Chocolate-Mashed Potato Cake with Ganache

November 18, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 12 to 16
Author Notes

Potatoes are a baker's secret weapon. They add wonderful moisture and structure to baked goods including breads of all kinds as well as cakes. By mixing in cooked potatoes, you can eliminate some of the fat and add fiber and nutrients which make decadent cakes a little less dangerous, but the truth is, no one will know unless you tell them! —janeofmanytrade

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Janeofmanytrade is a pastry chef, beekeeper, and former soccer mom living in Nashville.
WHAT: Potatoes in their chocolatiest, sultriest form.
HOW: Mash a potato, melt chocolate, do the wet ingredient-dry ingredient cake shuffle, and bake. Top with a chocolate glaze.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We love how the potato adds a certain moistness that chocolate cakes can lack -- without seeming too starchy or savory. Plus, the edges of the cake that touch the bundt pan get crackly: a perfect contrast to the soft cake inside.
—The Editors

What You'll Need
  • The Cake
  • 1 large baking potato
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled a little
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Chocolate Ganache Glaze
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a large bundt or tube pan and set it aside. Peel the potato and cut it into large cubes. Place the cubes in a saucepot and cover with water. Place over medium high heat, bring to a boil, and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain the water off and using a masher or a mixer, mash the potatoes until no lumps (or very small ones) remain. Measure out 3/4 cup for the recipe. Take the remaining potatoes, season them as you desire, and eat them before they get cold.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, place the sugar, cake flour and baking soda and with the mixer on low, allow the mixture to combine, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, butter, melted chocolate, and vanilla and mix on low speed to combine. Raise the speed to medium and allow it to beat until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk. Slowly add the mixture to the batter. Scrape the bowl well and combine it completely. Scrape the batter into a pan and bake until a pick inserted comes out clean, about an hour. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes and then remove it from the pan to finish cooling on a rack.
  4. Place the glaze ingredients in a small sauté pan over low heat. As this heats, stir it to melt the chocolate. Do not let it boil or simmer. Keep stirring until half the chocolate is melted. Remove from the heat and continue stirring to melt the remaining lumps. When the cake has completely cooled, use a piping bag or a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Windischgirl
  • Jenny Maria
    Jenny Maria
  • Emilia Rosa
    Emilia Rosa
  • ChefJune
  • vvvanessa

20 Reviews

ellis June 8, 2021
I made this cake last weekend for a friend's daughter's birthday. I reduced the sugar by about a third, as all my other cake recipes have a lot less sugar in it. Tase-wise it was very good. Structure-wise I can't tell - it was a very rich and rather dense (but in a good way) cake. My cake rose a lot in the middle, but not on the sides (made it in a regular round pan, not a bundt pan). That might have to do with the reducing of the sugar (I know that this can affect the cake's structure) or the oven temperature; i'll have to see next time I make it. But it's a win for me, I can recommend the recipe.
Eunice October 4, 2018
Has anyone made this in a loaf pan?
E B. November 24, 2017
How can you call this gluten free when it includes cake flour?
Catherine I. November 24, 2017
Where is it called gluten-free?
E B. November 24, 2017
It was in the intro paragraph on the original Food 52 posting that I viewed today - 11/24/7.
Emma N. November 25, 2017
If you'll go back and read that whole post, it was actually about Kronans Kaka (Swedish Almond Potato Cake). That cake is GF, but they listed two more recipes using leftover mashed potatoes along with it.
granjan January 14, 2017
I make a potato dough for my cinnamon/sticky pecan rolls. I always use Bob's Red Mill instant mashed potatoes. A healthy product, nothing but dehydrated potatoes. Easy, quick and I always have it on hand, unlike potatoes! They actually taste like potatoes, but I don't use them on their own. Nice to have another recipe to use them with.
(And my yeast is always in the freezer.)
Windischgirl June 22, 2016
I'm the baker for office birthdays, and the July girl asked for chocolate cake...might just make this! I will add that I reserve the potato water and use it to make bread, but it also makes a fine base for soups. Waste not, want not!
macaron2 March 17, 2016
I made this as a sandwich cake with rosemary whipped cream (idea cribbed from https://food52.com/recipes/37174-flourless-chocolate-cake-with-whipped-rosemary-cream) in the center for a St. Patrick's day-themed birthday party.

It might have been the most well-received cake I've ever made! I came in expecting to have to figure out what to do with the leftovers, but halfway through the party that was the last thing from my mind. The cake practically disappeared off the platter, I couldn't hand it out fast enough. It was even a hit with people who I know for a fact have no sweet tooth; even the one friend who is too polite to refuse but NEVER finishes any desserts (as far as I've seen) cleaned her plate. It was light, it was fluffy, it tasted amazing with the heavy whipped cream, and now I'm kinda sad it's all gone, haha.

Anyway, if anyone wants to try their hand at it, I followed this recipe for the batter but divided it into two small cake pans. A pick came out clean after only 30 minutes in the oven, so I took them out and cooled the layers upside-down for another 20, then carefully loosened the edges with a cake spatula and popped them out of the pans.

As for the whip, I just used 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream with 2 tsp Sugar and 2 sprigs of Rosemary cut finely (with scissors) and then whipped until fluffy but still relatively heavy (too light and it won't hold for the center.) Then I just spread it about 1" thick on the first layer of cake and put the second on top.

Because I had poked a hole in the center while testing the done-ness of both layers, I put an extra sprig of Rosemary in the center of the top layer and sprinkled some more around the top, as well as putting some in the visible layer of whipped cream. It created a really nice, festive look!
beejay45 March 17, 2016
This sounds fantastic! Rosemary and chocolate are a great pairing. Thanks for posting!
Puffin November 2, 2015
I am wondering if I could use sweet potatoes instead of regular ones? I believe more fibers and add a little sweetness? Any thoughts?
janeofmanytrade November 3, 2015
You could use sweet potatoes but the chocolate will mask their flavor. They would add sweetness and could cause more browning so you would have to watch the baking time closely. Whether or not they would add fiber is not something I could say for sure but both have a pretty good amount of fiber.
Jenny M. March 26, 2015
How large are the potato?
janeofmanytrade March 26, 2015
Generally, I use at least two potatoes that are at least as large as my fist, maybe even three. Peel and cook them then mash them and measure out what you need. The leftovers are always mine to eat, a cooks bonus!
Emilia R. June 16, 2014
My grandmother used to make potatoes in syrup--yes, in syrup! Together with the carrots in syrup, it was one of my favorite. I've got to try this one. Thanks for sharing.
Charlotte July 23, 2019
Can you share ur grandma patotoes and carrots syrup recipe ? Sounds great!
beejay45 March 17, 2014
Oh my gosh! I won a ribbon at the county fair when I was a kid, using my grandmother's chocolate mashed potato cake recipe! I haven't seen that recipe in years. I'll have to try yours, as I remember it as super moist and truly delicious. Thanks for the memories!
ChefJune February 12, 2014
OMG! SO gorgeous and yet so easy! I know a fella who's gonna love this... Congrats on the win. :)
vvvanessa November 19, 2013
So pretty! I've always wanted to try using potatoes in a sweet baked good.
janeofmanytrade November 23, 2013
they are a great addition to baked goods, i like to use them in cake and bread.