Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spudnut Recipe and The Spudnut Shop in Vernon B.C.

When I was ten years old my parents decided to buy a Spudnut Shop in Vernon,B.C., Canada during the summer of 1967.

 It turns out to be the biggest experience of my life, due to the Spudnuts themselves. I had never tasted such a tasty [donuts] in my life, as these particular [donuts] were not donuts at all, but a Spudnut - a special brand of potato flour mix by a franchise that originated in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The original recipe of Spudnut come from the two brothers -where Bob and Al Pelton in Salt Lake City began the historical adventure of turning [donuts] into something better – Spudnut – a potato flour ingredient with the use of yeast, pure vegetable shortening and certain spices.

Be sure to check out a great little short story called : The Great Spudnut 

As said, the Spudnuts started with a Spudnut flour mix originated by two ingenious brothers in Salt Lake City. After months of experimentation, they came up with the prefect mix. After perfecting the Spudnut Flour Mix, just like that they became a household name in United States, growing so fast that their next solution was to start a special franchise in Salt Lake City. The brothers had grown from a small Spudnut shop to a large growing enterprise with a warehouse and mixing plant. It has been told that you could buy a Spudnut franchise in 1950’s for only $2000.00. Apparently in order to provide orders to the East of United States they decided to open up a warehouse in Cleveland Ohio. But, my mom says that their orders came directly from Salt Lake City, Utah. Once we had to buy directly from Calgary, Alberta.  I still remember that quick unexpected trip on Sunday.  Needed the potato flour for that Monday morning. 

Photo is courtesy of Eileen Podanowski.  Eileen here, in the photo is a baby at the time (1961) and her mom and dad are posing in front of the Spudnut Shop my parents owned from 1967.  Thank you Eileen for this wonderful photo.  You can see the glass window where my dad would showcase, making the Spudnuts, so everyone could watch. 

With the Spudnut Franchise, you had to order 100 lb bags of 10 [Spudnut mix]per week, which was shipped and delivered to Vancouver,B.C. or Calgary, Alberta, Canada for $75.00 per bag.

 The cost of a signal Spudnut was .010 cents each or $1.20 per dozen in 1968. My mom, Betty Watts reminded me that Long johns ( a long style Spudnut with chocolate glaze) and jelly filled Spudnuts cost a whole 0.15 cents per Spudnut. Coffee at the time was only 0.10 cents while tea was 0.15 cents. All the prices of the Spudnuts was placed on a green chalk board.  My mom would write down the daily specials and the elusive Spudnut special price.

In the small town of Vernon, the Spudnut Shop was originally owned by hard working Ernie and Betty LeClair. They placed the shop over to their daughter and husband team – Pearl and John Lehr.  
As of 1968, my mom Betty Watts was in full control of the Spudnut Shop and this is when we began our "Spudnut Adventure".  Before that, in 1967, I believe John was helping out, to make sure the Spudnut recipe was done right.  It's like handing the keys over to your son or daughter, the first solo trip with the car.  

And what an adventure! 

My mom opened the little Spudnut Shop on main street of Vernon, at 6:00 am and closed the shop around 5:00 pm.; or when the last customer decided to finish off another tasty Spudnut.  My dad would be up around 3:00 am to begin making the first patch of Spudnuts.  I believe he made 3-4 patches per day. 

Long days at six days a week, starting with making the elusive Spudnut at 3:00 am from mixing it to rolling it out, to making the round shape of the Spudnut. It was then placed in a warming rising oven [PROOFER : long rectangular oven with room for baking sheet racks and a small water base container at the bottom] at a temperature of 190 degrees F. until the Spudnuts raised twice to three times the original size. 

 I tried to help my mom the best I could at such a young age of 10 yrs old, but mostly I ended up eating the profits of fresh Spudnuts and those tasty homemade hamburgers. My mom is now in her eighties, but we still reminisce about the Spudnut Shop days.

It's my hope you will enjoy working with the recipe below. Please note: Moderate Skill Level due to the steps required. 

Spudnut Recipe: ( smaller recipe revised from my bigger patch) 

1 1/2 packages of fast rising fleischmann's yeast. ( Use 2 packages if your product has past the before date. Just saying.
1/2 cup of warm water
2 1/2 cups (dry measure) white all purpose flour
1/2 cup Organic Potato Flour (organic potato flour is found in the specialty section of your supermarket)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of  Crisco Shortening or butter ( butter will make it richer, but the Spudnut will be darker ) (My parent’s Spudnut franchise used Crisco Shortening and it had a lighter tone after deep frying it. ) 
1 large egg and 1 yoke ( if small eggs use two) 
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup of lukewarm milk - split half a cup of milk in order to alternate from the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, respectively 



1. Sift dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, add salt too - mix in.

2 . Mix Yeast Fleischmann's Yeast into half cup of warm water.

3. Place butter in mixer and mix. Add sugar and mix until a fluffy cream mixture. Add egg with yoke.

4. Mix in warm water and yeast mixture. 

5. Add only half a cup of the lukewarm milk until.   ( Change over to dough hook )

6. Now add dry ingredients ( white flour and Potato flour) - Add in thirds at a time.

7. Incorporate with the last of the milk ( 1/2 cup) and the dry ingredients until all incorporated together.

8. Blend for 3 - 5 minutes. 

Your finish dough product should be like Bread dough. 


1. Remove dough from mixer and place onto floured surface. Roll into a large ball. Lightly oil ball with canola oil. 
2. Place into a lightly oiled bowl,and cover with dry cloth. Place in  a warm spot. 
3. Let rise for 1 hour or longer in warm place. ( It should double in size.) 


1. Place dough on floured surface. 
2. Begin rolling out the dough.  You can flip it again to get traction on surface. ( 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) 
3. Cut into round donut shapes with cutter.
5. Pace on baking sheet and COVER with dry cloth and let it rise again for 30 minutes in  warm area.

BELOW PHOTO:  The photo shows us cutting into formed Spudnuts


First : Make a sugar glacé : 2 cups of icing sugar with 1/3 cup of cold milk.

Second:   Get your fryer ready to go -375 degrees F or 185 degrees Celsius.   

Third : Drop 3 Spudnuts into deep fryer. Cook until light golden brown. Flip over to cook the remaining side. 

Remove and place on paper towels.  Dip into sugar  glacé ( I like dividing it up evenly and add chocolate syrup to one. Just to switch it up, plus I love chocolate) 

Voila - Enjoy! 

 I love the new Cool Touch Fryers from Costco - $145 for one of these babies .

You can add sugar cinnamon mixture to the Spudnuts or use my Icing Sugar Glaze.  See Recipe below.

Making Spudnuts is a moderate level of experience. Don't attempt this if you've have never cooked before. 
Please support my efforts by purchasing my Cookbook : Canadian Recipes of the Great White North.

Check out my website Chef Bari for recipes and  my Facebook page: Canadian Recipes of the Great White North    

Additional Update Sept 2019

Good Monday Morning everyone.  Throughout the internet we have a collection of Spudnut Clone Recipes  with their spin on the recipe. If you would like to participate and have a reciprocal link to each of our websites - I would be happy to add on.

Better Batter

This morning I would like to introduce NAOMI from BETTER BATTER : Naomi has graciously credited me for the original Spudnut Recipe, as well as, added the link to my website. She has also prepared a Spudnut Clone Recipe - Be sure to checkout her recipe and recipes as well.

Thank you Naomi for participating and sharing links with each others website. Much appreciated. 

Be a part of the Spudnut group by sharing your clone too! I love to see your version. 

In the next week I'm going to add new photos and a video showing step by step instructions on making the original Spudnut Recipe. Please stayed tuned. It might take 10 days to get organized, as we Chefs are pretty busy. 


Chef Bari

Addition Update :

It's was a blessing to be contacted by Deb Anderson, the daughter of the original owners Al Pelton. Thank you for contacting me. 

Chef Bari 
Feb 2015 

P.S. I hope everyone is using Potato flour and not starch - VERY IMPORTANT 

Please take a minute to support my efforts by buying my published cookbook - Canadian Recipes of the Great White North - CLICK ON PHOTO below.

UPDATE : 2016 -  Unfortunately my mom passed away after her fight with cancer on June 2015.  Loved by all throughout BC and Alberta.  She so loved Vernon, BC.  Her last days were with her family and friends, including three grandchildren.  She use to attend the BC Hydro social meetings with her friends, I believe every month.  Her last year's with second husband, Peter Watts, was said to be the golden years of her life.  I'll will sure miss my mom. RIP. Love Bari 

UPDATE : 2020 - Join me in my new website chefbari - more recipes, treats, sweets, home cooking, chicken dishes, beef dishes, healthy WW dishes and much much more.  

Sugar Glaze: 

1  1/2 cups of Icing Sugar
2 Tbsp Milk

Mix together - Add more milk to make runner if required - but this works for me. 


  1. THANK YOU for offering the recipe using potato flour! In my search today, every other recipe uses mashed potatoes and I was looking for the bakery version. I look forward to trying this out.

  2. Thanks Barb - you can follow me on facebook with many more free recipes:

  3. Thanks for keeping the story and legacy of my fathers Spudnuts alive. Fun to read your story and information you provided.
    Deb Andersen Daughter of Al Pelton

  4. Sorry for the long waited response Deb - thank you so much for replying and your kind words. Wow - Your a celebrity. Today on the program "House" - Dr. House mention how he enjoys Spudnuts - I thought - Wow! The Famous Spudnut is ...well...famous and such a tasty treat :)
    Come join us on :
    It would be a pleasure - thanks Deb :)

  5. Wow, thank you for this! I only tried Spudnuts for the first time a couple months ago, and promptly moved to a state without one. All the recipes I've found have some mashed potatoes, then a lot of regular flour, but that didn't sound right. I'm curious why you're so freely sharing this recipe when others are trying to sell it or, worse, sell a mix of some sort on websites that don't work.

  6. Hi Aria,
    Thanks for your comments. I thought it would be best to give the Spudnut Recipe free, because it was such a big part of my life. The recipe is considered difficult to master if you're not an avid baker. There are trick and tips you just can't explain in writing. Someday I'll show it on youtube.
    You can support my efforts by buying my published cookbook: Canadian Recipes of the Great White North by Chef Bari. You can view my book on one of my websites:
    Thanks once again Aria, I appreciate your thoughts. Pass along to your friends and family along with my book
    Chef Bari

  7. Hi Chef - I'm very glad to find this recipe but I have a question: when do you use the cinnamon and 1 cup sugar?

  8. Great question Kalamity - the sugar and cinnamon is mixed together. Dip your cooked Spudnuts to the sugar mixture. Have fun!

  9. Excellent, serviceable recipe. If you want a more Canuck flavour, use maple sugar. I've been making these fellows for over 30 years and suggest using buttermilk and bear fat as shortening. If you know a hunter, render your own. The pastry chefs in Paris pay big bucks for this fat. A teaspoon of homemade vanilla in the glaze(a split bean in bourbon for 6 months) will add to the kick. Finally, put 'Bud the Spud' on ye ol' Victrola and have one on 'Stompin Tom'.

  10. Thanks Hans for your recipes suggestions - if only I knew Pastry Chefs in Paris pay big bucks for bear fat. I was a hunter for years. A friends of mine Darrel Collins - also from Vernon B.C. - his family originate from Norway but were loggers from Prince George B. C. Darrel's Dad had a big hunting party of close friends up in the Chilcotin ( Williams Lake, B.C.) area. Darrel became a professional hunters guide in the Chilcotin ( just retired recently) Darrel use to guide hunters from Germany, United States, Canada and Norway for years. They also hunted Bear - if only he knew how bear fat was used by Pastry Chefs for shortening - I 'm sure he would of sold it.
    If you're interested in more recipes or just want to follow along - join me on my Facebook Pages : and during Christmas Season - I have my Christmas Cookbook :
    Also I have my Canadian Outdoor Page called : Explore Canadian Outdoors
    And lastly my hunting experience throughout the years - lead me to publish a cookbook called : Canadian Recipes of The Great White North by Chef Bari ( You can see my book in any on-line publication - such as Indigo / Chapters.
    I wanted my cookbook to be friendly to the whole family including the children - showcasing fun wildlife illustrations for children along with Mom & Dad. I have fun outdoor stories including recipes. It's more than just a cookbook - you would have to read it to know what I mean. Here is the link to Amazon with a preview look :

    Thank you Hans - I appreciate your feedback and look forward to seeing you on my Facebook Pages. Please pass along

  11. This is such an interesting blog. You are very knowledgeable about this subject. Please check out my site.
    Utah attorney

    1. Thank you for the support Rozina - Glad you like it - can't seem to click on your site - but anyway - thank you for the post - Check out Canadian Recipes of The Great White North by Chef Bari

  12. Can you contact me back please :) I'd like to get info, if you have it, on purchasing thr original spice mix ! :)

  13. HI Brandy - The actual Spudnut flour mix is by the Spudnut Franchise - but I see you can buy a Spudnut mix on line. I'm not affiliated with this company, but you can try them out. Here's the link :
    Myself, I make the Spudnut from scratch using potato flour - as for the recipe above. Have a great day! And check out

  14. I grew up in Vernon and was just telling my son about the Spudnut Shop in Vernon. They had the best Spuduts and hamburgers I have ever had. Was a total surprise to find this posting and I am very greatfull for the recipe and the memory.

    1. Hi.
      I just read your comment. Thank you for your kind words in relationship to our families Spudnut Shop in Vernon. The Spudnuts were indeed a treat and I remember my Mom ( Betty Watts - remarried) serving up a ton of hamburgers everyday, except Sunday. Us kids had the job of making thousands of homemade hamburgers every week by hand.
      At the time, I went to Fulton Jr High School ( Grade 7 - 9) and every lunch hour my mom had hamburger and fries ready for me.
      Good old days for sure. I'm happy my posts do reach the public. If interested, you can also join my Facebook Page : Canadian Recipes of the Great White North -

      Thanks once again for your post.

  15. I grew up in Salt Lake City in the 1960's. Spudnut was a part of life there. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will bring back some wonderful memories.

  16. That’s awesome! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here. I appreciate it. I’ve added more on my new website if you’re interested

  17. Thank you for sharing the recipe. My husband grew up in Berea, Ohio (near Cleveland) and still raves about the Spudnuts he ate there over 70 years ago! He still compares every donut he eats to those Spudnuts, LOL.

  18. That’s awesome! Thank you for posting about your husband. It’s always fun to hear how others experiencing the tast of Spudnuts. If you have time check out my new website featuring more stories of the Spudnut Shop...
    Thanks again

  19. Thank you so much for posting the original recipe! I was wondering, if you were to make double or more the amount of the recipe, would there need to be any modifications made to the recipe?

    1. Hi There!
      The best way would to follow my Texas Style Recipe - just skip the filling inside and apply as a regular spudnut- here’s the link to my new website with double the recipe :
      Thank you for checking my website out !
      Chef Bari

    2. We actually live in Texas, so that's perfect! Thank you again for the information!
      Best Regards,

    3. Oh wow ! That’s so prefect !
      Chef Bari

  20. Thank you for original recipe. Safeway has potato flour. Could you pls tell the yield for this recipe and your advise on making without a mixer. Husband is from Lethbridge and he goes into a trance if anyone says Spudnuts...his fav treat.

    1. Hi Jetti,
      This particular recipe is for one dozen Spudnuts. To knead without a mixer takes a little longer but you can still do it. Just make sure your dough is kneaded until it’s elasticity has formed .
      You can try my larger recipe, which will make 2 1/2 dozen Spudnuts - I prefer this recipe because I love eating Spudnuts 🥰 Follow to my ChefBari website here :
      Instead of making Bomboloni style just make your regular Spudnut ( donut shape ) It’s extremely tasty and light.
      Because a mixer takes 10 minutes, punching out and rolling by hand may take longer. Just be patient. My mom use to do it by hand also. It usually took her 15 minutes. Just keep punching and rolling the dough...
      I hope this helps
      Thank you ,
      Chef Bari

  21. Thanks so much for quick & detailed reply, Chef Bari! I have a Stone Age kitchen, but did get a mini deep fryer and brush attachment for vacuum cleaner for Xmas. Things are looking up! I will check your website. Ta muchly.

    1. Awesome! Have fun making Spudnuts - just take your time - it’s a long process but so worth it at the end
      Thank you,
      Chef Bari

  22. PS, thanks for US Imperial measures. Too old to do that measurements-for-idiots metric chit.


If you make a comment, please allow for moderation. Thank you in advance for your support.