Sweet Potato Doughnut Holes with Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Filling

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  96 doughnut holes
Prep Time:  40 minutes Rising and Resting Time:  1 hour 45 minutes Cook Time:  45 minutes

Sweet Potato Doughnut Holes with Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Filling

A deliciously different sweet potato doughnut and a delectable dulce de leche cheesecake all in one bite! The recipe can be halved with ease.



1 (¼-ounce) packet active dry yeast  (2¼ teaspoons/7 grams)

¼ cup warm water (see Kitchen Tips)

2 eggs

¼ cup olive oil

1 cup (206 grams) dark brown sugar

1¼ cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes or 2 (12-ounce) sweet potatoes, baked, skinned, peeled,  mashed, and pressed through a sieve to remove any strings

6 scrapes fresh nutmeg (see Kitchen Tips)

1 large vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved (see Kitchen Tips)

1 teaspoon (6 grams) salt

4 to 4½ cups  (520 to 585 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough



2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temp, completely softened, but not melted

1 cup (124 grams) confectioners’ sugar

½ cup crème fraîche or sour cream

½ cup dulce de leche

1 teaspoon roasted ground cinnamon (see Kitchen Tips)

1 teaspoon roasted ground cardamom (see Kitchen Tips)

6 scrapes fresh nutmeg (see Kitchen Tips)

½ teaspoon salt


Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


  1. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast and water and let stand for 5 minutes, until it foams and  bubbles.
  2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, oil, sugar, sweet potatoes, nutmeg, vanilla, and salt into the yeast mixture. Add about half of the flour, and mix until combined, then add the rest of the flour and mix for 5 to 6 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot. Let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, until it doubles in size.
  3. Flour a work surface generously. Turn the dough on to it, and roll it to ¾-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a 1- to 1½-inch round cutter flouring the cutters and rerolling the scraps as you go. You will have about 96.
  4. Line 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper and arrange the doughnuts on them, 15 to 18 per sheet, allowing at least 2 inches between them. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm  spot for about 45 minutes, until they are slightly re-puffed.
  5. About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the doughnuts for 12 to 14 minutes until browned, rotating the baking sheets between racks halfway through the baking time to ensure even heating. Remove from the baking sheets and cool completely before filling. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts.
  6. While the doughnuts are baking, make the filling: combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, creme fraiche or sour cream, dulce de leche, cinnamon, cardamom nutmeg, and salt and mix  until thoroughly blended.
  7. Spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a small, round tip. When the doughnuts are completely cool, add some of the filling to each doughnut by poking the tip about two-thirds of the way into each, and squeezing the pastry bag gently to as you are withdrawing the tip.
  8. Pour the confectioners’ sugar into a fine-mesh sieve and dust the finished doughnuts with the sugar, tapping the sieve very gently if necessary to get a light, even coating.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Yeast is a little living creature, and it needs special handling. You need warm water to activate it—between 85° and 100°F—but if the water is too warm (more than 110°F), you’ll kill it and it simply won’t work at all.
  2. To prepare a vanilla bean pod, slit it lengthwise with a sharp knife, and scrape out the seeds. The seeds can be added to baked goods, ice creams and many other recipes. The pod can be added to a container of granulated sugar to make vanilla-scented sugar (aka vanilla sugar) or added to liquid infusions.
  3. To toast spices, pour the ground or whole seeds into a frying pan or cast-iron skillet and set over medium heat. Toast for 10 to 20 seconds, or up to 1 minute, until fragrant. Watch carefully so the spices do not burn.
  4. Nutmeg is available ground, but if you buy the whole nutmeg and grate it or scrape it with a sharp knife yourself, the flavor and fragrance will be much stronger. Look for it in specialty spice stores, good supermarket spice sections, or online.
  5. We adapted the tasty doughnut batter from the Sweet Potato Doughnuts featured on FoodandWine.com.

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