Monday, November 15, 2010

The Thanksgiving Cake Incident.

The ugliest picture I will EVER post on this blog, I swear.

I'll just start out by saying that this is the most demented recipe I have ever attempted to veganize. You see, it started a few days ago when one of my favorite blogs Vegansaurus practically double-dog-dared us to veganize this crazy Thanksgiving cake. How could I not accept that challenge? Do you know how much I love Thanksgiving food? If you do, then you'll know that the prospect of having an entire Thanksgiving meal in one magical cake was so exciting that perhaps I wasn't thinking straight.

The other problem that I'm coming to terms with is the fact that recipes for layered dishes and me, we're just not friends. First there was the lasagna that was delicious but one smushy blob, and now here's this nightmare of a Thanksgiving cake that was supposed to have these nice neat layers but ended up looking like a BIG SMUSHY BLOB. I mean, it looks like you took all your Thanksgiving leftovers and smashed them into a heap, which in retrospect, is pretty much what I did.

It started out fairly promising. I stuck pretty close to this original recipe, except that for the turkey layers I used 2 lbs. of ground seitan instead of turkey, and vegan Parmesan.

Okay, this isn't so bad.

Then I added a layer of mashed potatoes. Creamy, buttery, vegan (duh) mashed potatoes.

Then a layer of whole-berry cranberry sauce. Yes, the kind from a can because this isn't my real Thanksgiving dinner.

This is where things started getting dicey. It's the layer of stuffing that refused to stack neatly on top. I used my standby Wild Mushroom & Spinach stuffing recipe, which I will post another day.

And then another layer of mashed potatoes.

And then another layer of the "meat" cake. In retrospect, I should have seen at this point that there were really no discernible layers. Clearly a disaster waiting to happen.

Then I "frosted" the cake with more mashed potatoes around the sides, and a layer of sweet potatoes and Sweet & Sara mini marshmallows on top. It went under the broiler for a couple minutes until the marshmallows were browned.

If it weren't for MoFo, and the requirement to post something every day, these photos would never EVER be made public! But lucky you, all month long, you will be subjected to all my cooking experiments, including, obviously, my cooking failures. I will say though that it wasn't entirely a failure because as ugly as it looks, it was actually really good! In fact, quite yummy! It tasted, as you would expect, pretty much exactly like Thanksgiving dinner. I thought this might be a nightmare for my husband, who hates when his food gets all "mixed up" (don't get me started on how I feel about that), but he very happily cleaned his plate too.

Yeah, this doesn't really make it look any better.

However, in an attempt at redemption (and also because I was hungry the next day), I made this open-faced leftover Thanksgiving sandwich. It's a slice of bread spread with Vegenaise, then a layer of the "turkey loaf" (I had to dissect the cake a bit to get a slice), cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mushroom gravy poured over the top. Now, isn't this what Thanksgiving is all about?

This looks tasty, right? So let's just forget that monstrosity above ever happened, mmmkay?


  1. ok, the open faced sammy totally redeemed this!
    i'm the only vegetarian at this year's thanksgiving. you're giving me hope!

  2. It's such a shame you weren't happy with the finished product because I am sure it tastes delicious! I'm considering doing something like this for my 1st Thanksgiving but, I think I might stick to a plate of food instead! ;)

  3. I think you get lots of extra credit points for trying. Actually, I bet this didn't taste too bad. The flavors certainly sound good. My mom makes stuffing that is more like a cake. I wonder if that would have worked for you in this recipe. I would share with you her recipe for stuffing, but somehow I get the feeling you're not going to be trying this layer cake again. Good for you for giving it your best shot!

  4. Was cruising the MoFo feed and came by for the croquettes, but I stayed for this cake! You are my hero.

  5. Thanks Sarah! I can't believe this cake has actually inspired hero-worship, but I'll take it! :)

  6. We've been talking about this in my office all week. I can't believe you actually made it!