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Layer Cake Meat Loaf

If the kids are always asking to eat dessert first, here's your chance. The moist "cake" layers are really full-flavored meat loaves "frosted" with instant mashed potatoes. Ketchup and mustard "icing" help complete the look.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 15 min. + standing
  • Makes
    8-10 servings


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (5-1/2 ounces) spicy hot V8 juice
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 4-2/3 cups water
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4-2/3 cups mashed potato flakes
  • Ketchup and mustard


  • In a large bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Pat into two ungreased 9-in. square baking pans.
  • Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until meat is no longer pink and a thermometer reads 160°; drain. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring the water, milk, butter and salt to a boil. Stir in potato flakes. Remove from the heat.
  • Invert one meat loaf onto a serving platter; invert the second loaf onto a cutting board. Spread 1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes over loaf on the platter. Carefully slide second loaf onto the potatoes.
  • Spread 3-1/2 cups mashed potatoes over top and sides. Spoon remaining mashed potatoes into a pastry bag with open star tip #195. Pipe a shell border around bottom and top edges. Place ketchup and mustard in separate resealable plastic bags; cut a small hole in a corner of each bag. Pipe onto potato border.

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  • LandKA
    Apr 2, 2012

    Great recipe, a lot of fun to serve! A bit difficult to make the mashed potatoes do what i wanted, but good fun anyhow! I didn't trick anyone with it tho, just had a good laugh.

  • dianaolivera
    Mar 7, 2012

    This was super fun, we had company over and they thought it was pretty clever too, I paired it with the "chicken nugget" dessert. Both were yummy

  • ferretmama
    Apr 3, 2011

    Made this for an April Fools dinner fundraiser at the lodge this year. Everyone said the flavor is outstanding and presentation was a lot of fun. Since I was working with a much larger quantity I didn't even try to spread the potatoes -- I wore disposable gloves and just patted handsful into place. It worked out really well. This recipe is good enough that it will probably replace my old stand-by for every day.

  • strunkzeke
    Apr 1, 2011

    This is really cleaver, but by the time you decorate and put on the finishing touches isn't it cold. How would you re-heat it?

  • kpwill
    Apr 1, 2010

    This has become an April Fool's day tradition. When my daughter asked if she could lick the frosting bowl we knew it was a keeper. We now just make it because we enjoy the recipe as everyone knows the secret.

  • Monarchsmomma
    Apr 2, 2009

    This turned out nicely. Work quick with the mashed potatoes because as they cool they do not spread as well. I made this for the family and 2 of my daughters boyfriends. One boyfriend was very impressed! He even asked where I got the recipe. I told him Taste of Home! Thanks!

  • greenmist
    Mar 23, 2009

    No comment left