Just because you live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, 30 minutes or more away from the closest donut shop doesn’t mean you should have to live a donut-free life! That’s why I spend some time frying up Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Sour Cream Donuts for my gang every now and then.
The last time, my daughter informed me that it was her personal opinion that my Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Sour Cream Donuts were better than the donut shops! Better!! I don’t normally play favorites, but I mean she’d have a leg up in the game if I did. ‘Cause the donuts at that shop are pretty darn tasty (even though you know they’re still processed to death and as bad for you as can be). They’re so good that Bill has to take several dozen in to work when he has to travel a few hours north to the office for a meeting. And she said mine were better!
The Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Sour Cream Donuts themselves are fairly easy to make. Combine the ingredients into a soft dough, chill it, roll it, and cut it. But the frying can be a real time suck. Maybe it’s just cause I have a crowd to fry them for and need to make a double batch. But it’s either practice self-control till the end or eat breakfast standing up frying the next batch.
I modified this recipe from the Old Fashioned Sour Cream Donuts one I found in Top Pot: Hand Forged Donuts cookbook. Which is loaded with a multitude of other tempting recipes. I’ve got Apple Fritters, Bavarian Creams, Blackberry Fritters, Spice Cakes, Maple Bars, Triple Coconut, Raspberry Thumbprints, Whole Wheat Raised Glazed Rings, and more all saved to try one day.
I really appreciate that this recipe can be made up to 24 hours beforehand so that you only have to wake up, roll out the donuts, and fry them. For the frying, we use lard. It’s a homestead fat that we have this year in abundance and it makes the best donuts. It’s also exciting to make the donuts with sweet potatoes we grew in our own backyard, sour cream we made from our Jersey’s sweet milk, and lard from our own hogs.
You know what else is really great about these donuts? They stay fresh for a shockingly long time! I found one in a baggie that had been squirreled away a couple days later and sampled it, and though they couldn’t beat a warm donut, they were still soft and delicious!
I always toy with the idea of feeling guilty over feeding these sweets when I do, especially for breakfast. But in the end I remind myself that every once in a while is never the problem. The problem is when it starts happening all the time. Or not at all… Well that doesn’t make any sense, does it? How can entirely abstaining from these foods be a problem? For one, it makes your system hypersensitive so if you were to eat something out of the ordinary it would make you sick. (Speaking from experience. And it’s not just with unhealthy foods that can happen- as a good example, when we go months without sourdough, it makes us feel very ill.) Another thing that may happen if we have children is, when they are grown, despite your best efforts to educate them, they may glut to the detriment of their health. (Also speaking from experience.) As long as we practice moderation and don’t allow ourselves to neither binge nor abstain there’s little fear of the occasional treat impacting your overall health.
Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Sour Cream Donuts
Old-Fashioned Sweet Potato Sour Cream Donuts
- Vanilla Glaze
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅓ cup hot water, or more
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup evaporated cane juice, or sugar (Buy cane juice here.)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- 2 Tablespoons lard
- 2 eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes, or enough to make a soft dough
- lard for frying, (Learn how to render lard here.)
- To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and salt together until it's aerated. Stir in the vanilla and enough hot water to make a glaze that is thick enough to drizzle, but not watery.
- To make the donuts, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together in a bowl.
- Cut in the lard until it's crumbly.
- In a separate bowl, stir the eggs, sour cream, and sweet potatoes together until the mixture is smooth.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones until they are combined and form a soft dough. You may need to add some more mashed sweet potatoes to get a consistency of biscuit dough.
- Bring all of the dough together in a ball and flatten it into a disc.
- Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes up to 24 hours.
- Heat a few inches of lard in a saucepan until it reaches 325 degrees.
- Roll out the dough to ½ an inch and cut donuts into rounds and holes with a 2 ¾" biscuit cutter and a 1 1/2" biscuit cutter.
- Fry the rounds (and holes) in the fat until they float plus 15 seconds and then carefully turn them.
- Fry them for 90 seconds and then flip them again.
- Fry for a final 60 seconds until transferring them to a cooling rack or towel.
- As soon as they are cool enough to handle, dredge one side in the Vanilla Glaze.
- Allow them to cool enough to harden the glaze until it crackles.