Old-Fashioned Potato Candy

Old-fashioned potato candy is a unique treat that dates back to the early 20th century, commonly found in the Southern United States. It’s a simple, no-bake candy that traditionally requires very few ingredients. The most surprising ingredient is a potato, which acts as a binder for the powdered sugar and peanut butter.

Here’s how to make this nostalgic sweet:


  • 1 small potato (about the size of a large egg)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional, for flavor)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Approximately 4 to 5 cups of powdered sugar (also known as icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar)
  • 1 cup of smooth peanut butter (you can use crunchy if you prefer some texture)


  1. Prepare the Potato:
    • Peel the potato and cut it into chunks. Boil in water until it’s tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
    • Drain the potato well and while it’s still warm, mash it until smooth. There should be no lumps.
    • Measure out roughly 1/2 cup of mashed potato. Too much potato can make the dough too sticky.
  2. Make the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, add the warm mashed potato and the teaspoon of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.
    • Begin adding powdered sugar, half a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. The mixture will liquify at first, which is normal.
    • Keep adding powdered sugar and stirring until the mixture starts to form a dough. It will become more difficult to stir.
    • Dust a flat surface with powdered sugar and turn the dough out onto this surface. Knead the dough, adding more powdered sugar as needed, until it’s no longer sticky and has the consistency of playdough.
  3. Roll Out the Dough:
    • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle shape, about 1/4 inch thick. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle with more powdered sugar.
  4. Add the Peanut Butter:
    • Spread a layer of peanut butter over the rolled-out dough. The layer should be thin enough to not overwhelm the candy, but thick enough to cover the dough.
  5. Roll the Candy:
    • Starting from one end, carefully roll the dough into a log. Roll tightly enough to avoid air pockets but not so tight as to squeeze out the peanut butter.
  6. Chill:
    • Wrap the log in plastic wrap or wax paper and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour until it’s firm.
  7. Slice:
    • Once chilled and firm, use a sharp knife to slice the log into 1/4 inch rounds.
  8. Serve:
    • Old-fashioned potato candy is ready to be served. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


  • If the dough becomes too stiff or crumbly, you can add a tiny bit of water or another spoonful of mashed potato to adjust the consistency.
  • This candy is very sweet, so you may want to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.
  • The potato taste is typically not detectable after all the sugar and peanut butter are added.
  • For a twist, you can add a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder to the powdered sugar for rolling out the dough.

Enjoy your homemade old-fashioned potato candy!

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