December 21, 2010

The latest and greatest holiday recipe? Christmas Dinner Cake, Turkey Cake or Thanksgiving Dinner Cake

Those of you in America might remember a television commercial for a bathroom cleaner that uses (used? I don't know if they are still using it as I quit watching television back in September of 1998) the phrase; "We work hard so you don't have to!"

That's what came to mind this morning as I was sipping my coffee and reading the news and stumbled upon a yummy but odd recipe; Christmas Dinner Cake (or Thanksgiving Dinner cake as called it - or even Turkey Cake, as I think of it).

After the Chow website featured it for our American Thanksgiving holiday, a man in Europe made his own version (which is how I stumbled upon it). You have to admit; it's eye catching and quite pretty!

But if you are hoping for sweet cake, frosting and cherries you would be sadly disappointed. However, if you are like me and don't care for sweets as much as you do stuffing and vegetables, this might be the kind of cake you can dig into!

Would I ever make this? I think perhaps I might... for fun. And since my family trusts my cooking I know they would try it -and probably like it! But for now I'm tucking it into my 'collected' recipes online. As far as I'm concerned (for now) HE worked hard... so I don't have to!

For those of you ready to give it a go here is his English version of the recipe. Easy enough to follow even if you are Americanizing it back to it's original American roots. Have fun with it - substitute some of the ingredients if you know you won't care for them (the original called for sweet potatoes and marshmallows... eww... I'm thankful HE substituted. I like his version much better!)



* 500g turkey breast, minced
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 tablespoon soy sauce
* 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
* 1 teaspoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 medium garlic clove, chopped


* 1.5kg potatoes (keep a third aside for the parsnip and mashed potato layer)


* 3 large carrots
* Cranberry sauce
* Parsnips
* Sage and onion stuffing, 1 packet
* Pot of ready-made bread sauce, 300g
* Unsalted butter for coating the pans


Heat the oven to 175c. Coat two 8-inch cake pans with butter.

Place all the turkey layer ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Divide the mixture evenly between the pans.

Bake until cooked through and the cakes begin to pull away from the edges of the pans.

Make your mashed potato and boil and mash your parsnips. Mix the two.

Remove turkey from oven but leave the oven on. Let turkey cool for 10 minutes.


1. Remove one of the layers from its case and place it bottom-side up on an overturned cake pan or in an oven-proof serving dish.
2. Evenly spread a 1cm layer of your potato and parsnip mash on top of the turkey layer, leaving a 1cm border.
3. Spread a generous layer of ­cranberry sauce.
4. Make up the stuffing and spread a layer 1cm thick.
5. Carefully place a layer of carrot pieces.
6. Add a 1cm layer of bread sauce, again remembering to leave a space at the edge so that it does not spill out when the final meat layer is added.
7. Now take the second turkey layer out of its cake mould and place it ­bottom-side up on top of the bread sauce.
8. Transfer the cake pan with the ­partially assembled cake to a baking sheet and bake for a further 20 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and set aside. With a long knife or spatula, evenly coat the outside and top with mashed potato. Serve with warm, meaty gravy... and tuck in.Print Friendly and PDF