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5 from 1 vote

April Fools' Day Meatloaf Layer Cake with Gruyere Mashed Potato Frosting

This recipe can also be baked in one 8-inch round cake pan or a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Baking times will vary depending on the size of your pan.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Main
Servings: 6 to 8
Author: Suzanne Cowden



  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion about 1 medium
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot about 1 medium
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs or rolled oats for gluten free option

Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes about 4 large, peeled and sliced in large chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • salt to taste



  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease two 6-inch round cake pans.
  • Combine all the meatloaf ingredients except for the ground beef and breadcrumbs in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.
  • Add meat and breadcrumbs to the bowl and knead everything together gently with your hands until the mixture is well blended. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the mixture between prepared cake pans and bake until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center reads 160º F, about 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before turning out each layer on a rack to cool to room temperature. If not frosting immediately, transfer cooled layers to the refrigerator until ready to continue.

Gruyere Mashed Potatoes

  • Boil potatoes, garlic, and bay leaf until the potatoes are tender.
  • Remove bay leaf, drain, and return potatoes and garlic to the pan, shaking over medium heat until residual water evaporates and the potatoes look dry.
  • Off heat, puree the potatoes with a masher or ricer, taking care to work out all the lumps.
  • Place pan over low heat and add Gruyere, buttermilk, and butter. Mix until the cheese and butter melt, increasing the heat slightly if needed to help the cheese incorporate smoothly into the mixture. Season with salt. If desired, beat potatoes briefly with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to make sure they're extra smooth.


  • Place one layer of the meatloaf cake on a platter. Spread a generous layer of mashed potatoes on the top before adding the second meatloaf layer. Add mashed potatoes to the sides and top of the meatloaf cake, smoothing the surface with an offset spatula.
  • Add remaining mashed potatoes to a pastry bag (or zip lock bag with the corner snipped off) fitted with a large piping tip. Pipe a mashed potato border around the top and bottom edge of the cake. If desired, decorate with edible flowers, fresh herbs, small cherry tomatoes, cocoa nibs, or candied bacon.
  • Refrigerate meatloaf cake until ready to serve. Reheat individual slices in the microwave after slicing.