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Duchess Potatoes look fancy, but they are easy to make and pipe right on to a baking sheet. They are pillowy-soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, and you can freeze them ahead of time to bake when needed.

A platter of fluffy Duchess potatoes.

When regular mashed potatoes just won’t do, get out your pastry bag and pipe up something special.

Duchess potatoes are a fun side for holidays, dinner parties, DIY rehearsal dinners, and more. And they are easy to make ahead and freeze.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Duchess Potatoes Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Duchess potatoes.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Potatoes: Russets work best. They’re drier and they have more starch which is a good thing for mashed potatoes. Whole potatoes cook unevenly, so cut them into uniform pieces before you cook them.
  • Egg yolks: Put your leftover whites to work with Angel Food Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, or a classic from Milwaukee: Schaum Torte.
  • Swiss cheese: Substitute Parmesan, gruyère, or even sharp cheddar cheese. 

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Adjust oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
Peeled, cut potatoes in a pot for boiling.
  1. Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
Fork-tender potato cubes in a colander after boiling.
  1. Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot and mash until very smooth.
Potatoes mashed smooth in a pot.
  1. Using a rubber spatula, fold in egg yolks one at a time, making sure each yolk is completely incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the butter, cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper) until the mixture is smooth.
A mixing bowl with Duchess potato mixture inside.
  1. Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star piping tip and pipe 12 round mounds (2 ½ inches wide by 2 inches tall) onto each prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the cheese.
A baking sheet with Duchess potatoes piped on top.
  1. Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back and continue baking until the tops of the potatoes are light golden brown, about 10 minutes longer.
A baking rack with Duchess potatoes on top.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 24 Duchess potatoes, enough for 8 servings, 3 rounds each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best, crunchiest results, reheat in the oven.
  • Freezer: Prepare the recipe as directed and pipe onto a baking sheet or plate. Freeze until hard, then transfer them to a sealed bag and freeze up to 3 days. When ready to serve, bake according to the recipe.
  • For super-smooth potatoes: Use a potato ricer or food mill. These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato.
  • No masher: A pastry blender or a couple of sturdy forks work just fine.
  • No piping bag: Julia Child made these French potatoes using a spoon and fork, so you can too!
  • Garlic Duchess Potatoes: Toast garlic in a skillet (or roast whole bulbs of garlic in the oven), peel, mince, and add to your mashed potatoes. You’ll need about 1 bulb of garlic (20 cloves) for this recipe (2 ½ pounds potatoes).
  • Fresh herbs: Mix in fresh chives, parsley, or dill with your mixture for more fresh flavors.
A platter of fluffy Duchess potatoes.

Recipe FAQs

How do you say “duchess potatoes”?

It is pronounced doo-SHESS potatoes.

Why are they called duchess potatoes?

Historians believe an English duchess went to France, and they prepared these potatoes for her. Thus, duchess potatoes.

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A platter of fluffy Duchess potatoes.

Duchess Potatoes

Duchess Potatoes look fancy, but they are easy to make and pipe right on to a baking sheet. They are pillowy-soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, and you can freeze them ahead of time to bake when needed.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Servings 8 servings
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Calories 280

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes peeled, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces (see note 1)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large egg yolks at room temperature (see note 2)
  • 6 tablespoons butter cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese finely grated (1 ounce, see note 3)
  • Minced freshly parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven racks to the upper middle and lower middle positions and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a Dutch oven or large stockpot, add potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt. Add cold water to cover potatoes by 1 inch.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to boil and partially cover pot. Cook until potatoes are tender and a fork can be easily slipped into the center, stirring once or twice, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well, tossing in colander to remove excess water.
  • Wipe pot dry. Return potatoes to pot and mash until very smooth. Using a rubber spatula, fold in egg yolks one at a time, making sure each yolk is completely incorporated before adding the next.
  • Stir in the butter, cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper) until the mixture is smooth.
  • Transfer to a large piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star piping tip and pipe 12 round mounds (2 ½ inches wide by 2 inches tall) onto each prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Place both sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back and continue baking until the tops of the potatoes are light golden brown, about 10 minutes longer. Garnish with minced fresh parsley if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Potatoes: Russets work best. They’re drier and they have more starch which is a good thing for mashed potatoes. Whole potatoes cook unevenly, so cut them into uniform pieces before you cook them.
  2. Egg yolks: Put your leftover whites to work with Angel Food Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, or a classic from Milwaukee: Schaum Torte.
  3. Swiss cheese: Substitute Parmesan, gruyère, or even sharp cheddar cheese. 
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 24 Duchess potatoes, enough for 8 servings, 3 rounds each.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. For best, crunchiest results, reheat in the oven.
  6. Freezer: Prepare the recipe as directed and pipe onto a baking sheet or plate. Freeze until hard, then transfer them to a sealed bag and freeze up to 3 days. When ready to serve, bake according to the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 3moundsCalories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 7gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 128mgPotassium: 620mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 725IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 96mgIron: 2mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Sounds great for a large party of 20.. I will be doing a test run. Would I freeze the potatoes as soon as they are piped? Once frozen, how long should they be in the oven? Temperature still at 400 degrees for 15 minutes with a rotation and continuation bake of 10 minutes?
    Thank you.5 stars

  2. These are delicious :P And you’re wise to put the FAQs in the text to save answering a million questions in the comments, lol! :P5 stars

  3. These are so fancy and fun! I’ve actually never had duchess potatoes before but I can guarantee I’d love them!5 stars