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Spaghetti and Meatballs Cake

Spaghetti And Meatballs Cake

This is cake.   Really. It’s what I served for dessert on Father’s Day to my dad, my husband, and a lot of other relatives gathered at our house. Everyone was groaning after a gluttonous meal of ribs, burgers and lots of side dishes. “But you’ve got to leave room for spaghetti and meatballs,” I said. They laughed, thinking of course, I was joking. Well, I was and I wasn’t.  Boy were they surprised when I brought this to the table! This was a real show-stopper of a dessert and delicious too, although you may need a trip to the dentist after consuming all the sugar from the frosting and the “meatballs.” It’s a recipe I’ve been hoarding since 2002, when I clipped it from a Rosie magazine at the doctor’s office (don’t you all do that?) The time seemed right this year with all the men (and women) in my family at the table.  And come on, who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs, whether for dinner or dessert? It’s easier than it looks, if you don’t try to do it all in one day. I made the cake and froze it one day, and made the chocolate “meatballs” two days before serving the cake. I frosted and assembled it all the morning that I served the cake. I followed the instructions to the letter, making the banana cake called for in the recipe. It was good, but too much like a banana bread rather than a cake. I’d much rather have a chocolate cake and that’s what I’ll make next time. The recipe for the “meatballs” (which are really a truffle candy) also call for semi-sweet-chocolate chips and cream cheese, but I’d use dark chocolate and butter next time. I also thought the “meatballs” needed a little more depth of flavor, so I added a squirt of coffee liqueur.  If you’re a candy maker, just use your favorite truffle recipe if you like.

Spaghetti and Meatballs Cake Banana Cake 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 tsp. each baking powder, baking soda and salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar 3 large eggs 3 ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/4 cups) 1 1/2 cups each buttermilk and very finely chopped walnuts Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With spray or butter, coat 13 x 9 x 2 in. baking pan. Flour pan. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in banana, then buttermilk. On low, gradually beat in flour mixture just until incorporated; stir in walnuts. Spread in pan. Bake 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center tests clean. Cool cake in pan 30 minutes on rack; invert onto rack; let cool. Invert cake onto oval serving platter with flat surface of at least 13 x 9 inches. Cover, refrigerate 3 hours or up to 1 day. Chocolate Meatballs  4 oz. cream cheese, softened 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract pinch of salt 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar 1 cup (6 oz) semisweet-chocolate chips, melted and cooled 1 cup very finely chopped walnuts In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth; beat in vanilla and salt. On low, gradually beat in sugar, then chocolate. Stir in nuts. Roll into balls. Cover and refrigerate. (can be made 2 days ahead) June 2009 253 Frosting 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened 2 one-pound boxes confectioners’ sugar, sifted 1 T. each vanilla extract, milk 8 drops yellow food coloring 1/4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder In large bowl, beat butter until creamy. On low, gradually beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk. Add food coloring, a teeny bit at a time, and cocoa, to tint the frosting until the color resembles cooked spaghetti. Be careful because if you add too much, you can’t go back. It’s always better to add just a tiny bit at a time. Using a serrated knife, trim the cake to fit a platter; cut off the edges and corners. Remove cake pieces; brush crumbs off platter. June 2009 261 Spread about 2 cups of the frosting in an even, thin coat over the cake: June 2009 263 Fill a pastry bag with some of the remaining frosting. Use a #5 plain piping tip (mine didn’t have a number but it’s about a 1/8 inch diameter opening) Beginning at bottom edge of cake, pipe “spaghetti” strands around sides, looping and overlapping on already piped strands, and working upward. Using up frosting and refilling bag as needed, continue piping so strands are densely piped around sides; extend those near top slightly higher than top edge of cake, creating a well. June 2009 265  “Tomato sauce” and “parmesan” 2 10.25 oz. jars strawberry preserves white chocolate In small saucepan, heat preserves over very low heat, stirring, until just barely warm and pourable (DO NOT OVERHEAT). Transfer 1/2 cup “sauce” to pie dish. Put meatballs in sauce in dish; roll to coat. June 2009 269  Spoon remaining sauce into well on top of cake. Spread to fill well, letting drips of sauce come over top edge of spaghetti. Put meatballs on sauce on top of cake and shave white chocolate “parmesan” over top, if desired. June 2009 293

This Post Has 64 Comments
  1. What a cool idea!

    I'm here in response to a comment you left over at Chuck's pesto post. I find that when whirring pesto in the food processor, the heated metal blades tend to "cook" the basil, turining it tawny. Quick bursts and lots of olive oil keep the color bright green. Buon appetito!

    Ciao, Lola xx

  2. How neat! I really did think this was a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs! I love this idea and the banana cake and chocolate meatballs sound delicious!

  3. What a fun idea! I totally love that you've redesigned the recipe for the next time around…and am impressed that you followed it so strictly in the first place. Brava! (Like too what you're doing now with your photos — haven't visited in a while.)

  4. Oh my goodness, that is a darling cake…I love it! My family would get such a kick out of that. Sounds delicious as well!

  5. Weird Idea for a cake but I'm sure it will be as much a taste bud tickler as it is a show stopper. The build up of the cake to its final look also looks pretty interesting. Hats off.

    My new Car Xylo has the flight trays in the back of the seats. It would be great fun to have this cake on the comfort of the flight trays in my car. Speaking of Xylo, the Mahindra Xylo Color Contest is going on. If you like to win COOL Holiday Packages. Try your luck out at . Its a simple little contest.

  6. Hi Linda,

    I remember seeing this years ago too! This is not a cake to forget.

    I wish I could have seen the looks on everyone's faces when you brought this one out!

    Your pictures are so good, I really thought I was looking at spaghetti & meatballs at first!


  7. Yours looks so realistic!! I've made it using cupcakes with my kids and it didn't quite look like that. LOL
    I used the Ferrero Rocher hazelnut truffles for my meatballs. You definitely put a lot more work into your dessert. What a fun surprise for your guests!

  8. this is soooo very creative indeed! i love so love it! i think the chocolate bread is much better than a banana cake… but still, i liked it! thanks for sharing… it almost fooled me that it was the real spaghetti and meatballs dish! hahaha… nice one!

  9. Oh my goodness Linda! What a fun cake! I love it! It does indeed look like spaghetti and meatballs –lol!

    I'll have to save this recipe for the future and surprise my grandson with it one day when he visits.

  10. Very cool – was just thinking though, as an alternative suggestion: I thought maybe a cherry flavor would be best paired with the chocolate; so maybe instead of jam, some kind of light cherry sauce…maybe you could make the base a pie instead, and put some cherry pie filling over top?

  11. HAHAHAHA you know, I normally check your blog at work and there I cannot see the photos (silly filters) so I didn't fully understand this recipe until I see the photos today!
    Lovely Linda, so ingenious!

  12. Wow! This looked great when I thought it was spaghetti! What a sweet surprise that would be if you could get someone pranked with the ol' taste switcheroo.

  13. This is one cake that would definitely confuse my brain! It wouldn't know what it was eating! It looks so real, I like it.

  14. what fun! i would like to see this cake baked in an oven-proof bowl. then you could maybe use less frosting as the amount which is piped onto this cake seems a bit much for me. in a bowl it would also look even more authentic.

  15. This is too funny…I'm just going to have to make this for my nephews (or MY dad!). Adorable! (and yes, about the magazines…)

  16. Looks like the real thing! But all that frosting and truffles and preserves….wasn't it 'too' sweet? Well, it looks amazing and must have been quite a bit of work. Great stuff!

  17. This cake is hysterical. My family would love it. I found you through Laura at Ciao Amalfi's Shout Out today. I too was/am a journalist in NYC. Did you cover hard news? Buon domenica.

  18. It's a great idea!
    But it's not a properly use of Spaghetti!!
    I'm italian and I know it…

  19. OH MY..this is amazing..not being a baker I dont know if I could pull it off..Im printing out the pic to show the students in my cooking class on Monday..very impressive! Figtreeapps

  20. my friend directed me to your blog — what a beautiful creation that is! i don't think i'm good enough to copy it, but i might just try … 🙂 keep baking!

  21. OMG YUMMMMM!!!! you are absolutely covered in awesome sauce. this is wonderful!

  22. just searching online for a great cake for my daughter's movie party this weekend, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and this is IT!! thanks, gotta try this!

  23. This is so crazy!! I clipped the same recipe from Rosie magazine many years ago and then lost it. While searching for a spaghetti cake for my family reunion, I stumbled across your page!! Thank you Linda!!

  24. My son is going to make this with his dad for their cub scout Blue and Gold Bake…their both excited about the idea! I let you know how it goes…thanks for sharing.

  25. What a great cake – so fun and it looks just perfect! I stumbled on your blog looking for Baci di Dama and I'm glad I stuck around. My husband's favorite meal is spaghetti and meatballs so I'll have to make this for him as a joke! Pinning it to Pinterest1 🙂

  26. I, too, found this in a magazine years ago and have been surprising friends and family ever since. It's a great recipe – but can put you in a sugar coma if you eat too much!

  27. Wow, I love that cake! It's so clever. It looks so realistic – it must be a weird feeling when you eat it. Happy New Year 🙂

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