Baking/ Breakfast/ Desserts/ Recipe

Maple Bars

July 10, 2020 (Last Updated: July 21, 2020)

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Homemade maple bars are a delicious homemade donut topped with a maple frosting. These maple bars are made with a yeast dough.

Frosted maple bars on a baking rack.

Maple bars are one of those treats I indulge in from time to time. These are a homemade specialty from my childhood that my mom used to make. This recipe is one passed down to my mom from her mom. You know it’s a keeper when it’s been around for that many years!

Recently one of my sisters requested mom’s recipe and whipped up a batch of this delicious treat. That sparked the rest of us into recreating mom’s recipe. I finally jumped on the bandwagon and made my own batch! My mom’s recipe is quite a winner. I love these maple bars as much now as I did when I was a kid.

What is the difference between a donut and a maple bar?

Donuts and maple bars are really quite similar. The major difference is in the shape. Maple bars are traditionally rectangular in shape while most donuts are round.

Maple bars are covered with maple frosting although you will sometimes find them with chocolate frosting to. These bars are also called long johns.

A maple bar on a small white plate next to a tray filled with more maple bars.

Steps for making maple bars

Full printable recipe is available below! Just scroll to the bottom!

  1. Make dough and let rise
  2. Divide dough in half and roll out each half into a large rectangle
  3. Slice rolled dough into smaller rectangles. Allow dough to rise again
  4. Fry dough and drain cooked bars on paper towels
  5. Frost with maple frosting

Tips for making maple bars

  • Use about 2 inches of oil in your pot. Amount will vary, depending on size of your pot.
  • Use a thermometer to make certain your oil maintains a proper temperature
  • Do not overcrowd pan when cooking. I only cooked 2-3 bars at a time
  • Place cooked bars on paper towels to help absorb any excess oil
  • Don’t pile cooked bars on top of each other until bars are fully cooled
  • Allow bars to fully cool before adding frosting
  • Store excess bars in an airtight container

Variations

We are pretty traditional with our maple bars. However, I did try these with chocolate frosting and I also made a bacon maple bar! I simply added cooked bacon bits on top of the maple icing! You just can’t go wrong with a little sweet, salty and smoky combination! They were fun and delicious, however my favorite variety is still a regular ol’ maple bar with maple frosting.

Why are there potatoes in this recipe?

This recipe has 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes in the dough. These are not seasoned potatoes, but just a peeled, cooked and mashed potato. The potato helps make the dough extra light and creates a more delicate crumb with the finished bars. I’ve used potatoes in bread before when I made potato bread.

For best results, use a russet potato. Make certain the potato is fully cooked and mashed. You don’t want lumps added to your dough. Do not use potato flakes or instant potatoes. You will not have the same results.

To cook the potato, just peel and quarter a small russet potato. Boil until soft. Drain and mash with a fork or potato masher. Allow potato to cool before adding to your dough mixture.

I have a handful of donut (or doughnut) recipes you’ll want to try. Some of these donuts are fried and some are baked. You’ll want to try them all!

Oil temperature

Anytime you are frying in oil, the temperature of the oil is important. In order to maintain a consistent temperature, use a deep fryer or a thermometer. For this recipe, the oil temperature needs to be maintained between 360-370 degrees F.

When making these bars, it took about 15 minutes for my oil to reach the correct temperature. I then turned my burner down to medium heat. My oil tended to get too hot, rather than too cool, like when I made potato chips. The dough did not cool the dough down like the potato slices did. Either way, oil too hot or too cool is not good. You want it just right!

A maple bar with a bite taken out of one end.

Other great donut recipes

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Maple bars with frosting on a white platter.

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Be sure to check out all my delicious recipes!

Frosted maple bars on a baking rack.

Homemade Maple Bars

Kathy
Homemade maple bars are a delicious homemade donut topped with a maple frosting.ย 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rise Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 18 Bars
Calories 251 kcal

Ingredients
  

Maple Bars

  • 1 cup whole milk (warmed to 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes (cooked and cooled, see notes)
  • 1/4 cup butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • Oil for frying (Canola or Vegetable)

Maple Frosting

Chocolate Frosting (optional)

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions
 

Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook on mixer, add warm milk, granulated sugar and yeast. Mix to combine and let rest for 5 minutes until yeast is active and mixture is bubbly.
  • Stir in mashed potatoes, melted butter, salt eggs and 2 cups of flour.
  • Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. Continue adding and mixing flour until dough forms in to a ball and dough is soft and just slightly sticky. You may not use all the flour.
  • Knead for 10 minutes.
  • Remove dough from mixing bowl and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit until dough doubles in size (1 1/2- 2 hours)
  • Gently deflate dough and divide dough in half.
  • Roll one half of dough into an 8 x 12" rectangle. Cut into 6 x 2" pieces using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife.
  • Place each rectangle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave space between each piece so they have room to rise.
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes.

Frying Maple Bars

  • Heat at least 2 inches of oil in a large pot to 370 degrees.
  • Carefully lift a maple bar off the parchment paper and lower into preheated oil. Add 2-3 bars at a time. (Do not overcrowd pot)
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • Gently lift each bar with tongs from oil, allowing excess oil to drip from bars. Place hot bars on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Do not overlap hot bars. Repeat with remaining bars. Make certain oil maintains temperature between 360 – 370 degrees.

Maple Frosting

  • Combine powdered sugar, maple extract and milk in a bowl. Mix to combine.
  • When bars are completely cooled, spread a layer of frosting on top of each bar. Let bars set until frosting has hardened (30 minutes)

Notes

For Mashed Potatoes – Peel and quarter one small russet potato. Place potato in a pot of water and boil until soft. Drain water and mash potato with a fork or potato masher. Allow potato to cool before adding to dough.

Tips for making maple bars

  • Use about 2 inches of oil in your pot. Amount will vary, depending on size of your pot.
  • Use a thermometer to make certain your oil maintains a proper temperature
  • Do not overcrowd pan when cooking. I only cooked 2-3 bars at a time
  • Place cooked bars on paper towels to help absorb any excess oil
  • Don’t pile cooked bars on top of each other until bars are fully cooled
  • Allow bars to fully cool before adding frosting
  • Store excess bars in an airtight container

Variations

  • Use chocolate frosting instead of maple frosting
  • Add chopped, cooked bacon on top of maple frosting
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar instead of adding frosting
Nutritional value considers 2 Tablespoons of retained oil in cooking the entire batch of maple bars and has been calculated using maple frosting.

Nutrition

Serving: 1BarCalories: 251kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 104mgPotassium: 94mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 131IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 2mg
Keyword donuts, doughnuts, Long John Donuts, Maple Bars
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Valentina
    July 13, 2020 at 10:05 am

    5 stars
    Clearly I shouldn’t have looked at this in the morning before breakfast. YUM. This is all I want with my coffee now. ๐Ÿ™‚ ~Valenltina

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 13, 2020 at 10:45 am

      Who says you can’t have this for breakfast? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    July 13, 2020 at 6:03 am

    5 stars
    Do these maple bars ever look good??! I love maple so these are definitely a must try for me. I can only image how yummy they are dunked in coffee ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    July 13, 2020 at 4:22 am

    5 stars
    These sound amazing, Kathy! I love anything and everything maple, so a maple frosted doughnut (or bar) would be right up my alley! I’d love one of these with my morning mug of coffee right now. They look amazing! I like the maple bacon spin, but like you I’d probably go with the plain maple version as my favorite. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Fred G
    July 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    5 stars
    Great idea for a delicious sweet. Iโ€™ll have to have my wife make some

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 12, 2020 at 5:28 am

      I hope she does! Let me know how they turn out. ๐Ÿ™‚

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