I know what you’re thinking… meatloaf cupcakes? Have I finally taken it too far?! Granted, frosted meat cupcakes may not sound like a treat, but this recipe takes plain ol’ meat and potatoes and makes them fun and appealing for kids.
If you have a picky eater (more on that topic here), you know you need every trick in the book. This is one cupcake I am OK with my kids eating… and so are they!
Cupcakes Made of… Meat?
This Paleo Parent recipe inspired my take on these meatloaf cupcakes. It is such a cute idea and the kids love the small size of these mini-meatloaves. Their recipe sneaks in some extra veggies right in the meatloaf mix (love that of course) and tops it with a tomato sauce.
My kids love sweet potatoes (as you might be able to tell from my many sweet potato recipes!) so I decided to mix it up and create a sweet potato “frosting.” The combination was an instant hit.
These mini-meatloaf cupcakes cook much faster than regular meatloaf which can take up to an hour or more. They also are easier for quick freezing or defrosting, packing for lunches, or taking on-the-go.
If you don’t have a muffin pan, my sweet potato Shepherd’s pie is another great option that cooks in a single pan. (I love this one for its easy clean-up and safe materials.)
Meatloaf Cupcakes Recipe
- 6 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup almond flour
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
- 1½ tsp salt (divided)
- ¾ tsp black pepper (divided)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (or butter, +more for greasing pan)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Either put the sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and roast them in the oven or peel, cube, and boil them until soft.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, finely dice the onion and place them in a large bowl.
- Add the ground beef, eggs, almond flour, basil, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper and mix by hand until incorporated.
- Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil or butter.
- Evenly divide the mixture into the muffin tins. If you don’t have a muffin tin, you can just press the mixture into the bottom of an 8x8 or 9x13 baking dish.
- Put the meat into the oven on the middle rack, and put a baking sheet with a rim under it in case the oil from the meat happens to spill over.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until not at all pink in the center.
- When the meat is almost done, make sure sweet potatoes are finished cooking, and drain the water if you boiled them.
- Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl and add the oil or butter. Mix by hand or whip with an an immersion blender. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper.
- Remove the meat “cakes” from the oven when they are cooked through and remove from tin.
- Top each with a dollop of the mashed sweet potatoes to make it look like a cupcake. Sprinkle with chopped chives or other fresh herbs for the sprinkles!
Another favorite around here is my Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting recipe.
Will you try meatloaf cupcakes? What other ways have you found to reinvent kid favorites with real food ingredients? Share below!
Discussion (66 Comments)
Where do you get a clean worcestershire sauce? All that I’ve found are loaded with gross ingredients.
I love your site, thanks so much for the great recipes and info!
I am a big fan of your blog and all of your lovely meals and other ideas 🙂 This looks so good I will make it for my family !
Wow, this looks so yum! I just finished doing a juice cleanse — trying to test the theory that it improves digestions and speeds up healing as I am trying to fully recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome — and the next few days I will be easing slowly back into normal eating, so it will be a while before I can try these gems, but I can’t wait!
anything you can recommend to replace the worchestire sauce? we are vinegar free here, unless its ACV.
You can just omit it…
okie doke, i will try that, thanks 🙂
Betty, I just made them tonight, thought I had Worcestershire at home but didn’t…I used 1 tbsp tamari and 1 tbsp hoisen sauce in lieu of Worcestershire. They were fantastic!
These are SO good. Made them tonight and my VERY picky two year old loved them. She normally hardly touches meat but ate these without a fuss. Anything that gets rave reviews from both my husband and daughter is a winner in my book. I did make a tomato sauce, paste with a touch of honey mixture to top them with and it was delicious. Will be searching and trying all your other recipes!
Kim, I have an opened can of tomato paste that I want to use with this recipe. How did you make your tomato/honey glaze?
Could you substitute coconut flour for almond flour?
You could but you’d only need about half as much.
thanks. i am hesitant to try new sites since so many depend on almond flour & we are tree-nut free here. nothing worse than wasting your time searching through recipes to find half of them are tree-nut allergen laden.
I have used a similar recipe that uses chopped mushrooms as the filler. I’d say, about 1/2 chopped for the amount of meat called for in this recipe.
Perhaps you should modify your search by typing in “tree nut free” instead of blaming the web site for your inability to search correctly?
We are “Tree Nut” and gluten free as well. Thanks for asking about the Coconut flour because I typically use that however Rice flour works nicely too!
I used garbanzo bean flour and they turned out fantastic.
I used garbanzo bean flour and they turned out fantastic, per my family. I also used lean ground turkey and added chopped spinach. I’m a vegan myself, but make healthy meat options for my family and these were wonderful.
This was so good. My kids loved it!
How long did you bake the muffins for? I didn’t see the time listed.
Oops.. thanks for the heads up… I’ll add that. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, depending on what type muffin tin you are using.
Thank you! Looks delicious. I’m going to make it for dinner this week!
No comments?! This looks amazing and is headed straight for my meal plan!! I am so excited. Thanks for this!