Old Fashioned Potato Candy


This contest is now closed. Congratulations to Mary Jo F for winning and please enjoy the recipe. Thanks!

This is an old fashioned candy recipe that I’ve received a lot of requests for. Mama said her Mama Reed used to make it around the holidays for all the kids. Mama Reed had ten children herself, but was known for her hospitality and open table policy: If a meal was being served, you were welcome to come join them. She made her potato candy a little different than how I’m making it here, but there are so many ways to customize this recipe that I’m sure you will be able to make it your own as well.

Mama Reed liked to divide her dough into two batches, tinting one pink with red food coloring and leaving one white. She’d then pinch off bits of dough and roll it into balls, storing the balls into the refrigerator until ready to serve to the younguns or whatever guests happened by. I’ve also seen folks roll out little balls of potato candy and dip them into melted chocolate to serve as a sort of poor man’s bon bon. Either way is delicious.

Now if you’re thinking potato candy sounds weird, I can see where you’re coming from so I’m gonna let you know what to expect : Old Fashioned Candy Heaven. This candy is kinda in the same taste category as Fudge or Divinity. It is just that good! You won’t be disappointed!

The ingredients for this are simple ones, my favorite kind! Peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, and a potato.

You can add a teaspoon of vanilla if you like, but you don’t have to. Y’all know I like things as simple as possible.

You can also leave the peanut butter out and just roll it into balls like Mama Reed did, but oh my goodness, I love the peanut butter!

You could also use nutella or a soy butter or such if you need to substitute.

Peel and slice your potato and cover it with water. bring to a boil and cook until tender.

Drain your potato water and place the cooked potato in a mixing bowl.

Beat it up real good.

Add about half of your confectioner’s sugar and mix it up well again.

Until you have a pulpy, liquidy, mess.

Dump in the rest of your sugar.

Sure you can add it “gradually” if you have all day but it’s just as good to dump it all in there and get on with making some candy.

After that second mixing, you’ll have yourself a good stiff dough, like the consistency of cookie dough, only maybe a wee bit stiffer.

You may need to add a little more sugar, depending on the size of your potato, to get this stiff consistency.

Now, because we don’t have all the time in the world to clean our kitchens and because we want this to be as easy as possible (so we enjoy it more, of course!),

place a big old sheet of waxed paper on your countertop.

If anyone is feeling particularly technical today, I think this is like…18 inches long – ish.

*I have a strict policy against unnecessary math in my life so go with an estimate here.

Put some confectioner’s sugar on that to keep your dough from sticking like tar.

Dump your blob of dough on that. You’ll have to scrape down the sides a bit to get it all.

Dust the top with some more sugar.

Okay, I didn’t dust, I just put a handful on there but sometimes I worry that y’all will think I have no grace at all so I throw out dainty little words like “dust”. While I was typing this I was drinking iced tea at the same time and just to help emphasize my supposed daintiness, I lifted my pinky as I held the glass.

~takes in a deep breath then a big old swig of tea~

Okay, I’m over that now.

Roll that out until it is about a quarter of an inch.

~tilts her head sideways and squints one eye~ Hold your head like this and it will look like a more even-ish blob.

Smear some peanut butter on that.

I have no idea how much peanut butter you’ll need so just go with your gut here.

You can do this because you are awesome!

Now roll that up log style, like you’re rolling up cinnamon rolls.

until you have this.

Now since we have the waxed paper already out there anyway, roll your log up in your waxed paper.

To make life easier, I cut my roll in half.

Then they will both fit in a gallon zipper bag. Place this in the fridge until thoroughly chilled.

When ready to serve, remove waxed paper and slice into inch slices.

Makes about forty pieces of candy.

Old Fashioned Potato Candy
  • 1 small potato
  • 2 pounds confectioner's sugar
  • peanut butter
  1. Peel and slice potato. In small sauce pot, cover potato slices with water and cook over medium heat until soft. Drain potato and place in mixing bowl. Beat until mashed. Add ½ sugar and mix well. Mix in remaining sugar, scraping down sides as needed.
  2. Line a countertop with a sheet of waxed paper dusted with confectioner's sugar. Scrape out dough onto waxed paper and dust top with more confectioner's sugar. Roll out to a thickness of about ¼ of an inch (don't go getting a ruler here, just eyeball it. This isn't rocket science). Spread dough with peanut butter and roll up like you are making cinnamon rolls. Once you have rolled up into a log, roll log up in your waxed paper and cut in half. Place halves in a gallon zipper seal bag and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to serve remove waxed paper an slice into ¼ inch slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Please note: potatoes are different sizes. If you end up with more potato, you're gonna need more confectioner's sugar. We're gonna have to use our noodles on this one and be ready to add more confectioner's sugar if need be. You'll just end up with more candy. Work it in there until it becomes a dough. You might have to add a lot more sugar because you might end up with a lot more potato. You can do this. I have faith in you :)

Nestlé Family Holiday Exchange

This post is part of the Nestle Family Holiday Exchange, which means one person who comments will win a great prize pack courtesy of the Nestle Family.

Today’s prize pack is a Baking Package, great for a fun evening of baking with your family!

Baking Prize Pack Includes:

  • VIP Coupon for free Carnation Evaporated Milk
  • VIP Coupon for free Toll House Morsels
  • VIP Coupon for free Refrigerated Cookie Dough
  • $25.00 Visa gift card to cover other baking supplies.

This contest closes at midnight, Thursday December 9th. Winner will be notified by email and announced on this post Friday December 10. Please note that I will be out of town during this time for my Friday appearance on The 700 Club so the winner will not be announced until late Friday night.

To enter, leave a comment below sharing your favorite holiday recipe (you can just tell me the title of the recipe or include the whole thing if you like!). You can also visit Nestlefamily.com and tell me a recipe there you’d like to make this year.

Check out the Very Merry Cookie Wreath idea while you’re there!

“Something about an old-fashioned Christmas is hard to forget.”

~Hugh Downs

Disclaimer: I have partnered with Nestle Family to be a part of this holiday exchange series of posts. I have not been paid for a positive opinion and all opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Christy's email list and receive all her new posts directly in your inbox


  1. Alison says

    I just found out why it’s better to add the sugar gradually, rather than dumping in huge amounts. Mine was too stiff to roll up without cracking, so we’ll be having napoleon style potato candy instead of the spirals (I cut the potato dough into slabs and spread those with the peanut butter and stacked them up).

  2. Nadine says

    I am eighty eight years old. My mother use to make potatoes candy every XMAS.
    We all looked forward to XMAS candy. I think she used the same receipt only
    No peanut butter . She would put small amount of mint extract into the dough
    Then devide into three parts even then she used food coloring ( red, blue, green )
    Roll out the dough thin but not too thin use small round cookie cutter . Makes
    Your mints. Soooooo good. I’ve looked & searched for so long to find this recipe
    Thank you

  3. Donna Jean says

    Do you have a recipe for fried bread? My mother used to make us fried bread all the time & I can’t remember exactly what she put in it. I know she made a patty out of the dough & fried it quickly in an iron skillet.

    • says

      Hey Donna Jean, I LOVE your name!!! Is there anything else you can tell me about the bread? Was it a biscuit like bread, cornbread type bread? did it have anything mixed into it? Anything else you can remember at all will help me figure out which direction to point you in. :-)

  4. Karren says

    I’m a little late to the party (about 5 years late!) but have a question if you are still around. Does the potato add flavor or is it a binding ingredient? I’m craving some candy and I have all the ingredients!!! I’ll cut it in half and make 1/2 with peanut butter and the other 1/2 with Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter.

  5. Judy says

    I use to make this for my children when they were small. I had an urge to make it the other day but all I had was a sweet potato. It worked just as well and ended up a pretty orange.

  6. Peggy says

    My mom used to make this at Christmas..But she made peppermint, wintergteen, spearmi.t patties. She colored peppermint white,wintegreen pink and spearmint green.
    ..She cut them out with doughnut cutter , dipped them in chocolate.
    They were always a big hit.

  7. Sue says

    Do these need to be refrigerated? I want to mail them to my Alaska family and wondered if the potatoes would spoil within a week or so………. How long before I serve them are they still eatable? thank you

  8. Dee dee says

    As a woman raised in the south, this was the best thing to make in our house. I used this to take for bake sales at school. Haven’t made it in awhile but am thinking of doing it this year for Christmas. Love this stuff

  9. Jo says

    Oh my goodness! I haven’t had these in sooo long! My former Mother-in-Law made them and taught me the recipe. Thank you so much for reminding me about this simply yummy recipe. I will be making them soon!!! Who cares that the holidays are over!

  10. Linda Kafton says

    On to potato candy, finally someone knew it, I cleaned my potato ( egg size ) and boiled it with the jacket ( outer skin ) on until done. Scrape the jacket off. Continue the directions. I like crunchy pb, my family likes smooth pb, so 1/2 crunchy 1/2 smooth. Thickness of pb depends on how much you like it. Chill for 3 days in fridge. Slice, dose not need to be kept in the refrigerator. Egg size, 1lb. Powered sugar and pb. May use more or less powder sugar, depending on size of egg. I like the other serving suggestions. ENJOY


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *