Illusion foods are always a fun time, and Meatloaf Cupcakes really do cast a magic spell! At first glance, these look like ordinary chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting, but when you bite in you find a savory experience rather than a sweet one! The “cake” of Meatloaf Cupcakes is indeed a succulent, flavorful mini meatloaf. And that frosting? Deliciously creamy and rich mashed potatoes. These little hearty treats make dinnertime as enchanting as dessert time!

Ingredients

For the meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

For the mashed potato topping:

  • 5 russet potatoes, washed and peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • salt, to taste

Directions

Step 1 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2 –Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Step 3 –In a large bowl, add the ground beef, the white onion, the breadcrumbs, the milk, the egg, the Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon of the salt, the dried basil, the oregano, the black pepper, and the crushed red pepper and knead gently but thoroughly until combined.

Step 4 –In a large pot, add the potatoes and the chicken broth.

Step 5 –Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the potato-broth mixture to a boil.

Step 6 –Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

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Step 7 –Divide the meatloaf mixture into 12 evenly-sized meatballs that fill the muffin tin cups.

Step 8 –Fill the muffin tin cups with the meatloaf balls.

Step 9 –Bake the meatloaf balls until they reach an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees F, about 35-40 minutes.

Step 10 –Transfer the meatloaf balls to cupcake liners in a clean muffin tin.

Step 11 –Strain the potatoes from the broth.

Step 12 –In a large mixing bowl, add the cooked potatoes.

Step 13 –Add the butter, the cream cheese, the buttermilk, and the remaining salt to the potatoes and, using a hand mixer, whip the potatoes until light, fluffy, and creamy, about 3-5 minutes.

Step 14 –Transfer the mashed potatoes to a pastry bag with a star tip.

Step 15 –“Frost” the meatloaf “cupcakes” with the mashed potatoes.

Step 16 –Serve.