Sweet Potato Donut with Maple Pecan Glaze

Wondering what to do with leftover sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin? Bake them into some donuts!

Pureed veggies and fruits are great to add to baked goods like muffins, cakes, donuts, as well as breakfast favorites like pancakes and waffles.

The key when using them is to not go overboard.

You might be tempted to use a full cup of sweet potato because it’s so delicious, but vegetables and fruits contain a lot of water which can make the final product gummy, heavy, and dense. I prefer to stick to 1/4-1/2 cup per recipe.

These are baked cake donuts, so the texture is similar to muffin, but are more rich and moist. If you don’t have a donut pan, a muffin tin will work.

how to make sweet potato puree

2 raw sweet potatoes on a marble surface

First wash 1-2 sweet potatoes and prick them a few times. Then follow one of the cooking methods below.

Once the potato has cooled, peel off the skin and puree using an immersion blender or by hand with a potato masher or large fork.

  • Roast: 425° for 45-60 minutes.
  • Steam: 25-30 minutes.
  • Microwave: Place on microwave-safe plate, heat in 2 minute increments for a total of 6-8 minutes.
  • Instant Pot: Place on a trivet, add 1 cup water, set to Manual and lower time to 15-25 minutes depending if it’s a small, medium, or large potato.

How To Make sweet potato donuts

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

In a medium bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups each of whole wheat and all-purpose flours, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Set the dry mixture aside.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup sweet potato puree, and 1/4 cup yogurt. Set the liquid mixture aside.

In a large bowl, beat together 1/4 cup oil, 3 tablespoons softened butter, and 4 tablespoons each of brown and white sugars until very creamy and airy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add 2 eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Then stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Finally, implement the creaming method by adding 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, stirring until just combined and some flour remains.

Then add 1/2 of the milk mixture and again mix until just combined, with some milk still visible.

Continue with another 1/3 of the dry mix, the remaining milk, and finally the last of the dry ingredients. Gently fold it all together until no flour or milk remain. It should be thick and creamy in consistency.

To fill the donut pan, use either a small spoon or a piping bag. If you are using a muffin tin, a small ice cream scoop will work.

I also like to use a silicone donut pan because the baked donuts are much easier to remove.

After filling the pans, use a silicone spatula, back of spoon, or a finger to gently smooth the batter out.

Bake the donuts for 15-18 minutes (for a silicone pan) or 7-10 minutes (for a metal pan). A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean with only a few crumbs attached.

Cool donuts on a wire rack.

How to make maple pecan glaze

The addition of the maple glaze and crunchy pecans take these donuts to the next level!

The flavors work really well with sweet potato, but would also taste great with pumpkin.

In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon butter.

Microwave for 15-30 seconds, giving it a good stir halfway through. Then add a few drops of vanilla extract.

If the glaze is too watery, let it sit 1-2 minutes until it thickens. But keep an eye on it, as it thickens pretty quickly and may be difficult to spread.

Stir the glaze again to make sure it’s spreadable. Use a spoon to drizzle on the glaze and then quickly press the donuts into 1 cup chopped pecans.

Place back on the cooling rack until the glaze has fully cooled and slightly hardened.

I made just enough glaze to lightly drizzle over the donuts but if you want them to be fully covered, double the amount.

Unglazed donuts will last at room temp for 1-2 days tightly covered, or can be frozen for several months.

I recommend eating the glazed donuts immediately (within an hour of glazing), otherwise the glaze starts soaking into the donut. And only make enough glaze for what you’re planning to eat that day.

These mini donuts might feel heavy and dense when you hold them in your hands, but you’ll be surprised at how light and fluffy they are when you bite into one. Give them a try!

Donut Recipe Adapted from: King Arthur Baking
Maple Glaze Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Here are some other Fall inspired recipes to try

Mini Apple Pie
This small pie is full of big flavor with mildly sweet and tart apples and a buttery crust.
Check out this recipe
Mini apple pie on cutting board.
Spiced Pumpkin Tiramisu with Bourbon
A fall inspired tiramisu made with pureed pumpkin, spices, coffee, and bourbon.
Check out this recipe
Slice of spiced pumpkin tiramisu with bourbon.
Oat Pumpkin Pancakes with Coconut Syrup and Pecans
Lightly spiced, these fluffy pumpkin oat flour pancakes make the perfect fall breakfast!
Check out this recipe
Pumpkin oat flour pancakes with coconut syrup and pecans.
Nutty Apple Oat Bars
These chewy and soft bars are filled with apples, nuts, peanut butter, and oats making them the perfect breakfast or after-school snack!
Check out this recipe
Joby's Test Kitchen apple oat bars on cutting board

Joby's Test Kitchen cutting board with mini sweet potato donuts with maple glaze and pecans.

Sweet Potato Donut with Maple Pecan Glaze

Joby’s Test Kitchen
Baked donuts made with sweet potatoes and warm spices, then drizzled with a sweet and crunchy glaze.
Prep Time 33 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Total Time 52 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 Mini Donuts

Ingredients
  

Sweet Potato Donuts

  • cup (150g) whole wheat flour
  • cup (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp pumpkin spice optional
  • ½-1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk, room temp
  • ¼ cup (60g) sweet potato or pumpkin puree, room temp
  • ¼ cup (60g) yogurt or sour cream, room temp
  • ¼ cup (60ml) oil
  • 3 tbsps (42g) butter, softened
  • 4 tbsps (48g) sugar
  • 4 tbsps (48g) brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Maple Pecan Glaze:

  • ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsps (30-45ml) maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp (14g) butter
  • Few drops vanilla extract
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions
 

Sweet Potato Donuts:

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix all the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Whisk together the milk, sweet potato, and yogurt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat the oil, butter, and sugars until very creamy and airy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
  • Next, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined and some flour remains. Next add 1/2 of the milk mixture and again mix until just combined, with some milk still visible. Continue with another 1/3 of the dry mix, the remaining milk, and finally the last of the dry ingredients. Gently fold it all together until no flour or milk remain.
  • To fill the donut pan, use either a small spoon or a piping bag. If you are using a muffin tin, a small ice cream scoop will work. After filling the pans, use a silicone spatula, back of spoon, or a finger to gently smooth the batter out.
  • Bake for 15-18 minutes (for a silicone pan) or 7-10 minutes (for metal pan). A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean with only a few crumbs attached. Cool donuts on a wire rack.

Maple Pecan Glaze:

  • In a small bowl mix together the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and butter. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, giving it a good stir halfway through. If the glaze is too watery, let it sit 1-2 minutes until it thickens. But keep an eye on it, as it thickens pretty quickly and may be difficult to spread. Stir the glaze again to make sure it’s spreadable.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle on the glaze and then quickly press the donuts into the chopped nuts. Place back on the cooling rack until the glaze has fully cooled and slightly hardened. See storage tips below.

Notes

Storage: Unglazed donuts will last at room temp for 1-2 days tightly covered, or can be frozen for several months. I recommend eating the glazed donuts immediately (within an hour of glazing), otherwise the glaze starts soaking into the donut. Therefore, only make enough glaze for what you’re planning to eat that day.
How to Make Sweet Potato Puree: First wash the sweet potato and prick it a few times. Then follow one of the cooking methods below. Once the potato has cooled, peel off the skin and puree using an immersion blender or by hand with a potato masher or large fork.
  • Roast: 425° for 45-60 minutes.
  • Steam: 25-30 minutes.
  • Microwave: Place on microwave-safe plate, heat in 2 min increments, for a total of 6-8 minutes.
  • Instant Pot: Place on a trivet, add 1 cup water, set to Manual and lower time to 15-25 minutes depending if it’s small, medium, or large potato.
Keyword donuts, maple syrup, pecans, sweet potaotes