Chocolate, Potato and Pecan Cake

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Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

This is an old-fashioned, dense cake with an unusual and elusive taste. It’s the sort of cake that calls out to be dunked in strong coffee halfway through a cold morning.


  • 7 oz (200 g) potatoes, peeled, cooked and sieved
  • 6 oz (175 g) butter
  • 8 oz (225 g) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 12 oz (350 g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) milk
  • 3 tablespoons black treacle
  • oz (40 g) plain chocolate, grated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 oz (110 g) chopped pecans


This cake can be made almost entirely in a food processor. Cream the butter and sugar and add the potato. Add the eggs one at a time, then the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.

Add the milk and treacle and then the grated chocolate and vanilla essence. Lastly stir in the nuts. Turn into a well-greased 10-inch ring mould.

Bake at gas mark 7/425°F/220°C for about half an hour and then turn the oven down to gas mark 4/350°F/180°C. The cake should be cooked after 1–1¼ hours. Leave for 10 minutes before turning out.

Good Friday is known as ‘Spud Day’ in Birmingham because it is the only day the Devil goes to church and thus a good day for planting potatoes and parsley. In Galway it was considered unlucky to plant potatoes on a ‘Cross day’; this was any day that was a ‘4th day’ after Christmas, counting Christmas as the first day. In Kerry a piece of cypress wood was stuck into the potato ridge on planting day. When harvesting occurred, a branch of the same wood was burnt.

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