Recipe: Picarones (Sweet Potato Doughnuts)


Picarones are a Peruvian sweet snack originating from the city of Lima. The best way to describe them is as a doughnut made from squash and sweet potato. Mental! They have an incredibly unique flavour from the cinnamon, star anise and citrus fruit used to create the dough and accompanying syrup. If you often like to go outside the box with your cooking be sure to give them a go. See what you think...


For The Dough

  • 250 g sweet potatoes
  • 250 g squash (we used butternut)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 level tbsp dried active yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 300 g plain flour

For The Syrup

  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 150 g water
Puree the Veg

Step 1

Puree The Veg

Peel the potato and squash and cut into big chunks. Place into a pan, cover with cold water and add the whole spices. Heat to a boil and cook for 15 minutes until just cooked, then drain (reserving the cooking liquid) and leave the veg to cool and dry a little. Mash to a purée.

Make the Dough and Prove

Step 2

Make The Dough And Prove

Stir the sugar with the yeast with 100ml of the warm (not hot) cooking liquid in a large mixer with dough hook. Beat in the eggs and the potato purée along with the flour until you are left with a sticky dough, but one that just about comes away from a damp finger. Cover and leave to prove for 60-90 minutes in a warm room until it doubles in size.

Make a Syrup

Step 3

Make A Syrup

Juice the orange and lime and heat in a pan with the sugar, water and cinnamon so that the sugar dissolves and it bubbles for 10 minutes. Then leave to cool to room temperature.

Shape and Fry the Doughnuts

Step 4

Shape And Fry The Doughnuts

Heat the vegetable oil to 180℃. Fill a small bowl with cold salted water and damped your fingers. Grab small blobs of the dough and quickly work them between your fingers to form rings. Lower* into the oil and fry for a 60-90 seconds on each side until golden and crisp. Use tongs or a wooden stick to turn and shape them. *Be careful lowering into the oil… DO NOT DROP THEM IN!


Step 5


Drain on kitchen paper and serve whilst warm and drizzled with syrup. Makes 24

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