Ever since I saw this “Paleo birthday cake“, a meat cake recipe has been in the back of my mind. Would it be possible to make a Paleo meat cake that actually looks like a real cake? I didn’t think it was possible at all until I made my Tricolor Paleo Shepherd’s Pie and used cake frosting tips to pipe mashed potatoes as decoration. It came out better than I thought it would, and I used the same technique to frost this Paleo meat cake!
I baked triple layers of meatloaf, stacked them and frosted the outside with a combo of tomato paste and Japanese sweet potatoes. I finished off the meat cake’s decoration with rosettes of mashed potatoes. The visual result is very similar to a real cake. In fact, if I saw this Paleo meat cake uncut, I’d think it was dessert for sure!
This "cake" is hiding a happy surprise: it's actually made of meat! Dig into this triple layer take on meatloaf.
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 4 lbs ground beef
- 2 lbs ground pork
- 1 lb mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup parsley, diced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- Coconut oil to grease pans
- 2 lbs Japanese sweet potatoes
- 3 6 oz. cans tomato paste
- 1/2 lb white potatoes
- 3+ tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 8" spring-form pans with coconut oil and set aside.
- Mix the tomato paste, salt, dry mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, apple cider vinegar and water in a small bowl until it's a smooth sauce.
- Shred the onion, garlic and mushrooms in a food processor until finely diced.
- Combine ground meat, onion mixture, parsley, thyme, eggs and sauce together in large mixing bowl.
- Divide the mixture into the three spring-form pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes.
- Let cool 5-10 minutes, then release the spring-form pans. Trim any irregularities on the tops and sides of each layer until they are circular, level disks.
- To make the frosting, peel the sweet potatoes and potatoes and roughly chop. Place in a medium pot and add enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork. Drain, separate sweet potatoes (into a large mixing bowl) from the potatoes (into a medium mixing bowl) and roughly mash each.
- Stir the tomato paste into the sweet potatoes, then whip with a hand mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue whipping until very smooth.
- To assemble the cake, cover the first meat layer with frosting. It's not important to smooth the frosting at this stage, just ensure full coverage on the sides and top.
- Stack the second layer on top of the bottom one, and cover with frosting. Repeat the process with the last layer.
- Using a butter knife, smooth the frosting on the sides with a gentle upward sweeping motion. Clean the knife between strokes if you're going for the uniform finish shown in this post's photos.
- Smooth the top of the cake using a similar technique: gentle strokes across the diameter.
- To make the rosettes, whip the coconut milk into the mashed potatoes (adding more coconut milk if needed to achieve a smooth consistency that's still firm enough to form stiff peaks).
- Load the mashed potatoes into a pastry bag fitted with a rosette tip, and pipe rosettes around the top and base of the cake.