Duchess Potatoes

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.

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


  • 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.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • ebethc

    Could you freeze the potatoes after you’ve piped them onto the baking sheet? If so, it would be a great “make-ahead dish”

  • John watson

    Hey guys, I’ve tried this recipe a few times and my potatoes just appear to melt into a blob!??! Please help.

  • Keith

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

  • ronald

    i love it.always have fun when serving it.thanks


  • 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.

  • shirley

    I have been making mashed potatoes for more years than I care to remember! My grandmother taught me that the potatoes must be lumpfree before adding any liquid. I also use an old fashion masher with a curvy bottom(?). I tried the one with holes like a ricer but it did not seem to get all the lumps out. I’ve also used a hand mixer being carful not to over beat. I hope that is helpful for those who do not use a ricer.

  • Susan B.

    Perfect! I used to make these many years ago, but I had forgotten about them. I’m having a dinner party which will feature Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon, with mashed potatoes. Because of all the other courses I’m making, I was trying to come up with a way to make the potatoes ahead. This will work perfectly. Thanks!

  • Frances Miller

    These are delicious! Sometimes I even sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top. Mantha, the egg is used to help the potatoes get a little puffy while baking. I also have seen these piped into filo dough cups in the little muffin tins to be used as an appetizer. Yumo!!!!

  • Doni

    These look so pretty. I usually do my twice baked potatoes that way for our Christmas prime rib dinner. I always use a ricer and it makes all the difference in getting them smooth and not gummy. The one I have is a plastic Martha Stewart model I got from K-Mart for about $15. I think it is well worth the investment if you want to make perfect mashed potatoes every time. If you don’t have a local kitchen outlet store, check on amazon, I have even found them at thrift stores and estate sales. I am sure they can be found for a reasonable price.

  • Faythe

    Fluffy, piped mounds of mashed potatoes. Looks amazing. Can it be frozen and reheated?

    Hi Faythe, don’t know. If I were to make ahead, I would pipe, then refrigerate, then bake. ~Elise

  • JR

    I’ve made these for years at Christmas with Prime Rib. I go one step further and do Christmas trees. I sprinkle with parlsey and paparika for a festive look.

  • Tes

    Sometimes on your website I come across a recipe that I used to make and love all the time, and for whatever reason, I stopped making it and forgot it existed. This is one of those recipes! Thank you so much for refreshing my memory, and just in time for thanksgiving too! :)

  • LMR

    I would love to try this with sweet potatoes. Do you think that would work?

    Who knows? It’s worth a shot. Let us know how it turns out for you if you try the recipe with sweet potatoes. ~Elise

  • Margaret Marks

    Duchesse referred to a rounded back chaise lounge in the early C18, made of three pieces. Potatoes mashed with egg and then piped, possibly described as above by the French.
    I do not think it relates to a person!It does however LOOK gorgeous!!!

    Hmm. Sure enough, there is a “duchesse chaise longue” described in the Wikipedia. Sort of a stretch to see how it relates to the mashed potatoes though! ~Elise

    • Emily

      I recall Sue & Giles in the Victorian episode of Supersizers had something called “Pigeons a la Duchess” …which was “pigeons stuffed with veal forcemeat, sewn back together, covered with bechamel sauce, fried, and covered with more béchamel.” The Victorian Turkducken? I don’t even know. Maybe it just means something very very very rich (gastronomically or financially or both.)

  • Celeste

    One of the many things one of my grandmothers taught me in the kitchen was to save some of the water from the potatoes when draining them. Same for other vegetables. She would use the water in her gravy or for soup. Her mashed potatoes looked like the dish you show in the casserole, although they were made with Russets as there were no Yukon Gold potatoes in the grocery at the time. Suspect gravy may be gilding the lily with this recipe, but then, maybe not. Thanks for the recipe and bringing back a lovely memory of Grandma Rose.

  • Alisonlou

    I have made these before and they are lovely. However if you have any lumps in your potatoes you’ll have trouble with the star tip. Any suggestions about how to get them lump free? I don’t own a ricer.

    • Theresa Herreman

      If you have a hand mixer or immersion blender, use those. Also, I find that it really helps to heat the cream a bit.

  • mantha

    Yeah, they’re a little fussy, but they sure are pretty, and I bet they are rich tasting and creamy as a special treat. Well worth the effort, especially for that little arts-and-crafts inner child in the kitchen.

    Are the egg yolks in there mainly to hold the form of the individual fluted servings, or an important part of the flavor, or what? I never thought about egg in mashed potatoes, but why not?

    I think the egg yolks help with the color, richness, and perhaps a little structure too. I have a friend who regularly adds eggs (whites and yolks) to her mashed potatoes, then bakes them. Makes them a little fluffier. ~Elise

  • Susan

    I’ve never made Duchess potatoes but I’ve had them at a restaurant served with beef wellington and they were wonderful. At that time, as now, I fantasized about how the mixture might be used as an appetizer or as a garnish for an appetizer. They are so dressy, especially for the holidays. Thanks for featuring this now.

  • Lee

    We used to make these by the thousands in the catering company I worked for. I think we used the recipe from the old “Joy of Cooking”, multiplied endlessly. So easy and sooooo good!