Italian doughnuts with potatoes – lighter vegan recipe

Italian doughnuts with potatoes – lighter vegan recipe

By 03/02/2016

Do you know that Carnival has started in Venice?

I keep seeing fab photos online and I so much wish I was there right now! I have not been to Venice for Carnival for ages now. My hometown is just over an hour away from Venice and I grew up going to Venice every year for Carnival. It is packed with people, a really buzzing place, the costumes are breathtaking and the atmosphere is just so magic! I wanna  be there now!

Venice Carnival

In tune with Carnival today I am sharing a recipe little sis Laura made (good old Laura eh!).

We were desperate for something fancy (and it's only January!) and we wanted an indulging recipe but something a little healthier... so we made doughnuts without eggs, butter and sugar. The only sugar that has been used in the recipe is the one we sprinkled over the cakes at the end.

The main ingredients are really basic: potatoes, flour and yeast but it works. These doughnuts are lighter than the classic ones but my only recommendation is to eat them warm as soon as they are made and I can guarantee you that they are delicious!

This recipe makes about 30 small doughnuts.

  • Prep Time : 30 minutes
  • Cook Time : 50 minutes



Cook the potatoes in salty boiling water for 30 minutes, peel and mash them using a potato masher. Let them cool down then add flour mixing well.

mashed potatoes and flour

Dissolve the yeast in a little warm water and add it to the potato mixture with the oil, the lemon zest and vanilla essence and form a ball working with your hands; put it in a large bowl and let it rest in a warm place covered by a cloth for at least an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Roll the dough into a long sausage then cut it pieces about 1.5 cm or 0.6 inch thick. Roll them with your hands making long strips approx 15 cm or 6 inch long.

If you find that the dough is too dry then add a little bit of water and if it is too moist than add some flour to enable you to roll the dough easily. It often depends on the type of potatoes used and some types of flour absorb more moisture than others.

cutting dough

Join the ends of the pastry strips making rings. Let them rest for another hour.

making dough rings

In a large pan (or in a fryer if you have one) heat up plenty of oil then fry the rings turning them on both sides until they look nice and golden.

To make sure the temperature of the oil is right, dip one ring into the oil and if you see lots of bubbles around the pastry then it is OK to start frying.

Potato doughnuts

When they are cooked fish them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate with some kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil then roll them into caster sugar or sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Serve warm.

Italian potato doughnuts - lighter vegan recipe

Happy Carnival!

You can also check out my Carnival Chiacchiere which are a very popular Carnival treat.

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18 Responses to Italian doughnuts with potatoes – lighter vegan recipe

  1. mae

    No butter, no eggs, no sugar… originally, I suspect, recipes like this were developed for days when the cook’s budget didn’t have enough money for those luxury ingredients! Now overindulged rich people love them too. Clever cooks made the best of what they had –and foods of poverty have turned into foods for gourmets.

    I bet these are really delicious!

    best… mae at

    • Alida

      Something lighter and tasty this time.. thanks Mae!

  2. Summer

    I need to try these. They look so easy and nice ♥

    • Alida

      Thank you Summer, the children loved them too!

  3. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    Potato doughnuts? How interesting, and something that I have never heard of before. I love both potatoes and doughnuts, so this sounds perfect for me.

  4. Louise

    Doughnuts without eggs, butter and sugar, oh my, Alida! Now, that’s what I’m talking about. I keep telling people who feel sympathetic too the lack of eggs and butter in my diet that yummy things can still be enjoyed with the right recipe. Oh my word, Alida, Happy Days!

    Carnival season in Venice must be spectacular! Oh to visit just once:)

    Thank you so much for sharing, Alida…I’ll be pinning:)

  5. la cucina di Molly

    Interessante questa ricetta senza zucchero e uova e burro,senza dubbio devono essere più leggeri, devo provarli! Buona serata, ciao!

    • Alida

      Grazie cara Vanna!

  6. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Ciao Alida,
    These donuts look very yummy for sure! I love the fact that you have make them with the potatoes and no butter, eggs, and no sugar…The yeast must make them so light and and Laura are fabulous cooks and bakers. Very good..have to try these but I do have a question. The oil that you use to fry them, what do you recommend corn or vegetable oil? Thanks for sharing, I can’t believe that Ash Wednesday is next just came so fast! Have a good rest of the week.
    Hugs Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Hi Dottie I usually use peanut oil which has a high smoke point so ideal for frying but if I can’t find it at my local supermarket I use sunflower or corn oil.

  7. Chiara

    che bella ricetta Alida, hanno un aspetto delizioso !

    • Alida

      Grazie Chiara!

  8. Alison

    I would love to go to the carnival. I loved visiting Venice and want to go back. The doughnuts look lovely as well, my son would love them

    • Alida

      Thank you Alison, I want to make them again soon!

  9. speedy70

    Complimenti per il bellissimo post… e per la golosa ricetta!!!!

    • Alida

      My children loved these, something a little lighter. Thanks Kate!

  10. classyflavors

    Amazing recipes. I really love these donuts.:-)

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