August 16, 2010

Banana Hazelnut Cake (Gluten-free)

What's so special about a banana hazelnut cake apart from having a killer combination of nuts and banana, of course? Well it might come as a surprise when I tell you that this particular version has the unexpected ingredient of mashed potato in it. Yup. Mashed potato. The world of flourless cakes just got a tad more interesting, now didn't it?

Either I've lived under a rock for the most of my life (which might be partly true given the location I grew up in) or mashed potato is not the first thing that comes in to mind when thinking of cakes. I am always intrigued to try interesting recipes so of course I had to give this one a go, and I'm glad I did! The cake turned out to be so moist without being too dense, and may I say it myself, really delicious! And is it just me or do flourless cakes improve in taste the next day?

You could easily make a chocolate version of this cake by adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder in the batter OR instead of bananas you could use finely grated carrots!

Banana Hazelnut Cake (Gluten-free)
(Recipe adapted from Sue Shepherd - The Gluten-free Kitchen)
Serves 12

4 eggs, separated
1,5 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
180g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g cooled smoothly mashed potato*
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
160g ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

pure icing sugar, for dusting
*and no, the cake won't taste like potato

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 22cm springform cake tin. Place the egg whites, vanilla, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and beat until firm peaks form. Beat the egg yolks, sugar, butter and cinnamon until thick and creamy. In a separate bowl, combine the mashed potato, banana, hazelnut and walnuts. Fold mashed potato mix in to the egg yolk mixture, then gently fold in the egg white mixture. Spoon the batter in to the tin and bake for 20 minutes, then cover with foil and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Batter ready for the oven.

Dust with icing sugar



  1. I'm ba-ack. Who would've thought to put potato in a cake, hey? Looks really moist and must be so nice with a coffee!

  2. Well people put beetroot, avocado and zucchini (hopefully not together ;P) in cake and that seems to work so potato sounds like a good secret ingredient too ^_^

  3. haha! never would've thought the secret ingredient would be mashed potato. very very noice!

  4. I've never heard of potato in a cake before! It makes some sense for moistness I guess but can't say I ever would have thought of it myself. This looks lovely.

  5. Oh potato in cake? Strange! But if I can combine my two favourite foods then heck why not!

  6. this looks awesome, I have a friend who is allergic to wheat, oats, barley and rye, so this cake would be perfect.

    However, I would not suggest replacing all the banana with shredded carrot as you suggest as an option without considering the moisture and sweetness lost. Carrots are a nice addition, but without the moisture of the bananas plus the additional dryness that the carrots would bring (they soak up a lot of wetness from a cake) you will end up with a pretty dry and maybe even blander cake.

    If you wanna add carrot to this cake, I would forget about omitting the bananas all together, or maybe use a little milk (1/4 cup per banana omitted I would guess) If you just use water, an extra tablespoon of sugar might do you some good as well; though both milk and carrots are pretty sweet as they are.

  7. Mashed potato in banana cake sounds like an awesome idea! And it looks delicious too!

  8. Thank you everyone! And thank you for your tip Ms Anthropologist!

  9. That cake looks so smooth and delicious!



  10. Wow I've never heard of mashed potato in cake but you know I can see how it would work! I've used potato in bread and that produces fantastic bread so why not cake! :D

  11. That cake looks so delicious, I can't wait to try it out. Having just made cupcakes with sweet potato, I look forward to giving other 'spuds' a try in baked goods, beginning with the mashed potato recipe you have. Who knew that potatoes could work so well in baked treats!

  12. Although the potato may seem an odd addition, it kind of makes sense in way...with potato flour being a gluten-free substitute and potato having a natural sweetness to it. Love how the other half's gluten-free trial is opening up all these new baking avenues for you =)

  13. that looks so good. even better using hazelnut meal and also have seen recently cakes done with potato to keep it moist.

  14. What a great gluten-free option.. It looks absolutely lovely :) Potato in cakes ROCKS! I tried a chocolate potato cake once and it was superb!

  15. very intrigued by the mashed potato in this recipe! and looking at your photos of the cake is making me hungry :)

  16. Interesting--I never would have thought of using mashed potatoes. Looks like it worked beautifully. The cake looks delicious.

  17. What would happen if you used sweet potatoes or pumpkin instead of white potatoes?

    1. I haven't tried, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.


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