Cakespy: Thanksgiving Cake Made of Real Turkey! And Leftovers Recipe


Quirky, cute, sometimes controversial, always delicious recipes from Jessie Oleson.

Cakespy: Thanksgiving Cake Made of Real Turkey! And Leftovers Recipe

[Photographs and original illustrations: Cakespy]

Jessie Oleson (aka Cakespy) drops by every Monday to share a delicious dessert recipe. —The Mgmt.

This Thanksgiving, there's a new delivery method for stuffing turkey in your pie-hole: bake it as a cake.

That's right: inspired by this recipe on, I decided to serve up layers of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes, all in one beasty feast of a trompe l'oeil cake.

While some may have trouble coming to terms with the savory nature of such a sweet-looking treat, ultimately brave eaters will be rewarded: it's like the best of Thanksgiving leftovers all stacked into one tasty bundle.

Note: This recipe is actually quite open-ended in terms of how you stuff your turkey cake. I added a layer of green beans and fried onions to mine, but if you prefer to add or omit any of the classic Thanksgiving side dish flavors, it's totally up to you.


  • Yield:10 to 12
  • Active time: About 1 hour
  • Total time:1 1/2 hours


  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • For the filling and topping:
  • 5 cups mashed potatoes (recipe of your choice)
  • 1 cup sauteed green beans
  • 1/2 cup prepared fried onions (such as French's)
  • 2 cups stuffing (recipe of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, drained of excess liquid
  • 1 pound mashed sweet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • Gravy, for serving (optional)


  1. 1.

    Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange rack i middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with butter; set aside.

  2. 2.

    Place turkey, oats, cheese, ketchup, onions, parsley, soy sauce, thyme, black pepper, and garlic in large bowl and mix, using clean hands, until combined, handling as little as possible. Season to taste with salt (to test for saltiness, microwave or fry 1 teaspoon-sized ball of mixture until cooked through. Taste and adjust salt as necessary).

  3. 3.

    Divide mixture evenly between pans, spreading to edges and smoothing out top. Bake until cooked through and cakes begin to pull away from edges of pans, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, but don't turn off heat. Let cakes cool for about 10 minutes. Using paper towel, blot away any excess fat from cake layers’ surface.

  4. 4.

    Unmold one cakes, and place it bottom-side up on ovenproof serving dish. With long knife or offset spatula, evenly spread 1 cup mashed potatoes over top of cake, leaving 1/2 -inch border (keep remaining potatoes warm). Add alternating layers of whatever fillings you'd like to put inside your cake. (I added layer of stuffing, cranberry sauce, and sauteed green beans with onions). Add 1/2 cup mashed potatoes to top of these toppings (mashed potatoes help top layer stick).

  5. 5.

    Gently place the second turkey cake on top of the stacked cake. Use wooden skewers stuck through both layers to keep cake stable if necessary. Transfer cake pan or serving dish with the partially assembled cake to baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 30 to 40 minutes (instant-read thermometer should register 165°F).

  6. 6.

    Remove from oven (do not turn off heat). Let cool for about 10 minutes, then using a long offset spatula or knife, use remaining mashed potatoes to "frost" top and sides of cake. If desired, make a decorative border at the bottom by forming the potatoes with clean hands.

  7. 7.

    With clean long knife or offset spatula, evenly spread sweet potato on top of the cake. Gently press mini marshmallows on top of sweet potato layer.

  8. 8.

    Return cake to oven until marshmallows are lightly golden on top, about 5 minutes.

  9. 9.

    Using two flat spatulas, transfer cake to serving dish. Serve immediately, with gravy, if desired.