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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26 Responses to “key lime pie with vanilla whipped cream”

  1. Alan Cooke — July 4, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

    Key Lime Pie is one of our family faves! Included it in a recent post myself 😉 Will have to try the cream cheese addition, sounds yum!!

  2. Maggie at Eat Boutique — July 4, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

    My father in law sends me key lime juice from Florida all the time. I go through recipe after recipe for great key lime pie. Yours is next! I love the addition of coconut to the crust. 🙂

  3. Annapet — July 4, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

    Will definitely go full fat on the cream cheese! I’ve NEVER been interested in Key Lime Pie until yours came along. I have to thank our mutual friend Alan Cooke for the initial RT.

    Thank you for sharing! 😉

  4. The sweet/tart combo is exactly what I love so much about key lime pies. It’s so rare that I have one, though, seeing that it can be pretty tough to get key limes up here.

    This looks absolutely divine and I love the story that goes along with it.

  5. Macaroni Mama — July 4, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    A big thumbs up, MJ. It was delicious!

  6. The Duo Dishes — July 4, 2011 @ 11:09 pm

    Squeezing the juice is the fun part! We’ve definitely made this pie a couple of times over the last summers. It’s always a hit.

  7. Jen — July 4, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    My dad loves Key Lime Pie. We vacationed often to Sarasota and always ate at a restaurant that had excellent key lime. I wish I could think of the name of it but I think it had “Tomato” in it.

  8. sweetsugarbelle — July 5, 2011 @ 12:23 am

    Simply beautiful. The beach looks like heaven. I miss it so.

  9. Kulsum at JourneyKitchen — July 5, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    Sweet and tart is just perfect dessert for me (except when chocolate is involved it has to be sweet and nutty)This looks wonderful.

  10. sam henderson — July 5, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    Well, that just looks wonderful. I do so love a key lime pie.

  11. Winnie — July 5, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    I love key lime pie. Yours looks fantastic, and your writing here is just lovely, MJ. Happy summer…and happy pie day!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 5th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Winnie. I appreciate the writing comment more than you know.

  12. Lucy@acookandherbooks — July 5, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    Love Key lime pie – this one’s a beaut!

  13. Sally — July 5, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    I want a piece of that pie. Now. For breakfast!

  14. One of my most favorite pies ever; yours sounds wonderful! And I love the Atlantic Ocean beach photos. I spent ten years in NC and left part of my heart there forever; reminds me of many family vacations in North and South Carolina.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 5th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      Anytime you want to come visit, we have a room for you, Barb!

  15. Renée J. (RJ Flamingo) — July 5, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

    It’s not traditional, but it sure sounds good! And yes, I squeezed all 14 of those little buggers to get a half-cup of juice for mine. :-)) Sounds like you had a perfectly idyllic weekend!

  16. Key lime pie is my favorite… Love this!

  17. Rachel — July 5, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

    This looks wonderful! I definitely associate key lime pie with my Florida vacations. We went to Palm Coast last year and I’m pretty sure I had some there! I’ve never actually made a key lime pie though, but your recipe makes me want to try it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Paula — July 7, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    Glad you were able to *get away* for a few nights and enjoy the water and the weather. Your pie looks beautiful!

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  21. Wow, what a pie! It looks like it came straight from a bakery. Great job. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday and I’d love it if you’d come by and link your pie up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

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  23. Courtney — July 17, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

    I’m recently obsessed with Key Lime flavored desserts. Glad I found this! 🙂

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