Mashed potato doughnuts have been a common treat across the prairies for many generations—they have been particularly iconic in Lethbridge since the mid-fifties. This version is a cake-style doughnut, quicker to make than a yeasted doughnut. If you have leftover baked or boiled potatoes, grate them on the coarse side of a box grater to use. By Julie Van Rosendaal
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar for a minute, until it’s light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla—it should be pale and glossy.
Add the potato and buttermilk and mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and stir until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough.
On a floured surface, pat the dough out about 3/4-inch thick and cut into rounds with a doughnut or biscuit cutter—if necessary, cut holes with a smaller cutter, or use a bamboo skewer or chopstick and then stretch the hole out a bit with your finger.
Set a heavy, shallow pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add a couple inches of oil. Heat until it’s hot, but not smoking (if you have a thermometer, it should read 350-375°). Working in small batches, cook the doughnuts in the oil, turning as necessary, until puffed and golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate or sheet, and toss in a shallow bowl of cinnamon sugar while they’re still warm.
Serve as soon as possible. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen small spudnuts.