Duchess Potatoes

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Duchess potatoes. Welcome to old school, fancy schmancy mashed potatoes.

So, tell me. Who is the duchess for whom these potatoes are named? Or is it just the pattern of browned ribbons and waves that are reminiscent of a frilly shirt or silly hat that gives these potatoes their name? Who knows.

Duchess potatoes are a rather precious way of serving mashed potatoes; they’ve been piped in decorative swirls, usually formed into individual portions, painted with butter, and browned in the oven.

Here’s the thing about duchess potatoes, they taste great! I think it might have something to do with the butter. And the cream. And the way that both the tops and bottoms get browned. They’re actually rather addictive.

Usually the mention of “piping” is enough to send me running to the hills. But making these pretty little potatoes isn’t so bad, assuming you have a piping bag and a large star tip.

If not, you can pipe them into florets using the cut corner of a freezer bag. Or just skip the piping all together and spread the mashed potatoes into a casserole dish, create peaks on the surface with the tines of a fork, and bake.

Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 as a side dish

You can easily scale up this recipe.

To make ahead for a dinner party, just prepare the mashed potatoes, pipe them and refrigerate. Put them in a 425°F oven 20 minutes before serving to brown.


  • 2 pounds potatoes (Yukon Golds work best), peeled and cut into chunks
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 egg yolks


1 Boil the potatoes: Place potatoes in a medium to large pot (3 qt) and cover with a couple inches of cold water. Add a couple teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender (the tines of a fork easily pierce), about 20-25 minutes.

2 Melt butter, preheat oven: While the potatoes are boiling, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside. You will use this butter to coat the potatoes right before they go in the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°.

duchess-potatoes-1.jpg duchess-potatoes-2.jpg
duchess-potatoes-3.jpg duchess-potatoes-4.jpg

3 Drain potatoes and let them release steam: When the potatoes are cooked, drain in a colander and put the potatoes back in the pot set over low heat. Allow them to release steam for a minute or so.

4 Mash with butter, then with spices and cream, then with salt and egg yolks: Add 2 tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes until the butter has been incorporated. Add the nutmeg, black pepper, heavy cream and continue mashing the potatoes.

Once everything is incorporated, add salt to taste and the egg yolks.

Continue to mash until the mixture is smooth. Do not over-mash or your potatoes will end up with a gluey consistency.

duchess-potatoes-5.jpg duchess-potatoes-6.jpg

5 Pipe onto a baking sheet, brush with melted butter: Using a piping bag with a large star point, pipe the potatoes onto a cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can just fill a casserole dish with the mashed potatoes, and use a fork to create lots of peaks on the surface.

The swirled edges from the star-point piping bag forms or the peaks of mashed potatoes in a casserole dish will brown nicely in the oven. The browned parts taste great, so you want to maximize them.

Whether you make piped portions or a casserole, paint the potatoes with the melted butter.

6 Bake: Bake in the 425°F oven until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Duchess Potatoes on Simply Recipes. Thank you!


If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!


Smoky Cheesy Mashed Baked Potatoes - from Picky Palate

Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Herbs - from Andrea Meyers

No time for piping? Just put the potatoes in a casserole dish.

Showing 4 of 22 Comments

  • Keith

    Done this several times now, using casserole dish. Simple and really nice.

  • Chelsea

    I can’t wait to make these, they look delish. I also notice you’re using a Cutco potato masher(; Kudos.

    I love Cutco. Love the way the handles feel as I use them. Good quality too. ~Elise

  • Agnel Rodricks

    my dad used to have these made at his hotel in India where he was the manager-and where we lived and ate.’Duce Potaoes’or dutchess in french and the ginger snap cookies(on your site)-he’d call them ginger snap cones-which were the cookies -very thin! wrapped in a tube and filled with fresh creme. Just killers!!

  • Linda

    Just finished what was described as the best Thanksgiving dinner ever by my husband (never a great Turkey-day fan) including the casserole version of these lovely potatoes and your Mom’s Roasted Turkey recipe (my bird will never be breast-side up again!). Undercooked turkey crisis averted by putting the critter back in the oven divided into pieces; and the potatoes even held up under some not so constant temperatures and a lot of pulling in and out of the heat. Elise, your website is simply lovely (great design and snappy copy) and the most accessible, practical, and tasty food blog on the Web, I am sure. Count me among your many fans, and allow me to send wishes for a very blessed holiday to you and yours.

    Thank you Linda, and a very happy holiday season to you too! ~Elise

  • Judy

    It’s been eons since I’ve had these yummy little potato gems. My mom used to make them for an Easter supper with leftover baked ham and asparagus with Bearnaise sauce. We usually had Easter dinner with my grandparents, and Nana always packed up extra ham for us to take home. Thanks for another fond memory, Elise. The older I get, I find that the recipes from my childhood are showing up more often on our table. I think I’ll surprise the family on Christmas, when we have a slow-roasted beef. I’d probably never get away with this for Thanksgiving, when everyone craves mashed potatoes and gravy.

View More Comments / Leave a Comment