Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Doughnuts

These are baked doughnuts, and after you try these, you will never miss their fried counterparts again.  Besides their soft and tender texture, the sweet potato flavor is just incredible, and we get that pure flavor by mixing in 1 cup of mashed sweet potato directly into the dough.   The awesomeness of sweet potatoes apparently knows no bounds.

Microwave a sweet potato, then scoop out the flesh:

Make a dough with main players like flour, yeast, and sweet potato.

Roll out the dough, and cut little circles:

Bake until puffed and lightly brown:

Toss the doughnuts in butter, then cinnamon sugar, right when they’re hot out of the oven.

Look at the little vanilla beans seeds and that awesome fluffy texture!

Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Doughnuts

Yield: 2 dozen doughnuts

Cinnamon Sugar Tossed Sweet Potato Doughnuts


  • 12 oz sweet potato total (so we can end up with 1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz light brown sugar (1/2 cup packed)
  • 1¼ tsp sea salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds scraped***
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 2 extra large egg yolks
  • 15 oz bread flour (3 cups)
  • For the Cinnamon Sugar Coating:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. 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. Mash with a fork (you should have about 1 cup of sweet potato).
  2. Either just melt the butter, or if you wish to take your sweet potato doughnut flavor to the next level, brown the butter in a small skillet. Let it cool.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the milk to 105 degrees F on an instant read thermometer). It’s important not to go over 105, or you risk killing the yeast (this happened to me the first time I made these…oops).
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, let the yeast and warm milk sit for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt, vanilla seeds, nutmeg, and rum, and whisk to combine. Add the mashed sweet potato, butter, egg and egg yolks, and beat until well combined.
  5. Change to the dough hook, and add the flour. Beat 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 center, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. 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).
  7. Gently redistribute the yeast by kneading lightly, then roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. I rolled my dough out to about 3/4 inch thick for my doughnuts.
  8. Cut circles out, then stamp out the centers to make little holes. Place the doughnuts on two parchment paper lined sheet pans, and let them rise for 2 hours, covered with plastic wrap.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake the doughnuts in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes, until the doughnuts have risen and are golden brown (they should be 200 degrees F on an instant read thermometer).
  10. 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. That’s it! Enjoy your doughnuts =)


Recipe adapted from Food & Wine Magazine.

***I buy these Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans on Amazon, 7 beans for $6, and free shipping.  Way cheaper than anything you will find at the grocery store.

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67 comments… add one

Leave a Comment

  • avatar Rams January 14, 2013, 11:39 pm

    Hi Joanne,
    these look so wonderful and yummy. I want to try these for tomorrow. But making 2 dozen and finishing in a house of 2 is very difficult. Can you please let me know if I can halve the recipe or can I freeze the left overs or the dough? Please let me know as I really want to try these.

    • avatar Joanne Ozug January 15, 2013, 1:34 pm

      I understand, my house is a house of two also! Breads freeze very well, and these doughnuts definitely fall in that category. You can either freeze the dough, or you freeze the doughnuts already baked. The first one would yield freshly baked doughnuts upon thawing, but the second one is easier.

  • avatar Nadine September 24, 2013, 4:16 pm

    I´ve made these a while ago and i loved them! Because it´s pumpkin season at the moment i am thinking about using pumpkin puree instead of a sweet potato, do you think it will work as well?

    • avatar Joanne Ozug September 25, 2013, 10:18 am

      Hi Nadine, would you be using fresh pumpkin? If so I would say yes since it has a similar texture. I have found the canned pumpkin to have a very strange texture, but who knows, that might work too if you’re wanting to use it. Enjoy!

      • avatar Nadine September 29, 2013, 5:07 am

        I used fresh pumpkin puree and changed the spice mix a bit, they are soo good! Thank you for the recipe, it´s really a nice one to “play” with :D
        By the way, I have done a let’s say over-night version, so the first rise of the dough over night in the fridge to save a bit time the next day.

        • avatar Joanne Ozug September 30, 2013, 10:54 am

          Hi Nadine, awesome, thanks for sharing the results here!! Glad they went well. I have some fresh pumpkin puree in my fridge too so maybe I will try it as well!

  • avatar cindy April 1, 2014, 3:47 pm

    i feel like my dough was a bit sticky. is this how it is supposed to feel or did I not beat long enough?

    • avatar Joanne Ozug April 4, 2014, 10:13 am

      Hi Cindy, yes, this is a sticky dough. I have played a lot with the flour levels and I find that if you add flour to make the dough not sticky, the doughnuts are too dense and hard.


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