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Ali’s Kitchen

Ali Carter
Ali Carter

Column & Photos by Ali Carter, WPVGA Auxiliary Member               

The other day I found myself searching through our home while on the hunt for a recipe my grandmother had given me years ago.

I never did find the recipe and am still quite heartbroken over that. What I did stumble upon, however, tucked away at the back of a cupboard above the refrigerator, was a pile of cookbooks that I had long forgotten about.

In this technical age, it is easy to log onto a blog, website or Pinterest and find a recipe for practically anything. Unfortunately, that ease has caused me to no longer turn to my favorite cookbooks for ideas as often as I used to do.

Seeing this stack of forgotten books inspired me to sit down in my favorite chair and wile away the rest of that afternoon perusing the recipes.

I am sure it will not surprise you to learn that many of the cookbooks in this stack were about potatoes. One book in particular caught my attention. The All-American Potato Cookbook published in 1982, which was the second cookbook published by the Wisconsin Potato Growers Auxiliary (WPGA). I was particularly interested in the cake and bread recipes.

My first pick from this cookbook was a spice cake with caramel frosting. It turned out fabulously! The cake itself was dense and extremely moist; I cannot wait to share this with you!

I made some changes to accommodate my family’s preferences and to make use of what I had on hand. Isn’t that the beauty of a recipe? You have the freedom to be as creative as you want to be and simply enjoy the process.

Potato Spice Cake

  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening or butter
  • 1-cup basic mashed potatoes
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½-teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½-teaspoon salt
  • ½-teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1-teaspoon baking powder
  • 1-cup milk
  • ¾-cup raisins or pecans

1512-Ali's Kitchen3**I made the following adjustments:

-used butter in place of shortening
-increased nutmeg to ¾ teaspoon (don’t you just LOVE nutmeg?)
-eliminated raisins (my children are not crazy about them in a cake)
-added ½ cup chopped pecans and a ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract

1512-Ali's Kitchen4Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan (I chose to use a Bundt pan).

Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Add potatoes and eggs; blend well. Combine flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and baking powder in a small bowl; mix lightly. Alternately beat dry ingredients and milk into the creamed mixture until well blended. Stir in raisins (or pecans).

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.


  • ¼ cup butter
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons milk
  • 1-cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan on low heat. Cook about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk; bring to full boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Beat in sugar with an electric mixer until consistency is easily spreadable.

This frosting recipe makes more than I personally think you need for the cake and is quite sweet so make adjustments to your taste.

Oh, and a little tip….the frosting sets up quite quickly as it cools so do not wait too long to frost your cake.

This is a perfect treat to be savored with a cup of coffee on a chilly evening with a loved one. Enjoy!

Badger CommonTater

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