Friday, November 04, 2011

Apple Cider Spudnuts

So you want to turn this...

...into this...

Or maybe you're just asking yourself "What the heck is a spudnut?". A spudnut is a raised donut made with potatoes as well as regular flour. They are usually fried and then glazed or rolled in granulated sugar. There used to be a chain of drive-in restaurants called Spudnut that was famous for its potato donuts. In fact my mother was a rollerskate wearing carhop at the Spudnut here in Logan when she was in high school.

This recipe is based on a recipe I found in a newspaper article that claimed it was from the original Spudnut restaurant. The original recipe makes about 12 dozen donuts so I have had to scale it down and make adjustments.

Here is my recipe for Apple Cider Spudnuts. This recipe yields anywhere from 2-3 dozen depending on the size of your donut punch. Prep time takes about 4 to 6 hours, depending on how long it takes your dough to rise. Cooking time and glazing take about another hour. Do this on a day when you don't have anywhere to go and have some small projects to do while the dough is proofing.


  • 4 medium potatoes

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 4 TBSP butter

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm apple cider

  • 2 TBSP active dry yeast

  • 2 cups milk

  • 1/2 cup shortening

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 tsp salt

  • 2 cups flour

  • 3 strong flavored apples (I like granny smith, cortland, or jonathans)

  • 3 TBSP granulated sugar

  • 3 TBSP brown sugar

  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

  • pinch cloves

  • pinch allspice

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract

  • 5 to 7 cups flour

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 4 TBSP apple cider

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
(don't forget a glass of cider and an apple for yourself, this recipe takes a while and you will get hungry)


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces, place in a pot of lightly salted water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes until fork tender. Drain potatoes and allow them to steam for about 5 -10 minutes. Then add milk and butter, with and hand held electric mixer beat until all lumps are gone and you have fluffy mashed potatoes. Set potatoes aside.

  2. Place warm cider in a small mixing bowl and add yeast, cover bowl with a clean cloth and set in a warm place to allow the yeast to bloom.

  3. In a sauce pan over medium heat scald the milk and add the shortening. Whisk until the shortening is completely melted and incorporated into the milk. Pour into the bowl of your stand mixer.

  4. To the milk mixture add sugar, salt, and flour, blend until you have a thin batter.

  5. Peel and finely shred the apples, discard the core. Place the shredded apple in a bowl and toss with the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice. Add the apple mixture into the batter and blend until incorporated.

  6. In a small bowl whisk the eggs. Once they are beaten fold in the yeast mixture, the lemon extract, and the mashed potatoes, then pour this mixture into the batter and blend well.

  7. Slowly add the remaining flour as you blend. Add enough to make a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl when you mix, it will be slightly sticky.

  8. Lightly mist a large bowl with cooking spray and place the dough in it, cover with a lid or a clean cloth or plastic wrap. Place in a warm area and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down dough and cover it again and allow it to rise until doubled a second time.

  9. After the second rise, punch down the dough and then turn it out onto a floured surface. Gently roll out until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out your donut shapes, place them on lightly floured cookie sheets, cover with a clean cloth, place somewhere warm and allow to raise until at least double in size.

  10. In a large stock pot or fryer, heat your oil to 375F. Place a section of newspaper on your counter and cover it in paper towels. Carefully add 2 or 3 donuts to the hot oil and all to fry for about 30 seconds on each side or until they are golden brown. You can use a chopstick or the end of a wooden spoon handle to flip them over and remove them from the oil. Place donuts on the paper towels to drain. Continue until all donuts and holes are fried.

  11. Clean the cookie sheets off and place the donuts on them. In a clean bowl mix the powdered sugar, cider, and cinnamon until you get a nice even glaze. Dip the top half of the donuts in the glaze and place them back on the cookie sheets.

  12. Serve immediately. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. To freshen older spudnuts just place them on a paper towel and microwave them for about 7 or 8 seconds before eating.

Tips and tricks.

  • You can substitute 1 cup of instant mashed potatoes if you want, just make sure to add about an extra Tablespoon of butter when you prepare them.

  • Keeping the mashed potatoes warm until they are added will help make the spudnuts fluffy. I don't know why this works but it does.

  • If your house is like mine (cold and very dry) and yeast products don't seem to want to rise, try this: Fill your dryer a little more than half full of towels, run it on high for 5 minutes and then turn it off, place your bowl of dough on top of the towels and allow the dough to raise in there. I learned this from my friend Patience and it has worked really well. I even added my sweater drying rack to the dryer and could put 2 cookies sheets on it side by side.
Yesterday after I made a batch of spudnuts I picked up my nephew that I call Cado-Potato and we headed downtown to surprise my dad and his friends at the Bluebird Coffee Club with our freshly made treat. Here is My dad, our friend "Uncle Jim", and Cado-Potato leaving Coffee Club.

C thought it was pretty great to sit next to grandpa while grandpa drank his coke and the other guys had coffee, it got even better when a nice person brought him some hot chocolate to go with the 3 donuts he scarffed down while listening to the grownups talk.

If you don't know what the Coffee Club is you can read about it here:

All in all it was definitely worth getting up early to make them, and then be able to share them with a great group of men and the restaurant staff that takes care of them every morning.

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