Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sticky orange potato cake

I remember watching Sesame Street when I was growing up and there would always be a bit where the screen was split into quarters depicting four different things or activities accompanied by a song, ‘one of these things is not like the others’.  You had to spot the odd one out.  You can play that game with the title of my cake this week: the correct answer is ‘potato’.

There are German plum dumpling recipes that use a potato based mix to enclose the plums but this is my first potato cake.  With all that mashed potato in it you expect it to be heavy or densely textured.  It isn’t!  It’s a light sticky cake and it melts in your mouth.  Enjoy it at room temperature with a cup of tea (always my preferred option) or warm with ice cream for dessert.  Or get the best of both worlds by eating it at room temperature and then warming the leftovers the next day for dessert.

The ground almonds provide texture and the syrup gives a sticky, wet texture.  The texture is unusual at first.  After my first bite I wasn’t sure if this was the cake for me however, once I got used to the texture I really enjoyed it.  I have pondered how best to describe it and struggled; I think the best way is to say that if you don’t like the following then it’s not the cake for you: 
  • Syrup cakes 
  • Baklava (the stickiness of it) 
  • Semolina (the texture)

Really – I’m not trying to put anyone off but this is not a cake for everyone and I want you to bake it knowing what you’re going to get.  Satisfied customers only on my site!

Using gluten free baking powder will turn this into a gluten free bake.


For the cake:
350g potatoes suitable for mashing – I used maris piper
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
155g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
175g ground almonds
2 tablespoons (not a typo) baking powder
Zest of two oranges

For the syrup:
Juice of two oranges
3 tablespoons caster sugar


Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks.

Place in a pan and cover with water.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, part cover the pan, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft enough to mash.

Mash the potatoes.

Put to one side and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Line a 20cm springform round tin with baking paper.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Don’t skimp on this stage.

Beat in the vanilla.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Stir in the ground almonds, baking powder and orange zest.

Stir in the cooled mash potato.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

About 20 minutes before the cake is cooked, place the orange juice into a saucepan and bring to the boil.

Let boil until the liquid has halved.

Remove from the hob and leave to cool.

Stir in the sugar – wait until the orange syrup is cool or the sugar will melt.

When the cake has been out the oven for 15 minutes de-tin it and place on a wire rack with a piece of foil underneath.

Spoon the orange syrup over the top (the foil underneath the rack will catch any drips)

Leave to cool completely before serving.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Gloria Baker said...

Always I find georgeous yours cakes CC and this loook moist and delicious!!I love cakes with a cup of tea or coffe:)))

glutenfreealchemist said...

I agree.....mashed potato cake can be an acquired taste. But this one looks pretty good! I'd definitely dig in. The almonds probably add moisture as well as structure. I reckon it would be good with a slathering of custard too!

Stuart Vettese said...

Hmmm, you've piqued my curiosity CC. Wondering what else potato could be good in....

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

Haha- I love your 'If you like...' detail- its the cakey equivalent of Amazon reviews! I wish blogs had a taste-o-gram, I'd love to taste this texture!

Baking Addict said...

I've only ever seen chocolate potato cake which I've tasted but never tried baking myself. I have been baking more with vegetables so will have to try a potato cake next time.

Jo said...

What an unusual cake! I like almond and semolina textures, but I'm not sure if I'm wholly onboard with the graininess of mashed potato in a cake. I suppose you only know if you try!

Snowy said...

This is certainly a different kind of cake; have never tried using potato as a cake ingredient. Sounds a very interesting texture, and I love semolina!

Maggie said...

I think potato in a cake is a first for me. I put mashed potato into the odd bread dough and that's always successful......

Choclette Blogger said...

I read this as sweet potato cake and thought what a fab idea. However, your orange potato version looks really good and I'm pretty sure I'd be one to like it. Our local cafe does a mean potato chocolate cake which I've been meaning to try for ever - hum!