Thanksgiving Turkey Cake

Work threw a Thanksgiving potluck.

I could have been predictable and baked up some cupcakes or cookies; two hours in the kitchen tops. Then I could have a whole night to myself; maybe drink some wine, listen to 90s music, make dinner and watch My Best Friend’s Wedding. Isn’t Dermot Mulroney so dreamy?

Or I could invite work friends over to do all that with me! And scrap the conventional baked goods for something more glorious (or horrific depending on your point of view).

Here is where the Thanksgiving Turkey Cake comes in:  a “cake”, with alternating layers of ground turkey and stuffing, held together with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, all encased with mashed potatoes and topped with brown sugar cinnamon apples.

It’s like a giant mashed potato snowball. 

I got the idea a few years ago back in Boston where incidentally my former employer was throwing a Thanksgiving potluck. A few girls brought this in and I just knew I wanted to make it myself some day. Fortunately, I found some people just as crazy as me to want to make it too.

It wasn’t as much work as you would think – especially when we divided and conquered the recipe steps.  Drinking vino and belting out boy band songs helped too (sorry neighbors).

Here goes nothing with the first layer.

Getting some height with layer number two.

It was like building a huge turkey sandwich.
The best turkey sandwich ever!
Mashed potato hands 🙂
Putting on the final touches to our baby, er cake.

The recipe is adapted from Chow.com. We decided to add an extra layer of stuffing to the cake and instead of a sweet potato and marshmallow topping, we sautéed apples in brown butter, vanilla and cinnamon instead. We’re so creative, right? Feel free to experiment with the layers and toppings as you like. And definitely watch a Julia Roberts movie after when you’re done. Maybe finish a package of Oreos and two bottles of wine too to celebrate; you did just make a whole Thanksgiving dinner!

I was a little worried about how to transport this to work the next day. This “cake” was a beast! It must have weighed like fifty pounds – or maybe fifteen, very close. Luckily Chris chauffeured me that morning. But honestly, just carrying it that half a block, my biceps were burning. Maybe I should go to the gym more and stop eating Oreos…

Our Thanksgiving Turkey Cake being devoured at the potluck.

Sadly, it deflated a little overnight so it looked more like a flattened snowball when we put it out. Though no one seemed to mind!

There was no chance of leftovers.

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