So, what do you call a cake that looks like a potato? A potato cake? No, that’s name is already taken by a savory something. Since these are small sponge cakes filled with buttercream and covered in marzipan, they might as well be called petit fours. Right?
I like it. I’m going with it.
Each time I pass by the plateful of “potatoes” on the kitchen counter, I do a double-take. I can’t wait to fake people out serve them!
The filling for these can be endlessly varied. You can use jam, ganache, pastry cream… whatever you find most pleasing. I tinted buttercream green and added a little Irish cream for flavor to keep with the St. Paddy’s Day festivities.
These were so much fun to make! The details – or, the “eyes” – of the potatoes are impressions made in the marzipan with the end of a lollipop stick. I also added a few small dimples with a single fork tine.
Presentation counts! You can pile them up in a little brown paper sack, or serve them individually, wrapped in foil and presented as mini “baked potatoes”. Tricky, tricky!
Potato Petit Fours
Sponge recipe adapted from “The Chocolate Bible”, various authors.
Yield: 15-20 cakes [click for printable version]
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/4 cup fine granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Filling and coating:
1 1/2 cups buttercream
1 1/2 cups your choice fruit jam (raspberry or pineapple is recommended)
1 1/2 lbs. marzipan or almond paste
Cocoa powder for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place egg yolks in a bowl and beat in 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Mix until frothy and lightened; set aside.
3. Beat egg whites in a separate large bowl. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until meringue is stiff and dry.
4. Sift corn starch over meringues and fold in with a rubber spatula. Add beaten yolks and fold again, being very careful to not deflate the batter. Finally, fold in the flour.
5. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip and pipe 1 1/2-inch mounds spaced well apart onto the baking sheet. Bake for 6-10 minutes with the oven door slightly cracked. When lightly brown, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
6. Pipe buttercream between two same-sized sponge rounds. If using jam, use a sharp knife to make a small hollow in the bottoms of the cakes. Spoon in the jam and sandwich sponge rounds together.
7. Roll out marzipan or almond paste to 1/8-inch thickness -use a little confectioners’ sugar to flour the work surface and rolling pin if paste sticks. Cut into squares and use to cover the potatoes. If paste doesn’t stick to the cake, brush a little melted jelly over the surface (I didn’t have to do this). Make a few indentations to represent “eyes”. Use a fork tine to further pock-mark the potato.
8. Roll the cakes in cocoa powder. Shake off excess and place in paper liners, brown paper bags or wrap in foil to mimic a baked potato.
Note: I used a spoon to hold my oven open just a crack. If you do this, be careful! The spoon will become hot. Be sure to grab a pot holder to remove the spoon.
How stinking clever and creative are you? The foil wrappers totally put them over the top. Such an adorable idea!!
Haha!! These make me so happy! What a fun, unique, and adorable treat to make for St. Pat's! Brilliant, as always, Heather!
These are brilliant! Totally pinning these!
What a fabulous idea! Thanks so much for sharing!
Wow! You actually fooled me to think that they were really potatoes. You are so creative!
These are awesome!!! They look so much like real potatoes lol!
Wow – these are fantastic! So realistic. I've never worked with marzipan before – is it very much like fondant to work with?
That's so cool! Really great idea for St. Patty's Day!
These little bakers are simply wonderful! They are so cute and look so yummy. I brake for marzipan!
These are so amazingly adorable!! Now all they need is a dollop of whipped cream "sour cream".
Omg these are adorable…the presentation is amazing!
You had me FOOLED until halfway thru the post..I was like…huh?!
You are SO good!
oh! ho..thought those were potatoes at first then wao..is the word! how creative =) hope that spoon's out! 😀
Oh so cute and terribly tempting! A wonderful creation.
Fantásticas patatas dulces. Me gusta la idea.
These are so pretty! Awesome idea!
How do you come up with this stuff? These are fabulous, especially the tin foil!
This is quite possibly the cutest thing ever!! You are so creative 🙂 Love it.
ROTFL, that is awesome! such a fun idea
Oh my goodness! These are so adorable! I love potatoes, but never have I wanted to eat one as badly as I do now! These are adorable!
Those are so awesome!! My kids would love these!
Que interesante! Una idea estupenda! Maravilloso! Saludos desde España!!!
Oh I love these! Thanks for all the great pictures! Love seeing how you did the marzipan, I was picturing another technique but this makes so much more sense!
Are you kidding me? These are the cutest thing EVER! I love love.
How cute!!! I'm sure everyone talked about these more than anything else.
So creative! I honestly got confused at first glance thinking I was looking at real potatoes. Happy early st patty's day!
How much creativity!, I love them 🙂
Espera que pueda cerrar la boca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IMPRESIONANTEMENTE bonitas, originales y riquísimas con el mazapán!
These are so cute!! What would you cover them with if you aren't a marzipan fan?
I've been trying to find the recipe for a sponge with that texture and crumb for the longest time… thank you! Do you think it would bake well if baked as a sheet instead of mounds?
I recommend using a wooden spoon – no danger of hand burns…
Aren't you just the little genius???!!!! Adorable!!! And those little sponge rounds alone look heavenly!
These cakes are darling and their name is perfect! It's so much fun creating little bites like this that turn out so spectacular, isn't it?
I saw this book at Whole Foods the other day and almost bought it but decided to check on amazon and then forgot. Now I will definitely have to look for it. Great post!
FOR REALZ???? These are adorable!
This is great!! So stinking cute!!
Que maravillosa idea, eres de una creatividad increible, me encanta todo lo que haces.Saludos
So adorable! I get a kick out of this kind of thing:) Love the way you have it in foil:)
The most original and imaginative St. Paddy's Day treat ever! I love these. Would be a hoot to serve on April Fool's Day too 🙂
That's crazy! Those actually look like potatoes. Great job!
How did you become such a genius!! I'm so jealous of your creativity!
These are so adorable!
These are jus so so cute! I love it:)
I LOVE the picture with the "Potato" in the foil! So darn cute! What a great idea Heather 🙂
All of these St. P's posts are really getting me in the mood!
so cute! and a much better st. patrick's day treat than green dyed beer!
These are SO fun!!! I love your creativity. They remind me of a marzipan sweet my Grandmother used to love (they were completely marzipan and dusted in cocoa).
I love that! You are so talented! Very creative … and delicious!!
So, so creative and fun — I love this idea!