Aunt Kathy's Old-Fashioned Potato Donuts


  • 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2eggs
  • 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
  • Directions

  • Step 1

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


  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

  • Step 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.

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