All I can say about this unique cake is that it's very, very good. Incredibly moist, sweet and fudgy, it's mixed in the food processor! And the potato is used raw, so there's no cooking, and waiting for it to cool. A super simple batter. The chocolate peanut butter frosting is just, literally, the icing on this fabulous cake.
Originally published in August 2017, the text and images have been updated to serve you better; the recipe remains the same, of course!
As I bake a lot, so I like to find recipes that have unique flavor combinations. A chocolate cake with a grated potato in the batter certainly caught my attention. And I'm glad it did.
I've made many things with potatoes, like bread and rolls, but it always involved them being baked. And truthfully, it's an extra step that I'm not a fan of. So that's the reason why I originally dived into this recipe.
As you can see, I found the best recipe for chocolate potato cake. And easy. And it can be made ahead. All good.
Since the potato is the guest here, we should talk a bit about it.
The magic of this cake, in my opinion, is that the potato is used raw. Just grate it and mix it. No need to steam or boil it, make a puree, then wait for it to cool, etc, etc.
I live in Buenos Aires and we don't have access to many potato varieties. We have regular Russet potatoes and a variety that has darker skin. Both are very common. This is to explain that any potato can be used. Even sweet potatoes.
I think that if you have access to a creamier potato the consistency would be fudgier. That said, the cake is amazing with any regular potato, and there's no need to buy fancy ones.
How to make this recipe
- Shred raw potato (image above).
- Put all ingredients in the processor, including potatoes. Mix well.
- Scrape the chocolate batter into the prepared pan and bake.
- Make the one-bowl peanut butter chocolate frosting.
- Frost top of cooled cake.
- Eat cake with frosting.
The peanut butter chocolate frosting was a last-minute addition when I updated this post years ago. I thought the cake needed something more, for the pictures really.
- Melt chocolate with some of the cream. I find it's the easiest way to melt it in the microwave without the risk of burning it. Even so, you have to be very careful and put the bowl in 10-second spurts and mix it well before popping it again. Sometimes the chocolate looks whole but it is mostly melted already in the center.
- Mix with the peanut butter (image below, left).
- Add powdered sugar and/or cream until you get the consistency you want (image below, right). It depends a lot on how thick the peanut butter and cream are. A lot. Sometimes you don't need to add any sugar.
This for me is one of those perfect everyday chocolate cakes. It can be made in any pan you want - cupcakes, round layers, square, even loaf pan.
I like to make it in a square pan (image above) because I like to cut cakes in squares. It's sort of a sheet cake.
It's probably my favorite pan.
Frosting the cake
I find that a layer of frosting on the top is all it takes to make the cake extra special.
If you have a small baking icing spatula (image below, right) by all means use it. But a smooth blade everyday knife will do the job perfectly. No need to go buying gadgets you might not use regularly.
My top tips
- Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!
- Potato: I use Russet, which for me are the regular, everyday ones. The original recipe is made with Idaho potatoes, and, according to this article that explains the types of potatoes, they are similar in starch content, which is what makes the difference because it can make the cake more or less fudgier. So make it with your favorite and see how it goes. It will be amazing with any type of potato, but you might see subtle differences.
- Make ahead: the chocolate cake can be baked in advance and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a month, always well wrapped. Same with the frosting, it keeps well for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator, covered.
- Pans: it can be made in any pan you want - cupcakes, round layers, square, even loaf pan. I like to make it in a square pan (image above) because I like to cut cakes in squares. It's sort of a sheet cake.
- Frostings: I love the combination with peanut butter (who doesn't, right?), but this goes well also with our magic 5-minute Chocolate Frosting, or with a ganache frosting like the one found in the Chocolate Ganache Bundt Cake recipe. Or a dusting of powdered sugar if you like plain, delicious chocolate cakes.
- Sweet potato: did you know you can also use them instead of the potato? Yes, it's a great substitution.
So, the ever-popular potato found its way into this truly wonderful chocolate cake. I hope you make it. It's so easy and interesting, you should give it a try. Did I mention the potato is used raw?
Related recipes you might like:
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For the cake:
- 4-oz. (115g) russet potato (or another type), raw, peeled and cut to fit feed tube
- 2 cups (450g) sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups (230g) all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup (115g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the peanut butter frosting:
- 1 cup (250g) peanut butter, at room temperature
- 2 oz (55g) semisweet chocolate, melted
- 3-4 tablespoons whipping cream
- ¼ to ½ cup powdered sugar, optional, see notes below
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF /180°C.
- Butter and flour 9×13 inch (20x26cm) cake pan or line it with parchment paper.
- If you don’t have a large food processor you may need to make it in two batches.
- Put the shredding disc in the food processor and shred the potato.
- Change the shredder for the steel knife. If you had to remove the shredded potato momentarily put it back in the bowl of the processor.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process for 3-4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
- If you have to make it in batchen transfer each mixture to a large bowl and then mix it all together.
- Transfer chocolate mixture to prepared pan.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until tester inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool completely in pan and invert onto platter.
- Frost with peanut butter chocolate frosting or dust with powdered sugar.
For peanut butter frosting:
- Melt chocolate and 2 tablespoons of cream in microwave or double boiler.
- Mix thoroughly with peanut butter and rest of the cream.
- If you want a thicker consistency add some powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. If it's too thick for your taste add a few tablespoons more cream.
- Spread on top of the cooled cake with a spatula.
Potato: I use Russet, which for me are the regular, everyday ones. The original recipe is made with Idaho potatoes, and I read that they are similar in starch content, which is what makes the difference because it can make the cake more or less fudgier. So make it with your favorite and see how it goes. It will be amazing with any type of potato, but you might see subtle differences.
Frosting: after mixing peanut butter with chocolate, add powdered sugar and/or cream until you get the consistency you want. It depends a lot on how thick the peanut butter and cream are. A lot. Sometimes you hardly need to add sugar at all.
Powdered sugar: you can only use a dusting of powdered sugar instead of making the frosting. It is a wonderful plain cake.
Pans: it can be made in any pan you want - cupcakes, round layers, square, even loaf pan. I like to make it in a square pan (image above) because I like to cut cakes in squares. It's sort of a sheet cake.
Make ahead: the chocolate cake can be baked in advance and kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for a month, always well wrapped. Defrost at room temperature. Same with the frosting, it keeps well for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator, covered.
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 40
- Category: Cakes
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/12
- Calories: 514
- Sugar: 34.6 g
- Sodium: 388.8 mg
- Fat: 28.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 58.6 g
- Protein: 12.2 g
- Cholesterol: 69 mg
Keywords: potato cake, chocolate potato cake
Adapted from an old Bon Appétit magazine