Bourbon-Pecan Doughnuts

The Blue Chair Fruit team is so excited to participate in a recipe swap hosted by Christianna of Burwell General Store. Kate met Christianna at BlogHer Food in May; proof that the world is indeed small, Christianna had worked on the FoodCrafters episode featuring Blue Chair Fruit! She kindly invited us to participate in her monthly recipe swap, and we gladly accepted.

This month’s recipe was Potato Donuts, for which Rachel developed a Bourbon-Pecan Doughnut recipe. Here’s Rachel’s take on her recipe development:

I am crazy about doughnuts and was hence extremely excited to discover that this month’s Recipe Swap selection was an old-fashioned classic: Potato Doughnuts. Upon researching potato doughnuts a bit further in my eclectic cookbook collection, I realized that this doughnut nearly always follows a set proportion of ingredients and tends to be a bit on the sweet side. Since I love bourbon in my baked goods, I decided to transform this classic recipe into a salty-sweet version, studded with toasted pecans and flavored with fresh nutmeg. It is really delicious, especially with some dark steaming coffee on the side.

These doughnuts are a true delight: redolent of Southern sensibilities, they offer a comforting pastry with a subtle twist. Needless to say, the whole team has enjoyed snacking on Rachel’s delicious results! As for jam pairing? Well, these doughnuts are downright tasty with a bit of Red Raspberry & Rhubarb Jam.

Bourbon-Pecan Doughnuts

For the doughnuts:

1 cup warm mashed potatoes
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup light brown sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans (see Note)

For cooking and dredging:

1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes with the butter until well combined. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, bourbon, cream, milk, and vanilla together well. Whisking constantly, gradually add the liquid ingredients to the potato mixture. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients and nuts together to combine. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the potato mixture. Stir until just combined. Sprinkle the dough liberally with flour, form into a ball, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rest for one hour.

Heat at least 4 inches of oil to 375 degrees Farenheit. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the sugar, salt, and nutmeg for dredging.

Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and roll to a thickness of ½”. Use a doughnut cutter to make doughnuts. Once the oil has reached 375 degrees, use a heatproof spatula to gently ease each doughnut into the oil. Cook the doughnuts in batches until golden brown on both sides, approximately 4 to 5 minutes total, turning them once midway through cooking. Drain on paper towels and immediately dredge in the sugar mixture.

Note: To toast pecans, spread them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in a 325-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a heatproof plate to cool.


  1. Rachel, and Kate- I am such a fan of Blue Chair’s work and am honored you are participating in the recipe swap. What a pleasure to meet Kate and know Rachel’s work. I hope you will join in for the next swap!

  2. Wonderful, just wonderful. I am so glad you’ve joined our group. And seriously, what a fabulous recipe. Bravo! (Also, your rhubarb jam sounds to die for…)

  3. oooooh my oh my. I’ve read so many doughnut recipes today—I think I’m in a sugar coma my osmosis! But your bourbon pecan treats look SO stunning and so tasty. I’d eat (more than) one! Welcome to the swap ladies.

  4. These sound like ‘just what the doctor ordered’! Really, is there a better combination than bourbon and pecans? What a great approach to the swap! Welcome and great job!

  5. Oh my goodness…bourbon and pecans! What a great dessert this makes!

  6. wow! these sound great! i love bourbon… just about the same amount as i love doughnuts!

    i am so sad I missed the swap, but i cant wait to see your twist next month!