This recipe is what I call my masterpiece. Out of the 80-something recipes I have done, this one is the longest(the video is a little over 12 minutes long, and I thought it would exceed 15 minutes, so I enabled my channel to upload videos longer than 15 minutes. All I had to do was verify my account. Did you know YouTube allows videos to be uploaded to their site that are as long as 11 hours and as big as 128 GB! That amount of gigabytes is the amount you can store in an iPhone 6S! Can you imagine uploading your iPhone-sized video to YouTube! That's crazy!)
This blog post is going to be super long, so bear with me.
I got my inspiration for this recipe months ago after seeing a video of a meatloaf birthday cake being made(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50fSQXXG_jM). So shoutout to Cookies, Cupcakes, and Cardio!
That cake was made out of beef and covered with mashed potatoes. But I have a vegetarian uncle who didn't eat the very first meatloaf I made for my extended family last Easter because it was made with beef. So I wanted him to be included in trying my recipe, which is why I substitute eggs for unsweetened applesauce. Plus, let's face it people, mashed potatoes, even on a meatloaf cake are pretty boring. Now mashed sweet potatoes on the other hand...
I didn't make my mashed sweet potatoes from fresh sweet potatoes. I used instant mashed sweet potatoes- the type that comes in a packet and only requires hot water, butter, milk, and a microwave for cooking it. It was less time consuming. You can get them at http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Crocker-Potatoes-Mashed-Potato/dp/B00LWZZ4LM/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1448299646&
The meatloaf birthday cake video I saw used a two 9-inch cakes pans, so the cake was a 2 layer cake. But it wasn't stuffed with anything, unlike mine.
When planning this recipe, I honestly thought I would need 6 pounds of tofu if I used 9-inch cake pans, which is why I ordered six 4-inch cake pans, figuring I would only need 3 pounds of tofu. In reality, I only needed 1.5 pounds of tofu, so I could've bought two 9-inch cake pans and would still be able to make a regular-sized cake. It would've probably been more noticeable at the table during my family's Thanksgiving dinner.
i also could've assembled the entire cake at home and brought it to my aunt's house to warm it up in the oven. Then I wouldn't have gotten the feedback that the cakes were not warm. But I naively thought mashed sweet potatoes melt in the oven(they did when I made my Thanksgiving Turkey Meatloaf), so I decided to assemble the cake at my grandpa's house(which, in good traffic, is an hour away from my home; in rush hour traffic, allot 90 minutes), because my aunt wouldn't let me do the assembling at her house.
But at least my dad and I got the driveway parking space to my aunt's house- my dad and I agreed to drive my eighty-something year-old grandpa to the dinner. Although my grandpa didn't understand the logic of what I was doing with the cakes.
As for the decorations in the video I saw, the cook/chef(her name is Jenn, by the way) used piping bags for making mashed potato flowers that lined the edges of the cakes, as well as the writing on the cakes(it was made with ketchup).
Fun fact about me: I am not a cake decorator! I don't know how to use a piping bag so the easier route for me was to use broccoli florets instead of mashed potato flowers, and I took two packets of sauces from one of the Lunchables kits I had in my fridge and used those for icing the cakes(like I said, I'm not a cake decorator, so I didn't write actual words on my cake. I just drizzled the sauces around the cakes).
Jenn made bacon roses, made with carrots, scallions, tomatoes, and actual bacon. I made "roses" made from tempeh bacon(remember, this is a vegetarian dish) and baby carrots. Guess whose method of making savory flowers is easier? It's mine!
About tempeh bacon: Like meat-based bacon, it's tastes crispy and like smoky BBQ sauce. However, unlike meat-based bacon, it has a weird, off-putting texture. It reminds me of the rice and seaweed rolls on a sushi roll. Maybe that's because tempeh bacon is actually made with brown rice.
As for the pinata part of the cake: Elise from My Cupcake Addiction(who I met at StreamCon NYC last month) stuffed her cake with M&Ms. It makes no sense for me to go stuffing my meatloaf cakes with candy if it's being served as an entree. Isn't it cool that you can stuff a cake with vegetables!? Maybe then you can get kids to finally eat their vegetables. Shoutout to My Cupcake Addiction as well!
I mentioned in my video nobody at the other table was eating the cake stuffed with carrots- they did 15 minutes after stuffing their faces with turkey and ham. It turns out they liked the dish, just like the table I was sitting at that ate the cake stuffed with corn. Now in all actuality, only half of each cake was eaten at Thanksgiving. I took the rest home and ate it as leftovers over the following days.
I think I have said enough, so here's the recipe:
You will need:
For the cooking equipment:
Six 4-inch cake pans(http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-2105-1829-Mini-Round-1-25-Inch/dp/B007SQ7XXQ/ref=sr_1_2/187-5584609-1966045?ie=UTF8&qid=1448827832&sr=8-2)
Aluminum foil to cover up the cakes if you are traveling(FYI, this recipe can't go on airplane flights, so if you want to travel on a plane with these- you can't. There's a 99.9% chance the TSA doesn't allow it)
2 lasagna pans
A large bowl
A frying pan
Nonstick cooking spray
A cleaned out pill bottle as a stencil for making the circular holes in the cakes
For the meatloaf cakes:
For each batch(you will need two):
1/2 tbsp. of onion powder
2/3 cups of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of marinara sauce
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of salt
2 packets of uncooked raisin oatmeal
1 pound of chopped, drained, crumbled up extra firm tofu
For stuffing the cakes:
1/4 cup of cooked frozen vegetables of your choosing(I used those BBQ corn and chili carrots. They're those Bird's-Eye seasoned vegetable steamer bags)
For the "roses":
1 slice of pan-fried tempeh bacon
2 baby carrots
For decorating each cake:
1/4 cup of mashed sweet potatoes(http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Crocker-Potatoes-Mashed-Potato/dp/B00LWZZ4LM/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1448299646&)
2 tbsp. of cooked frozen vegetable of your choosing(I used ranch broccoli, which is also a Bird's-Eye seasoned vegetable steamer bag)
1 sauce packet of your choosing(I used nacho cheese sauce and salsa)
To assemble the cakes:
1. Wash your hands! :)
2. Put all meatloaf cake ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Mix the ingredients up with your hands until they are all distributed evenly among the mixture.
4. Spray the cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
5. Place the mixture in 4 of the pans. Place those 4 pans inside a lasagna pan.
6. To fill the remaining two pans, repeat steps 1-3. You're going to end up with leftover meatloaf mixture, so spray one of the lasagna pans with nonstick cooking spray where you will form 1 loaf from the mixture. Use the rest of the second lasagna pan for the other two pans.
7. Bake everything in the cake pans and lasagna pans in a 350 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.
8. Let the cakes cool off for 5-10 minutes.
To make the "roses":
1. Pan-fry two slices of tempeh bacon on both sides. Allow slices to cool for 5 minutes.
2. Place 2 baby carrots in the middle of each slice.
3. Wrap each slice fully around the carrots.
For assembling the layers:
1. Determine through sight which 2 of the 6 cakes looks the least stable. Do not remove those 2 cakes from the pans. These will be the bottom layers of the cake.
2. For all the other 4 cake pans, remove the cakes from the pans by using a knife around the pans and turning the pan upside down. Put each cake onto a small plate. The cakes need to mostly hold together, so if they're a crumbled up mess- you're out of luck.
3. Make a circular indentation using the outside of a pill bottle halfway through the bottom cakes. This will serve as the base for where the stuffed vegetables will lie.
4. Place the 2 cakes that will form the middle layer on top of the bottom layers.
5. Make a circular indentation using the inside of a pill bottle in the middle cakes that goes all the way through those cakes.
6. Spoon out the center of the middle cakes.
7. Place cooked frozen vegetables into the holes you just made in the middle layers. They should rest on the indentation you made on the bottom layers.
8. Once you stuffed your cakes with vegetables, top them with the top layer cakes but do not put any holes in the top layer cakes.
9. Make or cook the mashed sweet potatoes.
If you aren't traveling with the unfrosted cakes, skip the following section.
1. Place the now three-layered cakes in a lasagna pan.
2. Cover up the lasagna pan with aluminum foil.
3. Place covered lasagna pan in the fridge overnight.
4. Place "roses" in a tupperware overnight.
5. Place cooled down, cooked, mashed sweet potatoes in a separate tupperware overnight.
6. Once you get to your venue, warm up the cakes in a 325 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
7. Let the cakes cool for 5-10 minutes.
8. Warm up the "roses" in a microwave for 30-60 seconds on a microwave-safe plate.
9. Warm up the mashed sweet potatoes in a microwave for 1-2 minutes on a microwave-safe plate.
10. Cook the frozen vegetables that will go on top of the cakes according to package directions. Allow vegetables to cool down for a couple of minutes.
To decorate the cakes:
1. Wear plastic gloves for putting the mashed sweet potatoes on top of the cakes.
2. Cover the visible tops and sides of each cake with the mashed sweet potatoes.
3. Once the cakes are covered up, place cooked vegetables in a circle around the tops of the cakes.
4. Place the "roses" in the center of the vegetable circle.
5. Pour sauce over the tops of the cakes.
6. Bon appetit!