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.