Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Velvet Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake

Omg - big luscious chewy chocolatety moistness. This cake could sustain a group of castaways on a deserted island for a month.

Ok not really. But it's extremely dense loaded with little surprises and a little goes a loooong way. You cannot taste the potato in the cake it just adds to the weight and moisture.

The frosting is elaborate. Well for me anyway. I'm used to mixing up flavored buttercreams and glazes and done. For this frosting, I went even further than Marcia did, adding Gran Marnier. I also split the 1 cup of raisins into half regular and half golden raisins.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Heartland: the Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens by Marcia Adams. She traveled through Midwest regions collecting recipes everywhere from church socials to well known restaurants all utilizing local and seasonal products. It has beautiful photos of people and places as well as stories an anecdotes behind the recipes.  I love to flip through it while sitting in my kitchen in Germany for a taste of home.

Well, sort of. I am a NYC/LA girl after all, and the midwest is still almost like a foreign country to me but I do connect with most things American in this book.

Velvet Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from Heartland: the Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens by Marcia Adams, Clarkson Potter 1991)

For the Cake:


  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teasppon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon  salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts


  • Grease and flour a large loaf pan.
  • Peel potatoes and either boil or microwave until soft, mash and measure out one cup. Cover and set aside.
  • Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Sift together flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, salt cinnamon and cocoa. Set aside.
  • Beat the butter and granulated sugar together for three minutes, add the egg yolks and beat one minute longer.
  • Mix the vanilla into the buttermilk.
  • Alternately add the buttermilk/vanilla and the flour mixture to the butter mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  • Best in the potatoes, raisins and nuts until just combined.
  • Whip the egg whites until stiff and fold into the batter.
  • Pour into pan and bake for one to one and a half hours or until an inserted knife or skewer comes out dry.

While cake is cooling, prepare the frosting.

For the Frosting:


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3+ 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon  Grand Marnier, Triple Sec or any orange liqueur
  • Squirt of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup milk


  • Beat butter, orange zest, cinnamon, salt and cocoa together.
  • Add the powdered sugar a little at a time alternately with the milk.
  • Mix in Grand Marnier and just a little squeeze from a half of a lemon.


  1. Wow, I've never had a cake with potato in it! Very curious...

  2. Potatoes...what a cool addition! I'm all for making a cake more rich and dense.

  3. YUM!! ;) You are awesome! What unique creative indulgence!!

  4. How interesting! The cake looks delicious :)

  5. Pototoes ia a cake? are you mad?

  6. Listen Anonymous (Paul) ye are Irish after all, whatcher complaining about?


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!