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toes on a sheet of parchment paper.

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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 280kcal


  • 2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes peeled, cut into 1 1/2 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)


  • 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 to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 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 1/2 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.


  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. How to say it: doo-SHESS potatoes.
  5. For super-smooth potatoes: Use a potato ricer or food mill. These gadgets make the smallest, finest pieces of cooked potato.
  6. No masher: A pastry blender or a couple of sturdy forks work just fine.
  7. No piping bag: Julia Child made these French potatoes using a spoon and fork, so you can too!
  8. 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.
  9. 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 1/2 pounds potatoes).
  10. Fresh herbs: Mix in fresh chives, parsley, or dill with your mixture for more fresh flavors.


Serving: 3mounds | Calories: 280kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 725IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 2mg