How to Make Sweet Potato Pumpkin Doughnuts (Peruvian Picarones)

Who said plants can only go on salad, soups or side dishes? The fall season is here and that means it’s the season to give two wonderful plants, pumpkin and sweet potatoes, some love. With that said, this week, I want to show you how to make a classic dessert that is near and dear to my heart, Picarones. I have to tell you not only is the outcome delicious, but the process of making them is so much fun. Don’t believe us? Just check out the video!

These doughnuts are not like you’re usual doughnut. With sweet potatoes and pumpkin you get a very good dose of beta carotene which is a nutrient which is converted to Vitamin A, a vitamin that is known to be good for eyesight, but also supports a healthy immune system. With the winter months coming up, that’s something all of us need a bit of. So, I guess you could call this a superfood doughnut. Even though I show you how to make this from scratch, it’s also perfectly okay to use canned pumpkin and sweet potato that you can find in your grocery store for convenience. Don’t forget to make your own mouthwatering sauce to go along with it!



  • Frying pan
  • Large bowl


For the Doughnuts (Peruvian Picarones)

  • 300 grams sweet potato cooked or canned puree
  • 300 grams pumpkin cooked or canned puree
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 package rapid rise active yeast
  • 600 grams all-purpose flour
  • cup cooking water from sweet potato & pumpkin
  • 4-6 cups canola oil

For the Chancaca Syrup

  • 600 g chancaca, piloncillo, panela or brown sugar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon anise seeds
  • Peel of 1 orange


For the Doughnuts

  • Boil potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin with anise seeds, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.*
  • When they’re soft, drain the water to a container for later, and take the cinnamon sticks and cloves out.
  • Take a handheld mixer, and mix together.
  • Heat oil in a pan while making the dough.
  • Add rapid yeast and brown sugar to your sweet potato mixture.
  • Add 1/3 of the total flour at a time and add in small amounts of fluid at the same time. The key is that the mixture doesn’t stick to your fingers, so the fluid helps with this.
  • Once the dough is fully mixed, cover it and let it rise.
  • Make sure the oil in your pan is hot.
  • Using a pastry tube, squeeze the dough into rounds.
  • Add more dough and add to the oil. Continue this until all of the dough is used.
  • They will be done when they’re a nice golden brown.

For the Sauce:

  • Mix together all of your ingredients. Boil in a pan until it turns into a syrupy consistency.



*You can buy canned sweet potato and canned pumpkin instead of boiling them yourself.
Tried and enjoyed this recipe?Mention @manuel.villacorta in your post or story!

Everyone will love you at your next fall party, but consume with caution. These little things are just tasty enough to be dangerous, so watch your portions!

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