Aunt Kathy's Old-Fashioned Potato Donuts


As a child, my husband loved going to his Aunt Kathy's in hopes that she would be making his favorite old-fashioned potato donuts. These are light and flavorful. They are best served fresh and warm and enjoyed with a cup of hot coffee, tea, or cocoa. You can leave them plain, dust them with powdered sugar, white sugar and cinnamon, or drizzle them with a glaze.

A pile of sugared donuts on a white plate with a blue napkin tucked underneath.
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
20 donuts


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 4 tablespoons shortening

  • 1 cup milk

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup instant mashed potatoes

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  2. Beat sugar and shortening together in a bowl using an electric mixer until creamy. Add milk, eggs, and vanilla extract; stir well. Stir in mashed potatoes. Add flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir using a sturdy spoon, as mixture will be thick. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour so that dough will be less sticky and easier to work with.

  3. Lightly flour a countertop and place plastic wrap on top of dough; roll out to desired thickness. Cut into strips or use a donut cutter to make traditional round donuts.

  4. Lower donuts carefully into the hot oil in batches. Fry until 1 side is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and continue frying until other side is golden, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining donuts.

  5. Transfer donuts to a wire rack to cool.

Cook's Note:

For lack of a donut cutter, I use a lid off of a Mason(R) jar and use a baby bottle to "cut" out the middle.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1060 Calories
104g Fat
32g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 1060
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 104g 133%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 258mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 32g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 78mg 6%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 84mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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