Duchess Potatoes

Side DishHolidayGluten-FreePotato

Classic Duchess potatoes, mashed with butter, nutmeg and cream, then baked until the tops are golden brown.

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.

Duchess Potatoes

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 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°.

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.

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.

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Smoky Cheesy Mashed Baked Potatoes - from Picky Palate

Baked Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Herbs - from Andrea Meyers

Duchess Potatoes

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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

34 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lori

    Made these for Easter dinner last night they were really great, I would make them many more times, thank you , Lori


  2. Denise Z.

    Made these tonight as a side with Christmas dinner. I said I wouldn’t make them again although the family raved about them before I had tasted them. I thought they were a bit labor intensive. But they looked so much more elegant than a spoonful of mashed potatoes and once I tasted them I said ‘never mind, will definitely be making these again. I thought they would just taste like mashed potatoes but they were so much better!
    Christmas 2018


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  3. Amanda M

    These are awesome and a great way to get my husband to eat mashed potatoes. I havent been making mashed potatoes because he doesn’t care for them. BTW, always, always warm any milk or cream being added to mashed potatoes or they will be gummy, grainy and lumpy.
    And be sure to put your potatoes through your ricer while they are still warm/hot. Unless you have arms like The Hulk, you will NEVER get cold potatoes through those holes. I know, cuz I tried. Once.


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  4. Falguni


    I am allergic to eggs and milk. Do u have an alternate recepie I can use. Thanks

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Lisa

    I made this and they came out perfectly! I used a large open-star piping tip and disposable pastry bag. I also used a potato ricer, so no lumps, and no over mashing. I made them ahead of time and held them in the fridge until it was time to cook. They were delicious and very impressive! This recipe is a keeper!


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