. Is it possible to do all the prep and rising the day before, and refrigerate overnight?

    Also, is there an adjustment I can make to use standard active yeast, or is instant yeast necessary?

    1. Trista: I made these and let them rise for the second rise overnight... they were super puffy but still really good! And I used regular yeast, I just used more...

  20. I made them and they were......the kind to die for!!!!!!!!!!!!!Never tasted any siiliar,super soft and crazy yummy:)))))
    Try it you can`t go wrong with it:))))))

  21. Yummy! Would love if you added this to our Thanksgiving Recipe Blog Hop and we are offering a prize to the recipe with the most votes!

  22. I just made these! Changed the recipe a tiny bit though :) you can come check it out on my blog and tell me what you think!

  23. LOL your kid is adorable. And these are beautiful. Love your blog!



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