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Grandma’s Potato Candy

Grandma’s Potato Candy (also called peanut butter pinwheels) is a classic recipe that only requires a small amount of ingredients. A cherished treat!

PEANUT BUTTER PINWHEELS

If you have never tried Grandma’s Potato Candy Recipe, you are absolutely missing out. This recipe has been passed down from generation to generation and is absolutely delicious. It uses minimal ingredients, and yes, one of them is mashed potatoes! Trust me though, you do not taste the potato at all. You taste a flavorful sweet base with a peanut butter filling. Sliced up in pinwheel form, this is a beloved treat to serve for the holidays, to gift someone, or just to have sitting out for people to munch on when they want something sweet. If you have a chance this year to make any candy recipe, you really have to make my Grandma’s Potato Candy!

Grandma's Potato Candy Recipe sliced and lined up on a wooden board.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What is potato candy made of?

It’s a very simple ingredient list: mashed potatoes, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and peanut butter.

Who invented Potato Candy?

Like many recipes that have changed over time, it is hard to pinpoint exactly where it started. It is believed that this candy evolved from a recipe that was brought to America by German immigrants. That “recipe” had only two ingredients: potatoes and sugar. And as time went on, it took on the addition of peanut butter as it became popular (and was affordable) during the First World War.

What’s the difference between this Potato Candy and Irish Potato Candy?

Irish Potato Candy is shaped to look like a potato with a dusting of cocoa powder on the outside. It doesn’t contain any peanut butter.

What kind of potato is best to use for Potato Candy?

Russet potatoes. You will only want to use that potato for this recipe. I have not tested with any other potatoes as this is how we have always made it.

Can I use instant potatoes?

No. Sorry. Do not use instant potatoes in this recipe as they are too watery and you will not get the consistency desired.

How do you prepare the mashed potato to make this candy?

Poke holes in the potato and microwave until tender. Let it cool completely, peel and then mash. This method makes the potato less watery, needing less powdered sugar.

Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

Traditionally this calls for creamy peanut butter but you can use crunchy for a little bit of texture change. Just make sure that when you spread it on the potato mixture, it does not rip or poke holes in it. I do not recommend natural peanut butter as it is too oily of a consistency.

Can I use unsalted butter?

Yes, if you don’t usually keep salted butter in your home you can use unsalted just add a little bit of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon) to the mixture.

Can I make this ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this up to 1 day ahead of time. Remove from the refrigerator and let it almost come to room temperature (you still want it to be slightly chilled) and cut.

How do I store leftovers?

You can store Grandma’s Potato Candy Recipe in an airtight container where it will keep in the refrigerator or up to 3 days.

Pinterest image close up of Grandma's Potato Candy Recipe lined up on a wooden board.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (FULL RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

  • mashed potatoes
  • salted butter
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar
  • creamy peanut butter
Ingredients needed: mashed potatoes, salted butter, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and peanut butter.

HOW TO MAKE POTATO CANDY:

Place the cooled mashed potatoes into a large bowl. Add the butter and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir in until combined.

Mashed potatoes, butter and vanilla in bowl.

Slowly add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, fully mixing in the first cup before adding the next. How much you use depends on how watery your mashed potato is as well as humidity, etc. 

Powdered sugar added to potato mixture.

You want the consistency to be like cookie dough that you can roll out. When you put a little bit in your fingers you should be able to press and mold it together. 

Hand pinching potato and powdered sugar mixture showing consistency.

In this step, you have to work pretty quickly because it can dry out. Layout a large piece of wax or parchment paper, dust it generously with powdered sugar. Place the potato mixture on the paper, add a generous amount of powdered sugar on top.

Potato Candy dough on powdered sugar surface waiting to be rolled out.

Roll it out to ¼ inch thick. Try to get this into a rectangle shape as well as you can.

Potato mixture rolled out.

Smear the peanut butter all over the top leaving a half-inch border. 

Peanut butter spread over potato mixture.

Tightly roll into a long log. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and roll the log up and tuck the ends under. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.

Candy rolled up into log wrapped in plastic wrap.

Unwrap on a cutting board and cut into ¼-½ inch slices to serve.

Potato candy cut on cutting board.

Serve and enjoy!

Bite taken out of one piece of Grandma's Potato Candy Recipe.

WANT MORE DELICIOUS RECIPES? YOU MUST TRY THESE!

Square image of Potato Candy showing the swirled filling.

GRANDMA’S POTATO CANDY

Grandma's Potato Candy (also called peanut butter pinwheels) is a classic recipe that only requires a small amount of ingredients. A cherished treat!
5 from 37 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill:: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the cooled mashed potatoes into a large bowl. Add the butter and beat with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir in until combined.
  • Slowly add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, fully mixing in the first cup before adding the next. How much you use depends on how watery your mashed potato is as well as humidity, etc.
  • You want the consistency to be like cookie dough that you can roll out. When you put a little bit in your fingers you should be able to press and mold it together.
  • In this step, you have to work pretty quickly because it can dry out. Layout a large piece of wax or parchment paper, dust it generously with powdered sugar. Place the potato mixture on the paper, add a generous amount of powdered sugar on top.
  • Roll it out to ¼ inch thick. Try to get this into a rectangle shape as well as you can.
  • Smear the peanut butter all over the top leaving a half-inch border.
  • Tightly roll into a long log. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and roll the log up and tuck the ends under. Place in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to set.
  • Unwrap on a cutting board and cut into ¼-½ inch slices to serve.

Notes

  • Do not use instant potatoes for this recipe, they are too watery.
  • You can prepare your potato any way you like, we microwave ours.
  • Creamy peanut butter is best but crunchy can be used as long as when it is spread you don’t tear or poke holes in the potato mixture.
  • If you don’t have salted butter unsalted can be used, just add a bit of salt along with it.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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8 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this for the holidays. My mother use to make it but I never got her recipe before she passed. This tasted exactly like it! Thanks so very much for helping me bring back a delicious and special memory!

  2. I love potato candy. Seeing this really makes me miss my mom and my great-granny. They would color it according to the holiday/occasion.