This easy Duchess Potatoes recipe is an elegant potato recipe that is perfect for the holidays. They can even be made ahead of time and frozen to save you time on the day of your dinner party!
This simple potato recipe is one that I love to make for parties. They are basically a fancy mashed potato mixed with egg yolks and then piped into beautiful swirls and baked to give them a slightly crisp outside and a light, fluffy inside.
Baking them also turns them into mashed potatoes that you can eat with your hands. Once fully baked and slightly cooled they hold their shape easily. That makes them a great option for a brunch buffet.
They only take a few more steps than run of the mill mashed potatoes, but they look like something you slaved over and the best part is you can make them ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to use them. That means you can have something a little fancy any time you want!
These beautiful potatoes are perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter dinner!
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What Are Duchess Potatoes?
Duchess potatoes were first created in France. They are creamy, fluffy potatoes that have a slightly crispy exterior. The flavor is reminiscent of a twice-baked potato filling, minus the skin. Who doesn’t love twice-baked potatoes?
- Russet potatoes – we prefer starchy russet potatoes for this recipe. You can also use Yukon gold potatoes.
- Egg yolks – Large egg yolks are needed for this recipe. They help to bind the potatoes together.
- Butter – Use salted butter for the best flavor.
- Heavy cream – Heavy whipping cream gives the potatoes a creamy texture.
- Salt and pepper – Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- Nutmeg – Just a pinch will boost the flavor in this recipe.
- Milk – This is used for the egg wash at the end which helps the potatoes to brown as they cook.
How to Make Them:
Step 1 – Prepare the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Step 2 – Boil potatoes. In a large pot boil the peeled potatoes. Once they are fork tender drain the water off and put them back in the pot to cook over low heat for 3 minutes (this will help dry them out).
Step 3 – Mash and season. Mash the potatoes until they are smooth. To do this you can use a potato masher, hand mixer, or a potato ricer.
Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes then add the butter, cream, salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Mix thoroughly and add more salt if needed.
Step 4 – Add the eggs. Fold egg yolks into the mixture until they are combined. Do not over mix.
Step 5 – Pipe and set. Add potato mixture to a large piping bag with a large star tip and pipe the potatoes onto parchment paper or a silpat mat, on a baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will firm up the potatoes to help with the next step.
Step 6 – Brush. Mix whole egg with milk and gently brush egg wash over potatoes. Be careful not to use too much egg wash, you do not want it to drip down the sides and pool around the potatoes. (if you are making these ahead of time wait to add the egg wash until you are ready to place them in the oven.)
Step 7 – Bake. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until edges of potatoes are golden brown.
Tips for the Best Results:
- It’s best to use peeled potatoes. While many recipes allow you to leave the skins on mashed potatoes, duchess potatoes need to be completely smooth so no peels allowed!
- Mash the potatoes well. Since you’ll be piping these potatoes to get that beautiful shape you’ll need the mixture to be completely smooth. Lumps can clog the tip and make it difficult to pipe. You can use a handheld potato masher or even a mixer to make sure they are whipped. Do this before adding the eggs, though.
- Use room temperature ingredients. The heavy cream, egg yolks, and butter will work much better when they are at room temp. If they are cold, they won’t incorporate into the potatoes.
- Don’t skip letting the potatoes cool for at least 5 minutes. I know it’s tempting to get in a hurry and skip cooling them, but I promise it’s essential. Letting them cool down does a couple of things. First, it helps ensure that any extra water that is in the potatoes has completely evaporated. It is also important to cool the potatoes because you don’t want to cook the eggs when you add them in! No one wants scrambled egg in their potatoes :).
- Only use egg yolks when mixing the potatoes. They add so much creaminess and will give the potatoes an irresistible flavor. Not to mention that the yolks will give the mashed potatoes a vibrant yellow color and make them richer too.
- Do not overmix the eggs and potatoes. It’s important not to overmix the mashed potatoes once you add the eggs. I know it’s tempting to ensure that the eggs are super incorporated, but just barely mixing them in is sufficient.
- When it comes to the egg wash, less is more. You don’t need to add lots of egg wash. Just lightly brush it on the duchess potatoes before baking them. I highly recommend placing your potatoes in the freezer for 30 minutes before brushing on the egg wash. This will help them hold their shape as you brush on the egg.
What Kind of Potato is Most Often Used for Duchess Potatoes?
You want to use a starchy potato such as Yukon Gold or Russet. We prefer to use Russet potatoes. They not only taste great, but they also make a perfectly creamy mashed potato. Either potato will give you the delicious flavor and texture that makes the perfect duchess potatoes.
While you can use other varieties of potatoes, keep in mind that they may not offer the same results.
What Potatoes are Waxy Potatoes?
Waxy potatoes are red-skinned potatoes, blue/purple potatoes, and fingerling potatoes. These potatoes contain less starch and won’t give you the same light, fluffy texture you are looking for when making duchess potatoes.
Do I Have To Pipe Them?
While the overall look and style of these mashed potatoes are well known for their elegant appearance it’s not required to pipe them.
Another option is to turn it into a duchess potato casserole recipe. To make this work, you would need to spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray or grease it. Then add in the potato mixture. Take a spatula and make swirls in the tops of the potatoes. It will give you that beautiful look and will brown the tops nicely.
If you want to try something different, you could even add the potatoes to ramekins if you want. You can use a pastry bag and pipe the mixture into greased ramekins or scoop it in and swirl the tops. Either way, bake them until the tops have turned golden brown.
Can Duchess Potatoes Be Made Ahead of Time?
You have two options for making these potatoes ahead of time:
Refrigerator – You can pipe the potatoes on to a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake. This needs to be done the same day.
When ready to bake follow the instructions in the recipe.
Freezer – Pipe the potatoes on a baking tray and place them in the freezer. Let them freeze for about two hours, or until they are frozen solid. Take them off of the baking sheet and place them in an airtight container in the freezer until you are ready to use. They can stay frozen for up to 2 months.
If you choose to freeze and store your potatoes when it is time to bake them add your egg wash and then place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and warmed through.
Looking for More Easy Potato Recipes?
- Not Your Mom’s Mashed Potatoes
- Loaded Au Gratin Potatoes
- German Potato Salad
- Mini Sweet Potato Casserole
- Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Sour Cream Potato Salad
- Roasted Ranch Potatoes
- Everything Bagel Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- English Pea and Potato Salad
- 2 pounds Russet potatoes, weigh bag
- 3 large Egg yolks, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons Butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup Heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 large Egg
- 2 tablespoons Milk
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large pot boil the peeled potatoes. Once they are fork tender drain the water off and put them back in the pot to cook over low heat for 3 minutes (this will help dry them out).
- Mash the potatoes until they are smooth. To do this you can use a potato masher, hand mixer, or a potato ricer.
- Let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes then add the butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cream.
- Mix thoroughly and add more salt if needed.
- Fold egg yolks into the mixture until they are combined. Do not over mix.
- Add potato mixture to a large piping bag with a large star tip and pipe the potatoes onto parchment paper or a silpat mat, on a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes. This will firm up the potatoes to help with the next step.
- Mix whole egg with milk and gently brush egg wash over potatoes. Be careful not to use too much egg wash, you do not want it to drip down the sides and pool around the potatoes. (if you are making these ahead of time wait to add the egg wash until you are ready to place them in the oven.)
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until edges of potatoes are golden brown.
- If you are making these ahead of time you can pipe them in the baking sheet (don’t add the egg wash!) and put them in the refrigerator and let them sit until you are ready to bake.Giving them at least 30 minutes in the freezer right before adding the egg wash will help them hold their shape during that step.
- Freezing Duchess Potatoes: Pipe your potatoes onto the baking sheet and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Remove from the baking sheet and place in an airtight container. Store in freezer for up to 2 months. If you choose to freeze and store your potatoes when it is time to bake them add your egg wash and then place in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and warmed through.