Thursday, March 28, 2013

Meat Cake- A Gluten And Sugar Free Birthday Alternative

meat cake with edible flowers

This was Nik's birthday cake. He didn't want something sweet, so we went with a savory birthday cake. It was actually a big hit- we even put candles in it and sang to him, and nobody missed the cloying icing and stomach aches.

It's a basic meatloaf, covered with a layer of mashed potato "frosting", then shredded cheese on top, and decorated with edible flowers. I used nasturtiums, calendula, dandelion, and borage flowers, all readily available in the garden in late September.

meat cake with mashed potato topping


The kids may still request sweet cakes for their birthdays, but this is definitely the start of a new tradition for at least our adult birthdays. You can just use your favorite meatloaf recipe, topped with however you like to make your mashed potatoes, but here's what I did:

This is the ratio for the meatloaf I make, and I tripled it for a 9 x 9" baking dish:

1 lb organic ground beef
2 eggs
1/2 c oat flour (I just run some dry oatmeal in the blender) 
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/3 onion, chopped 
1/2 t salt
1 t dry sage 

Mix well until everything is evenly distributed, then press into the pan. Bake at 375 until the edges pull away from the side of the pan. Maybe 20 minutes? Not only do ovens vary, but the dimensions of your pan may vary and whether you double or triple this recipe will change the baking time. Don't fear, though. If you stay nearby, you will smell the meat cooking and know when it's done as it visibly shrinks away from the pan. I never time things, but just stay close to what I'm cooking.

As the meat bakes, you can make the mashed potatoes. You know how to do this. Just wash potatoes and chop them into roughly 1" chunks. Add to boiling water. A few large potatoes ought to be enough to frost this cake, but you can make the  frosting as deep as you want, and leftover mashed potatoes are always welcome around here.  

As soon as a fork slides into a potato easily, carefully pour out nearly all the cooking water. You can leave a little in the bottom. Add copious amounts of butter and some cream or milk (maybe 1/4- 1/2c of each), plus some salt to taste. Mash together until smooth. Some people prefer using peeled potatoes, but I don't think of that as a whole food, plus peeling potatoes always seems like a complete waste of time.

potato topping
  
Spread the mashed potatoes over the cooked meat cake. You can eat it now, or if you want to add cheese, do so, and then broil for a couple of minutes.

meat cake with mashed potatoes

To make it special, pick some fresh edible flowers from the garden. Included here are nasturtium, dandelion, and calendula. There's a borage flower as well. You could also use rose petals.

edible flowers

I left these sitting in a bowl of water to keep them fresh while preparing the rest of the cake, and let the cake cool a bit before decorating with the flowers, so they didn't wilt. I also removed the bitter green sepals of the dandelion flowers before using them.

meat cake with edible flowers
Enjoy!

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18 comments

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March 29, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Great idea! Happy Birthday Nik!

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March 30, 2013 at 11:56 AM

I love this! What a great idea! I would love it if you could share this at what i am eating http://www.townsend-house.com/2013/03/what-i-am-eating-guest-post-crazy.html

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April 2, 2013 at 6:46 AM

In some ways, this reminds me of a traditional British Shepherd's or Cottage Pie, which is one of my favourite comfort foods. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious and I love how you have decorated it with edible flowers. Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

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April 2, 2013 at 7:27 AM

Good idea on replacing sweets with a savory cake! I wouldn't have been able to come up with something like that myself.

Take care!
Dee

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April 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

A savory cake, what a great idea! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

The party will be GREAT this week! We are giving away a tote full of goodies from Namaste Foods! The items are gluten free and allergy friendly! Can't wait to see what you bring to the party!

Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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April 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

What a great idea, and so beautifully presented! I am soooo making this tomorrow night. Thanks for including it at Foodie Friday. I'd like to "Spotlight" it next week.

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April 5, 2013 at 9:08 PM

This looks so delicious! I'd love for you to link up a few yummy recipes at my weekend link party@The Weekend re-Treat!
on The Best Blog Recipes if you haven't already!

Hope to see you there!

Shauna
http://thebestblogrecipes.blogspot.com/
http://ready2loseweight.blogspot.com/

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April 9, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Whenever my dad makes meat loaf, he calls it meat cake like from George Carlin :)

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April 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM

What a GREAT idea! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

Really looking forward to seeing what you bring to the party this week! It starts Thursday evening!

Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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April 14, 2013 at 12:59 AM

what a fantastic idea..since having lyme I don't always have the energy to make extra things like birthday cakes..last birthday was my partner Kev ..we just scooped some ice cream into a bowl and stuck a candle on top and sang happy birthday...what a clever idea with the meat loaf..

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May 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Lol, how cute! Thanks so much for sharing it on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it :)

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July 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

What a great idea for someone who doesn't want a sweet cake, and you really made it pretty too.
Thank you for posting at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.

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August 11, 2013 at 3:05 AM

One time when I went to a 'cake' party I took a sushi cake that I made in a springform pan - it was a very popular option as there was (of course) a complete sugar overload. A meat cake would have also gone down incredibly well - the mash with turmeric would be a nice option colorwise too :)

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August 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I love the idea of turmeric for coloring the potato topping! From the sound of it, we should all be eating more turmeric anyway.
I'm going to have to look up this sushi cake- sounds fantastic. Definitely a win for a cake party!

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August 24, 2013 at 8:02 AM

Mellow, what a great idea and a beautiful meatloaf! Hope you have a great weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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August 29, 2013 at 9:05 AM

Congratulations!
Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend and your new Red Plate.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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October 28, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Great idea for an alternative cake! Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

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