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How to Make Doughnuts- a Step-by-Step Tutorial


Make the most delicious homemade doughnuts by following this simple step-by-step tutorial.  These doughnuts, also called Spudnuts, are made with mashed potatoes, which make them extra fluffy and yummy.

How to Make Donuts-Doughnut Recipe-Spudnut Recipe Step-by-Step Photo Tutorial


Doughnuts aka Spudnuts

Have you ever wanted to make doughnuts, but been to scared to try?

Don’t you worry. Homemade donuts (or spudnuts as we call them since they have potatoes in them) are one of our all-time favorite Fall traditions.

Making spudnuts does require some time and patience, i.e. it’s a few hour process. But even though it’s a long process, it’s an easy one. Today I’m going to show you step-by-step how to get amazing homemade spudnuts every time.

Tried-and-True Tips

I’m a 3rd generation doughnut maker and my husband and I host a homemade spudnut party every Fall. We usually triple the batch, meaning we make over 300 spudnuts! We love inviting neighborhood friends and family over for a donut free-for-all. It’s one of our favorite parties of the year! After doing this for 9 years, we’ve learned lots of tips that make the process more streamlined.

So read on if you’d like to learn from the pros. (Although we won’t be quitting our day jobs anytime soon. 🙂

How to Make the Spudnut Dough

*See below for the full, printable recipe. You may want to print off the recipe and then use it side-by-side with these tips.

Step 1

Make mashed potatoes. While you can use instant potatoes for your spudnuts, we prefer the real deal. Make them a day in advance to cut down on prep time. Be sure you mix/mash  them very well so they are smooth, not lumpy. Add in a little milk to get this consistency. Be sure not to add butter, or salt and pepper.

Tip: Make the mashed potatoes a day in advance. They do not need to be warm to use in the recipe. 

Step 2

Scald the milk. You’ll know it’s scalded when there is a thin film on the top of the milk. It usually happens right before it boils. Then remove the milk from heat and let it cool. You’ll still want it slightly warm to help activate the yeast. But it should not be hot to the touch.

Step 3

While the milk is cooling (you can put it in the fridge to speed up the process), mix the yeast, sugar, and water together and let sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.

Step 4

Slightly beat the eggs and set aside. Cream sugar and shortening together in a new bowl. Add in the eggs and potatoes and mix well. Then add yeast mixture and cooled milk. Slowly add in flour and salt. (You will probably add in an extra 2 cups of flour so that it isn’t sticky.)

The dough will get very heavy and thick. You can use a Kitchenaid or Bosch for this process, but once you add in about 8-10 cups, it’s usually best to finish mixing by hand to avoid burning out the motors of your machine.

Step 5

Once the dough is mixed well and smooth, let rise in a large bowl with a clean towel over the top. Let rise for at least 1 1/2 hours, but up to 3-4 hours is fine.


*Now for the fun part:  rolling out, cooking, and glazing:

1. Generously flour a clean surface. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick.


2. Use a donut cutter or a sturdy cup and bottle lid to cut donut shapes and holes out of the dough.



3. Once they have been cut, move them to trays covered with wax paper. The wax paper is optional, but sure cuts down on clean-up time! You will need lots of trays. This year, we splurged and bought 10 extra trays from the dollar store. They worked great and held a dozen each.


4. Let the spudnuts rise another half hour at least. Although, honestly, they can rise a few hours again and be fine. While they are rising the 2nd time, we like to start cleaning up some of the mess and get ready for the party.

5. Once you are ready to fry, fill up a donut fryer or our favorite, an electric fry pan with 1/2 inch oil. It needs to be deep enough so that both sides of the spudnut get cooked when flipped. If you use an electric fry pan, it will keep the heat even and you can fry about 8-9 at a time.


6. Cook the spudnuts until golden brown and then flip. Once both sides have been cooked, move them to a pan lined with paper towels. Let the grease drain for a minute or so. You will probably go through lots of paper towels during the process.


7. While the spudnuts are still warm, dip them in homemade glaze (recipe above). My sister taught us the best trick. Use chopsticks for this process. Slide the chopstick through the hole and then you can glaze a few at a time.


8. Let the glaze drip off a little bit before you move them to serving platters.


9. Repeat the process until have been fried and glazed. Each batch makes 100-120. Enjoy the journey. Grab someone to help you and it will be a lot more fun.


See, I told you it was a big process, but to hear how much EVERYONE loves these spudnuts makes it all worth it.





The Best Spudnut Recipe

Homemade Spudnuts

Yield: 80-100 spudnuts


  • 1 quart (4 cups) milk, scalded
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast and 1 Tbsp. sugar dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes (without butter and salt and pepper)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 Tbsp. shortening
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 12-13 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. salt
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 lb. powdered sugar


  1. Make 2 cups of mashed potatoes. (I like to do this the day before to cut down on dough time). Don' t add butter or salt or pepper to potatoes. Only add milk if too chunky.
  2. Scald milk and let it cool enough so that it doesn't kill the yeast.
  3. While the milk is cooling, put yeast and sugar into the hot water to let rise. (Make sure the water isn't too hot that it kills the yeast.)
  4. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.
  5. Meanwhile, cream sugar and shortening together in a separate bowl. Add in beaten eggs and mix. Stir in potatoes, then add yeast mixture and milk. Slowly add in flour and salt. (You will probably need a few extra cups of flour so it isn't sticky).
  6. Once it is mixed well and smooth, let it rise in a large bowl with a clean towel over top. Let rise for 1-3 hours. (the longer the better).
  7. To roll out and cut, flour a surface well. Roll out dough into 1/2 inch thick. Use a donut cutter or a cup with water bottle lid to make donut shapes.
  8. Let them rise again another 1/2 hour to 1 hour before frying.
  9. Fry in vegetable or canola oil.
  10. After they have been fried, let them sit on a paper towel to let some of the grease drain.
  11. Then dip them in homemade glaze and eat warm!


*You could also dip in cinnamon sugar or a chocolate glaze.


Melissa loves simply celebrating life through holidays, travel, photography, and the simple moments at home. Her best friend Brandon and her are raising their 4 adorable little ones just north of Salt Lake City, UT. Sunshine, gelato, a good run, planning a trip, and an organized house make her really happy. She loves sharing simple ideas to inspire everyone to celebrate life. Simply.

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