potato doughnuts with cardamom and cinnamon

I have a confession to make. I have never deep fried anything in my life. Unlike the fearless Taylor, who will deep fry cookie dough and carrot cake at the drop of a hat, I’m frightened of hot oil. Years ago when I was studying organic chemistry, a beaker of hot sulfuric acid shattered in my hand, splattering my arm with the corrosive, smoking liquid. The searing pain of that burn is permanently etched into my memory. The rational side of my brain is fully aware that hot oil is not quite the same as hot sulfuric acid, but I’ve had a hard time explaining that to the irrational and more hysterical side of my brain.

I met Christianna at BlogHer Food in Atlanta last month, and I liked her immediately. As it turns out, Christianna holds a monthly recipe swap from a vintage cookbook. When she invited me to participate, I immediately thought YES.

And then I saw that the recipe was for doughnuts. Which happen to be deep fried.

I took a big, deep breath and decided to take the plunge. Hot oil and I would meet – but hopefully not touch – and become friends. Or, at least, cordial acquaintances.

The goal of Christianna’s recipe swap is to redevelop the old recipe, sprucing it up and making it our own. In that spirit, I kept the heart of the recipe the same – mashed potatoes blended with the sweetened dough which is then fried in oil and rolled in sugar. However, I made some adjustments in the spices and the batter components. For the potatoes, I used Yukon Gold, a versatile potato with waxy, yellow flesh. Cardamom and cinnamon add a slightly exotic flavor to the cake-like inside of the finished doughnut.

The fear of frying in hot oil? Gone.

Potato Doughnuts with Cinnamon and Cardamom

These are best eaten warm and on the day they’re made, by the handful.


Ingredients for Doughnuts

3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
Vegetable oil for frying

Ingredients for Topping:

½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, butter, sour cream, and the potatoes. Gradually add flour mixture to the egg mixture, stirring to combine. Chill the dough, covered, for 1 hour. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface to ½ inch thick. Cut out doughnuts with a floured round cutter or the bottom of a floured glass.

In a dutch oven, heat vegetable oil (2 inches) over medium-high heat to 360 degrees F. Fry the doughnuts in batches, 2 minutes per side or until they are golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

While the doughnuts are still warm, roll them one at a time in the sugar topping, coating them well.


In a shallow bowl or pie plate, stir together the cinnamon and sugar.

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13 Responses to “let’s share a pie: lemon icebox pie”

  1. Macaroni Mama — July 5, 2013 @ 2:03 pm

    Nice post!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 5th, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

      Thanks, Mom. 🙂

  2. Liren — July 5, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

    I’m glad you were able to steal away to Puerto Rico with the family, and a place that has significance to you and memories of your childhood…and your father’s work. I hope you don’t get rid of too many photos of you 😉

    This pie is wonderful, I would happily share a slice with you!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 5th, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

      Liren, we are long over due for sharing a slice of pie. LONG overdue.

  3. I will gladly share a slice of pie with you – especially this lovely lemon pie!!! It reminds me of times spent in the kitchen with my grandmother as she made her amazing lemon pies, among many other creations. Your pie looks divine!

    And yes…we all get it. xoxo

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 5th, 2013 @ 9:43 pm

      Thanks, Robyn. I love that you found a connection to an old memory of your grandmother. xo

  4. Monica — July 6, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

    This looks like such a delicious and refreshing pie! I always find so much pleasure in reading your posts. I feel that by revealing the parts of our lives that aren’t the prettiest, not only takes courage but also is a reminder that no one’s life is perfect. And I feel like you’re more real that way. I’m glad to hear you had a relaxing trip to Puerto Rico! I’ve heard lots of fun things about that place (:

  5. Tara @ TheButterDish — July 6, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    You have a strong heart Jennifer and are a strong woman. Life is not always easy during the times when we must face the lows, but how we face them says a lot about our character. Your tremendous character shows each day here in your personal space, and no doubt in your professional space. SHANDS is a phenomenal system and ironically my client.

    Sending you strength Jenn.

    As for the pie, lemon icebox happens to be one of my hubby’s absolute favorite!!! Being just south of you in Tampa, the rains each day are doing little to squash the heat of summer. I can’t wait to make this for him!!!

  6. Eileen — July 6, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

    You’re right, we all get it. Life isn’t always a bowl of cherries. Now, let eat! That pie looks delicious 🙂

  7. Kathryn — July 8, 2013 @ 4:49 am

    I’m so glad you got a bit of time away with your family – I hope you were able to unwind while you were there.

  8. Paula — July 8, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    Glad to are back safe and sound from your vacation and hope that you feel well- rested and rejuvenated. Your pie looks wonderful.

  9. Katie — July 12, 2013 @ 9:35 pm

    You are so right. We are not alone. We have each other. I’m so glad to read that you and your family had such a wonderful trip to Puerto Rico! I can’t wait to see photos of your trip. I think this is the perfect recipe for a summer celebration. Adding to my “must make” list!

  10. Nutmeg Nanny — July 18, 2013 @ 8:49 pm

    This pie looks lovely 🙂 I bet it tastes like heaven!

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