Baked Sweet Potato Dough-Nekos – Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, particularly during the time I was documenting my adventures in Kyoto, you'd know that I promised to make these after trying a rather disappointing version in Japan.

In Japan I found stall selling adorable little どうぶつドーナツ doubutsu doonats-, animal doughnuts. I chose this guy.

Unfortunately, he was tough, dry and didn't taste like much, and the coating had a strange plasticky texture to it, like the bad kind of fake chocolate that doesn't quite melt in the mouth properly. I vowed I could do better.

Here, I've made sweet potato and cinnamon baked doughnuts, which are super-fluffy and light. Dipping them was the most difficult part: I got melted chocolate (well technically Candy Melts) all over me. I suspect that's mostly because I'm really clumsy though. I got better at dipping and decorating as I went along. The first few guys were a bit lumpy, but still cute. I had lots of fun making all the different expressions.

Look at this sassy little guy!

Ready? Let's go!

Ingredients for Doughnuts:

125g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
150g sweet potato, steamed and mashed
2 medium eggs
200g self raising flour
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt

 Ingredients for Decorations:

300g Candy Melts in your chosen colour
Darker gel food colouring of choice
24 whole almonds
Coconut oil
30 dark chocolate


1) Preheat the oven to 18C and grease your doughnut pan (if you're using a silicone one like me, there's no need to grease it).

2) Stir the butter, sugars and sweet potato, beat in the eggs and then stir in the dry ingredients until well combined.

3) Spoon (or pipe, as I did) into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until the doughnuts spring back when you poke them. I had to do this in two batches as I only have one six-hole pan.

4) Let cool for 10 minutes before unmoulding onto a wire rack, then cool completely before decorating.

5) Melt your Candy Melts in a bowl, zapping them in 30 second intervals in the microwave at 50% power to avoid burning them. Dip the fat ends of the almonds and stick them into your doughnuts (I used a knife to make little incisions in the doughnuts first). Let them set for 10 minutes.

6) You may need to reheat your Candy Melts: do this, and stir in 1 tbsp coconut oil to thin it down (you may want to use more).

7) Dip your doughnuts, shake off any excess and set them back on the wire rack to cool.

8) Colour a little bit of your melted Candy Melts with your food colouring, and use a toothpick to paint on your cats' stripes.

9) Melt the dark chocolate in another small bowl (tempering optional). Use another toothpick to make faces.

10) Let dry completely, then eat and enjoy!


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