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Sep 9, 2019

Italian Potato Cake (Gattò di Patate)

Italian Potato Cake, or Gattò di Patate, is a Neapolitan dish of mashed potatoes topped with bread crumbs and filled with cheeses and salami. 

Italian Potato Cake slice

Gattò di Patate evidently gets the name gattò from the French term for cake, gateaux, adapted from when the French occupied Naples in the fifteenth and sixteenth century.

This Italian potato cake is hearty and delicious. It makes a wonderful side dish for dinner or brunch. It reminds me of this mashed potato casserole, but it has a delicious Italian surprise inside, a layer of Fontina cheese and salami in the middle.

I made this Italian potato cake in a springform pan so I could cut it into cake-like slices. You can also layer it in a casserole, top it with breadcrumbs, and serve it in squares.

Italian Potato Cake in a pan

Italian Potato Cake Shopping List:

For this gattò di patate, you will need russet potatoes, lots of butter, heavy cream, salt and pepper, eggs, Fontina cheese, Parmesan cheese, salami, and fresh breadcrumbs. 

To make the bread crumbs, just tear up two slices of sandwich bread, and briefly process them in a mini food processor

Notes on this Italian Potato Cake Recipe:

The cake and the slices in these photos are from a freshly baked and sliced potato cake. After we had slices of this Italian potato cake for dinner, we saved the rest in the fridge. 

What is really cool is that cold cake can be sliced even more precisely, and each slice reheats beautifully in the microwave for a gorgeous presentation. Bottom line: you can make this potato cake in advance to serve later when you aren't so stressed making the rest of the dinner!

P.S. While this recipe includes 3 eggs to help hold the potato cake together, there is no "egg-y" taste to these potatoes. In fact, I completely forgot that there were eggs in the potatoes.

My favorite tip for making perfect mashed potatoes:

To make sure your mashed potatoes aren't too watery, after draining the potatoes, return them to the pan, turn on the heat, and cook the potatoes to remove any excess moisture from the pan and the potatoes before mashing them. This should only take about 30 to 60 seconds, and will ensure that your potatoes aren't runny. 

Italian Potato Cake with breadcrumbs on top

This month, the Baking Bloggers are baking with potatoes!

If you love potatoes as much as I do, be sure to check out everyone's recipes. 

Italian Potato Cake (Gattò di Patate)

Italian Potato Cake Recipe

Yield: 10 servings
Italian Potato Cake, or Gattò di Patate, is a Neapolitan dish of mashed potatoes topped with bread crumbs and filled with cheeses and salami.


  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced salami (preferably uncured), cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 6 ounces fontina cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


How to cook Italian Potato Cake Recipe

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the middle. 
  2. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with spray oil and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. 
  3. Place the potatoes into a large (4 to 6 quart) saucepan and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring the pan to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. 
  4. Drain the potatoes and then return them to the pot. Turn on the heat and cook for 30 to 60 seconds to boil off any excess moisture. 
  5. Turn off the heat, add 5 tablespoons of butter, and mash the potatoes with a potato masher. Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Let cool for a few minutes. 
  6. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. 
  7. Spread half of the potatoes into the springform pan and evenly top with the fontina cheese slices and salami. Cover with the rest of the potatoes. 
  8. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and toss with the rest of the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the potatoes. 
  9. Bake the potato cake for 35 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. 
  10. Cool for 10 minutes before unmolding and serving. 
potatoes, potato cake
Side dish
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from Cook's Country Magazine, February/March 2005

Top Five Favorite Potato Recipes: 

Would you like to comment?

  1. This a real delight that slice looks so inviting.

  2. Just love your recipes. This has come out so well. A savory cake and a complete meal in itself.

  3. Another beauty, love the use of the springform pan for it, makes presentation so much more special!

    1. It's kind of messy, but that's just "rustic" right?

  4. What a lovely texture combination, crunchy toasted cheesy breadcrumbs and smooth creamy mashed potato. I must try this.


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