Thanksgiving Cake Combines All Your Favorite Sides Into One Swell Slice. Go Nail Thanksgiving.

11/19/2014 07:00 am ET | Updated Nov 19, 2014
  • Kristen Aiken Executive Food & Lifestyle Editor, The Huffington Post

Here at HuffPost Taste, we're firmly of the belief that the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. (Oh and gratefulness. Right.) Specifically, a plateful of leftovers that have been mashed together and covered in gravy, allowing the unexpected flavor pairings of cranberries, stuffing and mashed potatoes to brilliantly collide. But what if you can't wait until the day after Thanksgiving?

Well, that's when you make a Thanksgiving Cake. Or, as we like to call it, a Thankscaking. Get ready to fall in love with something you might currently think sounds disgusting.

This crazy suggestion came from the mind of HuffPost Taste editor Julie Thomson, who we perhaps thought had gone insane for a moment. But upon reflection, the idea of a Thanksgiving cake is sheer perfection: Build layer upon layer of your favorite Thanksgiving sides, allowing the textures and flavors to meld together in one delicious bite. It's like the day after Thanksgiving, without the waiting.

Here's how we made it happen: A layer of cornbread, topped with cranberry sauce, topped with a layer of stuffing cake (!), topped with gravy and creamed spinach, topped with another layer of cornbread. Then we iced the whole thing with mashed sweet potatoes, topped it with mashed potato piping, and decorated it with cranberries and French-fried onions (you know, for the "green bean casserole effect"). But of course, you can build yours however you want. This is America, after all.

We'll be the first to admit that we were wary of how it'd go down, but we were freakishly surprised by its deliciousness and beauty. First of all, it builds like a dream. Secondly, it TASTES like a dream. And passersby in the HuffPost newsroom thought it was a legitimate dessert cake (making it the fodder for a spectacular prank this Thanksgiving, if you're looking to mess with someone).

For the full step-by-step instructions, read on ...

  • Step 1: Cornbread Layer
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Bake your favorite cornbread recipe in two 9" round pans. Allow them to cool. Use the first cake as the base layer, placed on a plate with pieces of parchment paper lining the sides. (Later you'll remove these, and your cake plate will remain sparkling clean.)
  • Step 2: Cranberry Sauce
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Though we prefer homemade cranberry sauce in life, you'll need canned cranberry sauce for this cake because of its firmness. Slice it to approximately 1" rounds, and place around the cake.
  • Step 3: Stuffing Cake
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Take your favorite stuffing recipe, mix it with 2 eggs, and bake it in a 9" round cake pan for 30 minutes or until firm. Cool, and use this as the next cake layer.
  • Step 4: Gravy
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Douse the stuffing layer with gravy.
  • Step 5: Creamed Spinach
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • (Or any of your favorite vegetable sides, for that matter.) Spread it on nice and thick.
  • Step 6: The Second Cornbread Layer
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • This is your top layer of the cake. Make sure you place it on evenly. (Also: Doesn't it kind of look like a giant burger at this stage?)
  • Step 7: Ice The Cake With Sweet Potatoes
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Using a basic mashed sweet potato, treat it like frosting and spread it across the top and down the sides of the cake.
  • Step 8: Smooth It Out
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Keep smoothing the sides until it looks presentable.
  • Step 8: Pipe On The Mashed Potatoes
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Take your favorite mashed potato recipe and put it in a piping bag with a large star tip. Decorate the top however you'd like. Pipe it on just like frosting.
  • Step 10: Finish It Off
    Julie R. Thomson/The Huffington Post
  • Decorate the top with fresh cranberries, and sprinkle French-fried onions around the side. Voila! You've got a Thankscaking.

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