Last Thanksgiving (maybe even 2 Thanksgivings ago?!) I had the idea to take the uber-sweet Thanksgiving side dish of sweet potato casserole and re-work it into doughnut form. Why, you ask? I think it was all those artisanal doughnuts I was enjoying in L.A. Plus, sweet potato casserole honestly already tastes like a dessert, so why not just go all in, right? Right. I was so. freakin’. right!
The truth is, sweet potato casserole is almost too sweet for me to eat on the big day. I almost feel like I’m wasting valuable gastric space that would be much better occupied by pumpkin pie or a third serving of stuffing. But I won’t lie, that casserole is tasty. So I really liked the idea of working it in somehow. Can’t you imagine having one of these with a cup of coffee while you watched the parade, before the true madness kicked in?!
I put off making them for so long because a) frying doughnuts kind of intimidated me, b) there aren’t a lot of sweet potato doughnut recipes out there so I needed to do some research and c) I lacked a kitchen torch and a dutch oven and I knew I wanted to have both in my arsenal before I made any sort of attempt, so I could really do the thing right.
Good news! Everything worked out just fine.
Sweet Potato Doughnuts with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
for the doughnuts:
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/3rd cup brown sugar
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
3/4th tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1 cup sweet potato puree
6 tbs. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
5 & 1/2 cups flour
canola oil (one whole big bottle)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
for the toasted marshmallow frosting (adapted from acozykitchen):
2 tablespoons water
2/3rd cup white sugar
2 egg whites
1/8th tsp cream of tartar
1/8th tsp salt
1/4th teaspoon vanilla extract
for the doughnuts:
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients except the flour. Change out the paddle attachment for the dough hook, then slowly add in the flour. Knead until all ingredients are well combined, for about 10 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl covered with a warm, damp (but not dripping) towel. Let it rise for about an hour.
Remove the dough, place on a floured surface, and roll out until dough is about half an inch thick. Take a circular cookie cutter and cut the doughnuts out, then place them on a plate to rise again for about 30 minutes. Any excess dough can be rolled into tiny doughnut holes!
While the dough cutouts are rising for the last time, heat the canola oil in a dutch oven until it reaches the temperature of 350 F (you’ll need a thermometer to get this right!)
Carefully place a sacrificial “tester” doughnut into the oil. Cook on each side about 2-3 minutes, until nice and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the doughnut from the oil and place on a plate covered with paper towels to cool. Tear in half to check the inside and make sure it’s cooked through! If the inside is still doughy, you know you’ll have to fry the doughnut a little longer. The inside should be nice and airy!
Mix the white sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small, wide bowl. After the doughnuts are de-oiled (lol) and cooled enough to handle, roll each side of the doughnuts in the spiced sugar. Set them aside while you make the frosting.
for the frosting:
Combine the sugar, water, and egg whites in a new mixing bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan with boiling water in it, making sure the bottom of the mixing bowl does not touch the water. Heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and, using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk everything together on medium-high until soft peaks form and the bowl is cooled.
Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a round tip, and then pipe the frosting on top of the dough in fun, swirly designs! The swirlier the frosting is, the better the final toasted product will look!
Use a kitchen torch to toast the frosting, and then you’re finished!
PLEASE DON’T GET CONFUSED. I don’t want you to make these in lieu of pie. That would be unforgivable. Honestly, if I went to a Thanksgiving dinner that didn’t serve pie I would leave. I don’t mess around, people. Once I went to one where leftovers weren’t offered to guests and I’m still not fully over it. But how fun is it to spin classics in a new way?!
I can’t believe the holiday is this week! I’m going to share a few more recipes here (loved your Insta-poll suggestions!) and then it’s off to California to visit Mark and his family! I can’t wait for a little vacation and to be back on the west coast for a little bit (even with the low air quality from the fires).