April Fools' Day Dinner Article - Allrecipes.com
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April Fools' Day Dinner

Ready for some April fooling your family won't soon forget?

Get 'em when they least expect it--at dinner!

Pictured: Hamburger Cookies

The Meatloaf Cake

Serving dessert for the main course is only the first trick. Surprise! It only looks like dessert...

What you'll need:

  • Two round cake pans
  • Your favorite meatloaf recipe 
  • Mashed potatoes 
  • Ketchup 
  • Cherry tomatoes

Try these recipes when you make Meatloaf Cake:

How to Make Meatloaf Cake

Prepare your favorite meatloaf recipe as usual, but, before baking, divide the mixture into the two round cake pans and pat the meatloaves flat.

1. Bake as usual, but shorten the cooking time (these thinner meatloaves won't take nearly as long to cook). 

2. While the meatloaf is in the oven, make a batch of mashed potatoes; add a little extra milk and whip with an electric beater until they are fluffy and spreadable.

3. When the meatloaves are done, invert one of them onto a round plate.

4. Cover the meat with a thick, even layer of mashed potatoes.

5. Place the other meatloaf on top of the potato layer, and finish frosting the "cake" with the remaining potatoes.

6. Garnish with halved cherry tomatoes to look like cherries.

7. Just before serving, decorate the top of your cake with ketchup. Write a personalized message, or just a simple "Happy April Fools' Day!"

    Fish Stick Surprise

    Now make dessert look like dinner! Candy bars coated in toasted coconut look just like fish sticks, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with caramel sauce can look suspiciously like mashed potatoes and gravy.

    What you'll need:

    • Cylindrical candy bars (like Mounds™, Twix™, Baby Ruth™, or Kit Kat™) 
    • Toasted coconut 
    • Vanilla ice cream 
    • Caramel sauce 
    • Gummy candies in the shapes of vegetables--peas, carrots, corn--available in bulk at most candy stores.

    Try these recipes when you make Fish Stick Surprise:

    How to Make Fish Stick Surprise

    1. Place the candy bars on a microwave-safe plate and zap them on high power for about five seconds--just long enough to soften the chocolate without completely melting it.

    2. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on a sheet of waxed paper and roll each candy bar in it until completely coated.

    3. Arrange two or three "fish sticks" on each plate alongside a small handful of gummy veggies.

    4. Just before serving, use a round scoop to adorn each plate with a serving of vanilla ice cream "potatoes" and top with a drizzle of caramel "gravy."

      Spaghetti Cake

      What you'll need:

      • Vanilla frosting
      • Yellow food coloring 
      • Piping bag with a round tip, approximately 1/8 inch in diameter 
      • Sliced pound cake 
      • Strawberry sauce 
      • Malt balls 
      • Grated white chocolate

      Try these recipes when you make Spaghetti Cake:

      How to Make Spaghetti Cake

      1. Tint the frosting pale yellow--the color of cooked spaghetti--and spoon it into the piping bag.

      2. Lay a slice of pound cake on each plate. Pipe the frosting onto each piece of cake, using big looping motions to create the appearance of spaghetti piled on the plate.

      3. Top with strawberry topping for "spaghetti sauce."

      4. Make malt balls look like meatballs by roughing up the outsides with a butter knife or fine cheese grater.

      5. Add a sprinkle of grated white chocolate for the parmesan cheese.

      Watch the step-by-step video for How to Make a Spaghetti Cake.

        More Ideas

        Get creative with your food fakery! Check out PIXIE2's "fried eggs" made from melted marshmallows and dried apricots.

          Allrecipes user foodaholic used fruit rolls and gummy fish to turn Cereal Treats II into sushi.

            Dec. 9, 2009 8:38 am
            Those sounds really good. My daughter would be so confused! Shes only 1 so i dont think she will get that its a joke, she will just know her noodles tasts like cake lol
            Mar. 18, 2010 11:22 pm
            LOVE LOVE LOVE great idea WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT it'll be hard because i have some brain-e-acks! in the house so wish me luck!
            Mar. 29, 2010 11:46 am
            One year I made "fried Ostrich eggs sunny side up" for breakfast on April 1st. I spread some coolwhip onto a plate and placed one half of a canned peach in the middle. The kids totally thought they were eggs and were completely grossed out. My husband and I still laugh so hard thinking about it to this day...
            Apr. 1, 2010 8:45 am
            so cute-- neat idea--judy
            Apr. 7, 2010 8:35 am
            I love these fun filled recipes! I will most definetly add them to my bag of tricks. Serving the Best~ Always! Passionate ~ Food!
            Sep. 28, 2010 6:45 am
            I am going to give one of these a try. My husband is pretty quick so I'm not sure if it will fool him but he will appreciate the effort. Gotta love a good April Fool's Trick!!!!
            Feb. 26, 2011 6:02 pm
            I will definitely be making the meat loaf cake and the spaghetti dessert for April Fool's Day this year :D And I love the "ostrich eggs" idea too.
            Mar. 9, 2011 10:58 pm
            I read somewhere (possibly here) how to fake the sliced frozen carrots--get a lemon or orange square taffy candy and press it with a fork. Get a green taffy piece, divide into 4 pieces, roll pieces into balls. Tra-la! Peas. Of course, make as many as you need for your 'dinner'.
            Oct. 10, 2011 6:20 am
            All great ideas. I am always looking for something new, so I'll definately give them a try. :-)
            Dec. 15, 2011 2:33 pm
            Maybe some of these will get my 4 year old to actually eat some food. He is such a picky eater but maybe if I disquise his food he will not know that its actually good for him
            Mar. 29, 2012 6:41 pm
            One year I took a piece of floral styroform cut it to fit inside of a 9X13 cake pan. Then I frosted it and sent it to work with my hubby. Poor were his coworkers shocked when the cut into the cake and it was crunchy.
            Jun. 14, 2012 9:48 pm
            Thank you sfarlow for the styrofoam cake idea. My husband's coworkers love the baked goods I send in, but no one ever brings anything - they just wait for me to make stuff [and they expect it often] So I can't wait until AFD to pull this on them. heehee [Of course I will have a extra tray of real cupcakes for them. They are nice people. :)]
            Mar. 31, 2014 5:07 pm
            I'm going to use this meatloaf cake for my Open House at my grooming salon this coming Saturday for the dogs to eat. I've ordered cupcakes for the humans, but I'll bet they'll want to try the cake cause its gonna look awesome and yummy!!
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