I’m a big fan of potatoes, whether they’re baked, scalloped, fried, roasted, mashed…you name it! That’s why I was interested in reviewing 300 Best Potato Recipes: A Complete Cook’s Guide (Softcover). Written by author and food journalist Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, the book is filled with lots of delicious recipes for fixing potatoes in more ways than you could ever imagine!
At the beginning of the book, there’s a section called The Spud From All Angles where you’ll learn about the history, legend, and lore of potatoes, as well as helpful tips on buying and cooking potatoes, growing your own potatoes, and storing potatoes. Another chapter, A World of Potatoes, tells you about the many different types of potatoes and includes a handy Potato Glossary. I had no idea there were so many kinds of potatoes!
After looking over this information, I browsed through the first recipe chapter called Top Twenty Classics, starting off with Classic Mash Deluxe, Garlic and Chive Mash, and Big Cheese Mash. As you browse through the other chapters, you’ll find many other tasty potato dishes including:
- Soups (Potato Soup with Pesto Cream, St. Patrick’s Day Potato Chowder)
- Salads (Baked Potato Salad with Blue Cheese Drizzle, Lemon Potato Salad with Shrimp)
- Appetizers (Florentine Potato Cakes, Spiced Potato Ribbons)
- Snacks, Small Plates & Light Meals (Four Cheese & Onion Jacket Potato, Rustic Country Potato Tart)
- Sensational Spuds on the Side (Danish Sugar-Browned Potatoes, French Potato Galette)
- Main Courses with Meat, Poultry, Fish & Seafood (Honest-to-Goodness Shepherd’s Pie, Potato Dumplings with Chicken & Tarragon Cream)
- Vegetarian Mains (World’s Best Vegetable Burger, Sweet Potato & Sage Frittata)
- Breads, Biscuits, Scones, Griddle Cakes & More (Cheddar & Onion Potato Bread, All-American Potato Pancakes)
- Desserts & Confections (Carolina Sweet Potato Pie, Dark Chocolate & Orange Potato Cheesecake)
It was hard to decide what to try first, with so many recipes to choose from, but I settled on the Sweet Potato Cinnamon Cake with Pineapple & Coconut & Cream Cheese Icing. If you like carrot cake, you’ll enjoy this cake. My friend Susan tasted this and said she actually liked it better than carrot cake! It’s wonderfully moist and the cream cheese icing is very yummy. The recipe says to frost the top and sides of the cake, but I just decided to frost the top so I could put extra frosting between the layers–I think it looks nice that way. Sprinkling coarsely chopped walnuts on top of the cake would be a nice finishing touch, too–I didn’t think of that until after I took my photos!
You can also make this cake in a 9 x 13″ pan. It’s so yummy it’s hard to stop eating it! Here’s the recipe…
SWEET POTATO CINNAMON CAKE (from 300 Best Potato Recipes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups canola oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded sweet potatoes
- 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, well-drained
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts* (see toasting tips below–I didn’t toast mine, but I’m sure they’re great toasted!)
CREAM CHEESE ICING
- 10 ounces plain cream cheese (not light or whipped), softened
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch round cake pans or one 13 x 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper also sprayed with nonstick cooking spray (I used my 9-inch round non-stick cake pans and greased and floured them well, instead of using the spray and parchment paper; the cakes came out very easily).
Cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice until blended. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and oil until blended. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir flour mixture into sugar mixture until blended and no traces of flour are visible. Stir in sweet potatoes, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts.
Evenly divide batter between prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto rack. Let cool completely.
Icing: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, using an electric mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner’s sugar about 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until just firm enough to spread. Transfer one cake layer to a cake stand or platter. Spread some of the icing over top, smoothing to the edges. Top with second cake layer, then ice top and sides of whole cake (as I mentioned earlier, I decided to just frost between the layers and on top–so choose whatever way you like best!).
Tips on toasting walnuts: Toasting the nuts in a dry skillet gives them a nice crispness; just take care not to burn them, as they take very little time to toast. Add the nuts to a skillet placed over medium heat, and cook, stirring for 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. You can also oven-toast nuts on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven for just a few minutes, but watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Enjoy making this cake…you’ll definitely enjoy eating it! :)