Recipe Review

I Tried the Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake TikTok Is Obsessed With (It Honestly Blew Me Away)

published Apr 2, 2021
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idaho potato cake with cream on a plate
Credit: Nicole Rufus

I’ve admittedly been slow to the TikTok game, but every so often I find myself perusing the app — mostly just to watch cooking videos. Recently, I came across this hilarious video of TikTok star B. Dylan Hollis making a chocolate potato cake recipe that dates back to 1912. He’s clearly skeptical about the idea of adding mashed potatoes to his cake batter, but he ends up being quite shocked by the results. After watching the video and his reaction, it’s almost impossible not to want to bake a chocolate potato cake yourself.

Unfortunately, Hollis didn’t share the recipe with his viewers, so I went on a search of my own for a promising chocolate potato cake recipe. Naturally, our friend Martha Stewart had just the thing. I was particularly down for Martha’s recipe after learning she also uses potatoes to add moisture to her cinnamon rolls. Here’s what happened when I gave it a try.

How to Make a Chocolate Potato Cake

You’ll begin by preheating the oven to 350°F, greasing a Bundt pan (or any tube pan) with butter, and dusting the pan with cocoa powder. Peel and roughly chop a potato. Bring the potato to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until tender. Drain the potato and mash until smooth.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Then, using either a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together for about 3 minutes until fluffy. Mix in the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Add in the vanilla and chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the mashed potato until combined. Alternate adding in the flour mixture and the sour cream, mixing until just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, then flip it over on a wire rack. Once the cake has finished cooling, slice and serve! Martha recommends serving with a dollop of whipped cream, which I couldn’t resist.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

My Honest Review of Chocolate Potato Cake

My only prior experience with potato desserts was in Portland, Maine, where I had delicious potato donuts several years ago. But those donuts were made with potato flour, not mashed potatoes, so I considered this cake my first real taste of a potato dessert. It turned out to be a total hit. The end result was a soft, delicious cake that I ended up snacking on all throughout the day.

Martha promises that “mashed potato gives this dessert body and a super moist texture,” and she’s spot on: It was impossibly fluffy and so moist. I typically reach for buttermilk or sour cream when I want to make sure a cake has the right amount of moisture, but potatoes are officially giving them a run for their money. In fact, potatoes are now my official recommendation for all my friends who want a super-soft cake but can’t tolerate dairy.

Of course, cooking and mashing the potato adds a bit of time to the cake prep, but it’s totally worth it. And other than that, Martha’s recipe was super straightforward and easy to follow, which is always a win. I can confidently say this is a dessert I’ll be coming back to time and time again.

If You Want to Try Baking a Chocolate Potato Cake, a Few Tips

  1. Don’t be deterred if you don’t have a Bundt pan. A Bundt pan certainly isn’t essential to the success of this cake. Give it a try in whatever type of baking pan you’ve got — just check on it often in the oven, since bake times will vary.
  2. Use a potato ricer. Sure, you only need to mash one potato, but I’m notoriously bad at mashing potatoes by hand. Because you want the potato mashed as smoothly as possible for this recipe, I recommend using a potato ricer.
  3. Serve with whatever you like. If you’re not big on whipped cream, this cake would taste equally great with a melted chocolate glaze, or even just some powdered sugar sprinkled on top.

Have you ever tried baking a potato cake? Let us know in the comments!