This Is Why Grandma Baked with Mashed Potatoes

Save money and time by baking with mashed potatoes—the secret ingredient to insanely tender treats.

Grandma was never one to let leftovers go to waste, and that included baking up all sorts of sweets with last night’s mashed potatoes. After all, Grandma knew how much everyone loved buttery slices of moist and tender potato bread, so why not bake with mashed potatoes where other favorites are concerned?

It may sound weird but it’s really not. After all, grandmas are masters at stretching a dollar, and potatoes are a frugal kitchen staple. In addition, baking with mashed potatoes results in delicious airy delights that come together fast, have a long shelf life and taste incredible. (No…they do not taste at all like potatoes.)

Don’t believe us? It’s actually a matter of science. Baking science, if you will.

The Details of Baking with Mashed potatoes

Items baked with mashed potatoes are lighter than others because the flour in these recipes has a harder time forming gluten due to the starch in the boiled potatoes. This creates baked goods that are extra tender.

The starches from the spuds also take in more water than wheat starches do. This means you can expect incredibly moist bites. Similarly, it’s the potato starches that give these breads a longer shelf life by making it tougher for the wheat starches to crystallize and harden.

Best of all, the potassium in potatoes helps yeast to rise quicker than breads that only include wheat. That means you’ll cut kitchen time a bit. Thanks, Grandma!

Baking Up a Spud Specialty

Baking with mashed potatoes is easy. Most recipes start by adding eggs, milk, butter and sugar to the spuds, quickly creating a dough or batter.

The amount of prepared mashed potatoes you’ll need varies from recipe to recipe. For instance, chocolate brownies need a bit less than classic doughnuts. Regardless, be sure you’re using real potatoes and not potato flakes or that whole science thing flies out the window. And, besides, Grandma never made instant mashed potatoes, did she?

Give this classic ingredient a try the next time you want to bake up an impressive bite. If we’ve learned anything from Grandma, it’s sure to be a finger-licking sweet you’ll prepare time and again.

Mark Hagen
The former owner of his own catering business, Mark’s been part of the Taste of Home team for the past 20 years. His work has also appeared in Quick Cooking, Light & Tasty and Country Woman magazines as well as in various Pillsbury and Betty Crocker cookbooks. When he’s not spending time in the kitchen with his Westie, Rocco, he’s working in his yard, doing stand-up comedy or devouring a platter of nachos. (Most likely the latter.)