Tuesday 12 March 2013

Idaho Potato Cake

Idaho is famous for its potatoes, I suppose in much the same way that Jersey is - and it even goes by the nickname of the 'potato state'.

I guess I'm cheating slightly as the potatoes I used to make this don't come from Idaho, but the recipe itself is called Idaho Potato Cake - I found other cake recipes using mashed potato but only one of this name, so hopefully the particular recipe is traditional to the area. In any case, I have at least been to Idaho, and have eaten Idaho potatoes, which must count for something!

Last September I went on an American road trip with my boyfriend and his mum and we crossed eight states, one of which was Idaho.

When we stopped at a petrol station I spotted a snack I had to try - a chocolate bar named after the famous Idaho potato! It's sort of chocolate-covered marshmallow sprinkled with coconut flakes and the shape is supposed to resemble a potato. Apparently this candy bar has been made since 1918 which is pretty amazing.

I also ate an Idaho potato when I was in a nice restaurant in Las Vegas - in the Rio hotel waiting for the Penn & Teller show to start. I forget what I ordered now - I think it was fish of some kind - and it came with a choice of sides, one of which was a baked potato and the menu specifically mentioned it was an Idaho potato. It was very nice too, as was the show (and I got to meet Penn &  Teller afterwards!).

So anyway, those are my Idaho-based credentials for making this cake! Now for the recipe itself, which I found online at Taste of Home. It turned out to be a lovely, fudgy-sort of cake, though if I made it again I would probably leave out the nuts. I also made a chocolate glaze to go on top and found this is particularly good served warm.

You need:
1 cup of butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 cup chopped nuts
100g plain chocolate
2 tbsp golden syrup
50g butter

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy

Add the eggs and beat well

Beat in the mashed potato and vanilla

Add the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda

Finally add the milk and the nuts - I used a packed of chopped mixed nuts

Pour into a square cake tin and bake at 180C for about 40-45 minutes though check how it is cooking in the centre and adjust the time accordingly.

Cool on a wire rack

I decided at the last minute to make a glaze and didn't weigh out my butter but think I used about 50-60g. Melt in a pan with the chocolate and add some golden syrup; it will turn into a glossy, syrupy glaze.

Pour over the top of the cake and leave to cool/set.

I decided to cut the cake into squares to serve. I told some people it contained mashed potato and they were a bit dubious but then tasted it and said it was great. I didn't tell a couple of people what was in it and asked them to guess and they were very surprised when they found out it was potato! Even my boyfriend, who doesn't like nuts and is very suspicious of my cakes after my bacon experiments, gave this cake a firm seal of approval.

I found it was very nice served warm with a splash of cream.

I am sending this to Alphabakes, the blog challenge that I co-host with The More Than Occasional Baker, Ros. The letter we have randomly chosen this month is I and I think an Idaho potato cake is a pretty good entry! There's still time to enter as the deadline is the 25th and we've got a great prize on offer from Dr. Oetker.

I am also sending this to Credit Crunch Munch as this cake is a great way of using up leftover mashed potatoes if you have made too much for dinner! The challenge is hosted by Helen at Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food 4 All.


  1. Wow, never seen a cake with mash in it but sounds absolutely yummy, so might just have to give this a try and make some extra mash! Thank you for sending your frugal recipe to #creditcrunchmunch:-)

    1. The first time I ate it I wasn't told what was in it and I was really surprised when I found out, as you can't taste it at all!

  2. it looks nice,but i'm not sure about mashed potato in a cake--it sounds weird. allthough there isn't much potato in it ,so you probably wouldn't taste it.

  3. I have never seen potato in a sweet cake before but I am intrigued. This is something I would love to try if I can find the time.


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