Mike typically likes his food to LOOK like what it TASTES like. While I understand his natural desire to know what he’s eating, I also have a great love of trickery. I love food that’s made to look like other food.

I saw this cute cupfake post on a blog the other day. Instantly, I was reminded of all of the fun meatcakes I’d seen before (here’s a great gallery!) I’d always wanted an excuse to make some, and the perfect excuse came Saturday. Mike had a hard day of GRE testing (he obtained a PERFECT score on his math section, by the way; Congratulations, Mike!) and I told him I’d make a surprise dinner. What’s more surprising than a platter of cupfakes? I baked these cuties up with two other kinds of real cupcakes: Peach Cobbler Cupcakes and Peach Lemon Cupcakes.

The whole meal together!

When he came in, I told him that his surprise was that we were skipping dinner and only eating dessert! I could tell he was a little disappointed, so I pointed to my cupfakes and asked what flavor he thought they were. He guessed chocolate, red, and green (okay, he’s not good at guessing) before finally giving up. I loved the look on his face when I made the big reveal — MEATLOAF cupcakes! He loved it!

The piping on these could have been a LOT better. I rushed a bit, and I made the mashed potatoes a bit too viscous. I also should’ve cut a larger corner off of my ziplock! Oh well, there’s always next time.

This meal is so fun, and so easy to make! If you make these, make sure to post about how your surprise goes over!

Currency Meatloaf “Cupfakes”

Recipe By: Oprah, according to my Mom’s recipe.
Yields: 2 loaves (or 12 meatcakes and 1 loaf, or 24 meatcakes)

Meatloaf Ingredients:
3 lbs. 97% lean ground beef
1 1/2 slices bread, torn
1 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dried mustard
1 heaping tbs sage
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
3 stalks celery
1 can tomato paste, for top

instant mashed potatoes for “frosting”
grape tomatoes for “cherries”
food coloring


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meatloaf ingredients and put a heaping scoop in each of 12 greased cupcake wells. Do not pack. Spoon the rest of the mixture lightly into a greased loaf pan (preferably with racks, to allow fat to drain out). Spoon tomato paste on top of each cupcake well and the loaf. Bake meatcakes for 25 minutes and drain on paper towels. Bake loaf for 1 hour.

Once meatcakes are drained, place them carefully into cupcake papers. Frost with instant mashed potatoes in a ziplock bag (I added some garlic to mine for flavor, and you can add more milk to get the right consistency. I think I added too much!) Mix a tablespoon or so of salt with a drop of whatever food coloring you like, and sprinkle lightly on top. Top with a squirt of ketchup or a grape tomato for a cherry (my mother reminded me, and I still forgot!)

Nestled in their cute cupcake foil liners!

Finished (albeit with not-so-cute piping on my part)

Mike’s Cupfake Meal (with some delicious stuffed squash — let me know if you want the recipe!)

13 Comments on Meatloaf “Cupfakes”

  1. MO
    July 6, 2009 at 2:42 am (14 years ago)

    Ooh! Such cute cupfakes. And I do want your stuffed squash recipe!

    • Willow Bird Baking
      July 6, 2009 at 2:44 am (14 years ago)

      Thanks MO! The squash is easy as pie and SO yummy:

      Stuffed Squash

      Recipe By: Mike’s Gran
      Yields: 8 stuffed squash halves

      4 big yellow squash
      8 Ritz crackers
      4 tablespoons butter
      1 small onion, chopped
      salt, to taste
      sharp cheddar cheese

      Boil the squash until knife tender (do not overcook). Cut each in half and scoop out the insides. Put these in a bowl with butter, Ritz crackers, a little salt, and onion. Mix well. Spoon mixture into hollow squash halves and top with sharp cheddar cheese. Put under broiler until cheese is melted — watch closely! I like mine a little brown and bubbly.

      Hope you enjoy! Let me know how they turn out.

  2. valerie Jacquelin
    July 8, 2009 at 1:16 am (14 years ago)

    Oh, i found ur post on craigslist and i’m sure glad i followed the link, these are incredible. so is ur blog. i’ll be back!!
    thanks for sharing with us, you should make a video.
    kitchen blessings

    • Willow Bird Baking
      July 8, 2009 at 1:34 am (14 years ago)

      Yay! Welcome Valerie 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  3. Wanda Goodall
    July 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm (14 years ago)

    I guess you could also substitute ground turkey in the cupfakes. My family would eat it then. Comments? They look delicious.

    • Willow Bird Baking
      July 16, 2009 at 9:24 pm (14 years ago)

      I think that would work fine, Wanda!

  4. Linda
    July 28, 2009 at 10:53 pm (14 years ago)

    I was just checking out this month’s Daring Bakers’ post, and saw your teaser for meatloaf cupfakes (I love the name). I had to take a look, and now I can’t wait to try it myself. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

    • Julie
      July 28, 2009 at 11:15 pm (14 years ago)

      Thanks, Linda! I loved making these! They’d have been even better if I’d not thinned my potatoes so much, so they’d pipe better! I love the colored salt, though. I think the “sprinkles” really make the cupfake! 😀

  5. bakerella
    August 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm (14 years ago)

    OMG – I just made some meatloaf cupcakes last night. Really, just last night. So weird to stop by to say hi (HI!) and then see yours today. We must have the same kind of mind.

    • Julie
      August 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm (14 years ago)

      That is SO funny! Every time I see a new creation of yours I feel like we love the same things, it’s true! 🙂

  6. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella
    September 30, 2009 at 6:31 am (14 years ago)

    Hehe I made something very similar a while back and they were such a hit! I like the idea of using a cherry tomato to really fakeify them! 😛

    • Julie
      September 30, 2009 at 8:15 am (14 years ago)

      Aren’t they fun to make? LOVE cupfakes 😀 Thanks, Lorraine!


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