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How to Make a Hamburger Cake

Always a meatcake, never a bride.

Planning a dog wedding? Are you and your betrothed both on the Paleo diet? Want to horrify literally every single one of your guests at your sweltering summer wedding? Boy, do we have the meatcake for you.

Since the dawn of time, humans have felt compelled to disguise savory meat products as desserts and vice versa for no conceivable reason other than the sheer shock value. And who could blame them? Much fuss has been made about “Engagement Chicken”—the roast chicken recipe that purportedly inspires boyfriends to propose marriage—but that’s because they’ve not yet encountered the aphrodisiac powers of meatcakes. What could compare to the novel dissonance that comes with beholding a regal three-tiered iced wedding cake accompanied by strong whiffs of stewing hamburger meat? How could you live without once having the sensual experience of slicing into a beautiful frosted cake only to be greeted by so much ground beef? What else says “true love lasts forever” quite like a tiny bride and groom crafted out of cheap hot dogs?

Okay, maybe a meat wedding cake is pretty gross after all. But you know who didn’t find it gross? A hungry Lab mix named Fritz. And Gabriella’s human boyfriend. meatcake5

Ingredients:

6 lbs hamburger meat
+ hot dogs
+ mashed potato mix, hydrated
+ ketchup and mustard
+ parsley/lettuce/a tiny kale leaf/really just anything green

Supplies:

+ cake pans
+ toothpicks
1 dog

Note: This recipe was a very, very loose adaptation of Martha Stewart’s Birthday Meatloaf Cake.

Instructions:

1. Line three small (around 7-inch, 6-inch, and 5-inch) cake pans with parchment paper and heat the oven to 350°F. Pack a bunch of the meat into the cake pans snugly, and put them into the oven.

2. Bake for 30–45 minutes, or until the meat is no longer red in the middle. (Remember: food safety is extremely important, even when you’re making deranged crafts.) Let them cool for about 10 minutes and drain any meat juice that has gathered in the pans.

3. Set the largest meatcake layer onto a dinner plate and spread some of the mashed potatoes over the top. Set the next largest meatcake layer on top of this, and top with another scoop of mashed potatoes. Finally, add the smallest meatcake layer. This will look like a cute little hat, worn by a melting meat monster.

Even iPhoto recognized our little monster as a face.

meatcake94. Now, go crazy with the mashed potatoes, covering the top and sides of the layers. Once all surfaces are well covered, ask an adult for help to smooth out the edges. (Anna was the adult in this situation.) Decorate the edges of the cake with peas and dots of Sriracha.

5. If you are making the meatcake for a dog wedding, or just a regular wedding, you may consider adding a little hot dog bride and groom (or bride and bride or groom and groom) to the top. To do this, slice a hot dog in half horizontally. Paint on faces using ketchup and mustard (toothpicks make excellent condiment paintbrushes), add a little wedding dress made out of kale or another leafy green, then stick them into the top of the cake using toothpicks.

meatcake6What we learned:

When it comes to cleaning up after our deranged crafts, Fritz always pitches in. When we made this meatcake, though, Fritz was more than helpful—he was ecstatic. So even if you’re not getting married anytime soon, making a three-tiered meatcake is just the way to show your dog a little extra affection. He’d do it for you, but he doesn’t have opposable thumbs or know how to read recipes.