Birthday Meatloaf Cake

birthday meat loaf cake
Photo: Krause, Johansen
10 to 12 Serves

Serve up this kooky cake for a kids' birthday lunch. A slice reveals meatloaf layers beneath mashed-potato "icing" decorated with peas and carrots.


  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 (about ½ cup) celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef

  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated (about ½ cup), peels reserved for decorating

  • ¼ cup tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes

  • ¼ cup cooked green peas


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery; cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl; let cool.

  2. Add beef, carrot, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, egg, oats, ground mustard, salt, and pepper to bowl with vegetable mixture; mix thoroughly with your hands.

  3. Gently press into prepared pans. Bake until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees. about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes; carefully remove with a spatula, and transfer to wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet. Tent with foil.

  4. Bring 2 cups water to boil in small pan. Add reserved carrot peels; cook until tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

  5. Place 1 meatloaf on platter; spread 1 cup warm mashed potatoes over top. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons peas. Top with remaining meatloaf. Frost top and sides with 3 cups mashed potatoes. Fill piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch star tip (such as Ateco #825) with remaining mashed potatoes. Pipe borders around cake. Using tip of a 1/4-inch plain round tip (such as Ateco #10), punch out circles from carrot peels. Decorate cake with carrot circles and remaining peas. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

The cakes can be prepared up to 1 day ahead: Reheat at 325 degrees; for 15 to 20 minutes, then make the frosting. Assemble just before serving.

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