casserole dishes in the oven

Build A Leftover Layer Cake This Thanksgiving

Have someone at your Thanksgiving table that just hates it when their food touches on their plate? Well, this recipe is NOT for them. Recently an idea sprung up between coworkers at Village Home Stores that we should build a cake out of side dishes this holiday. It was an inspired moment and we think we even heard angels singing…. until we sent an email out to staff to see who wanted to help out. Turns out a lot of our coworkers were disgusted at our idea. Mainly because our pile of delicious food goes against their preferred separated plate tactics. After a quick poll on our Facebook page, we found out many people don’t like their food touching. But did you know there is an actual term for this? There is! Brumotactillophobia is the fear of food touching other food. So if you really want to sound smart at the Thanksgiving table this year, throw that word out there. Now that we have all learned something, let’s get to how you can make your own creation! Check out our masterpiece!

Village Home Stores employee holding a layer cake built of Thanksgiving side dishes
Pat proudly holds her Thanksgiving cake of layered leftover side dishes!

It truly does take a Village to build something this great! We learned that the day of our “Worksgiving” potluck when we all pitched in to fill the showroom with great food and amazing smells. Building a savory side dish cake like this truly works best when you collaborate. Looking for a fun “Friendsgiving” idea, or just want to make that next-day meal special? Build yourself one of these layered leftover cakes! The best part about this is you can choose your own layers and truly improvise your way to a fun meal. Here is how we stacked ours up.

A savory slice of our Thanksgiving side dish layer cake. Cornbread,sweet potatoes,baked mac and cheese,and stuffing. Frosted with mashed potatoes and topped with green bean and a turkey leg.

Our cake included cornbread, mashed sweet potatoes, baked mac and cheese, stuffing/dressing, mashed potatoes, and green bean casserole. Plus of course Pat insisted she cook a bird for us as well so we could have a turkey leg on top! We had each staff member bring in one part to this puzzle. Then we warmed everything up in a KitchenAid wall oven and got to work.

KitchenAid Stainless Steel wall oven with Thanksgiving side dishes inside.
Thanksgiving side dishes in a KitchenAid Wall Oven.

We found that keeping everything similar in thickness helped to keep a good balance. For our Village cake, Elizabeth used 9″ round tins to form layers of corn bread and baked mac and cheese. We set the cornbread as the very bottom of our cake. A smooth layer of Angela’s mashed sweet potatoes “frosted” the top and we then flipped the mac and cheese over in place for the next layer.

Mashed sweet potatoes help bind layers of corn bread and baked mac and cheese together in our layered side dish cake.
Mashed sweet potatoes help bind layers of corn bread and baked mac and cheese together in our layered side dish cake.

Another layer of Angela’s sweet potatoes and we are ready to keep piling on the flavor! Sweet potatoes can be substituted here with any other ingredient that wound help bind the baked layers together.

sweet potatoes help bind the layers together in our Thanksgiving side dish cake.
Mashed sweet potatoes help bind layers of this creation together in our savory side dish cake.

Next up is Pat’s dressing! We stuffed savory scoops into one of the 9″ pans and formed another “cake” layer. NOTE: this was the hardest layer to keep intact when we flipped it over. You may want to try and bake or bind the stuffing together better to avoid a dressing-avalanche.

Thanksgiving stuffing packed into a round pan.
Thanksgiving stuffing packed into a round pan to be used as a cake layer.

We realize the infographic below looks like a science fair project but trust us this cake sliced up to taste way better than it looks! To summarize our final “cake” interior stacked up as follows (from bottom):

  • Cornbread
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Baked Mac and Cheese
  • More Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Stuffing/Dressing
How to layer a Thanksgiving side dish cake: cornbread - sweet potatoes - baked mac and cheese - sweet potatoes - and stuffing.
How to layer a Thanksgiving side dish cake. We did cornbread – sweet potatoes – baked mac and cheese – sweet potatoes – and stuffing.

For the “frosting” Lexy made a delicious batch of buttery mashed potatoes for us to use to frost this cake up! NOTE: this step takes a lot of patience if you are working with warm ingredients. Pat slowly and steadily worked her way around the cake using two spoons to coat the edges and top of the cake.

Mashed potato frosting for our Thanksgiving leftover layer cake
Mashed potato frosting seem appropriate for this savory layered side dish cake.

Chris brought in a batch of green bean casserole because how can you not include this side dish in a Thanksgiving feast?! We piled up a little nest of green beans on top of the cake and then Josh nestled this picture-perfect turkey leg on top. FUN FACT: Josh is of the above-mentioned Brumotactillophobic category. So while he helped us build this cake, we caught him making his own divided plate of food later on.

Thanksgiving cake frosted with mashed potatoes and topped with green bean casserole and a turkey leg
What do you top a Thanksgiving cake of layered leftover side dishes with? A turkey leg of course!

We had plenty of the leftovers left-over after we created this Frankenstein of a cake. The entire staff was able to enjoy a real feast! The “cake” sliced up surprisingly well and held its shape when plated. We documented part of our “piling up” process in this short YouTube video. Press play below to see it.

Do you have a post-thanksgiving get together you are planning or perhaps a Thanksgiving evening tradition? This dish could be prepared as a part of your Thanksgiving Day clean up. Then you could just slice up and reheat as needed. For those that don’t mind their food touching, it is the perfect way to plate up leftovers. Pair a slice of this cake with a turkey sandwich and WOW!

work thanksgiving potluck with slices of leftover layer cake
Work thanksgiving or “Worksgiving” as we call it at Village Home Stores.

If you make one of these crazy leftover layer cakes please please please be sure to tag us online if you post about it. You can tag us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Speaking of tags, we created a few printables for the Thanksgiving holiday. Are you hosting and want to label your leftovers for guests to grab on the way out? Print of these Take Home Bag labels that even give you the option to remind a guest they need to return your containers.

Thanksgiving Day label for leftovers
Label those leftovers with these printable tags for Thanksgiving day.

An activity that seems to be tradition at many tables on Thanksgiving Day is to circle the table and share what you are thankful for. Start collecting these memories by having guests fill out slips in their own handwriting. Download a page of these thankful printables here. You will love revisiting these year to year.

Printable "I'm Thankful For" slips for your Thanksgiving table.
Printable “I’m Thankful For” slips for your Thanksgiving table. Download and print here from the Village Home Stores blog.

Thanksgiving just happens to be one of our most favorite holidays. Family and friends gather in their homes and enjoy good food and good company. We love helping to create warm and inviting spaces for entertaining on days like this. If your kitchen needs an upgrade before the big day or by next year’s turkey carving just call us! We can’t wait to hear what you are working on. Don’t forget that our Black Friday pricing is valid all month long this November so you can shop before and after the big day. Shop the appliance sale here.


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