Bologna Cake

We have a good friend who requested a bologna cake for his birthday.  He sent a photo of a bologna cake that was slice of bologna, cream cheese, slice of bologna, cream cheese and so on and so on.  The sides and top were “frosted” with more cream cheese and decorated with the cheddar cheese that you buy in aerosol cans.

I decided that rather than an ALL bologna cake I would make bologna sandwich spread and use bread for the layers.  Several years ago I made a sandwich cake for a Super Bowl party.  I made that “cake” with ham salad and chicken salad.  It was lovely to look at and tasted ok but I made a mistake and didn’t cut the crusts off the bread making it very difficult to slice. You nearly mangled the whole cake sawing through the crust.  I also learned that sandwich cakes are a real “thing” called smorgastarta, Swedish for sandwich cake.

Cake Ingredients:

2 loaves of a good sturdy bread

2 pounds of garlic bologna

mayo or miracle whip

sweet pickles

onion and celery

Icing Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 c mayonnaise

1 envelope ranch dressing seasoning

The shape of your bread does not matter.  Round, square, rectangular.  Just ensure that it is a good quality, sturdy bread so it doesn’t turn to mush when you add the filling.  Shave off the crusts with a serrated knife.

Grind your bologna and pickles in a food processor.

Small dice your celery and onion and add to the ground meat.   The vegetables give a little crunch to the sandwich spread.  Add mayo or miracle whip until the spread reaches your desired consistency.  Now you can begin assembling the cake.  Spread a thin layer of the icing on each layer and a generous amount of the sandwich spread.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Until you’ve used all of your layers.

When you begin icing the sides and top of the cake do just as you would with a real cake.  Start with a thin layer of icing to seal in the crumbs and then go back and add more icing and smooth out the sides and top.

Decorate your cake with garnishes of your choosing.  I used fennel fronds, carrots, green onions, radishes and miniature heirloom tomatoes.

Voila!  I think my bologna cake is quite beautiful and it was appreciated and enjoyed by the birthday boy and most of the other guests.

NOTE:  It isn’t necessary to use bologna.  Any type of sandwich spread, sliced deli meats, lox, or hard boiled eggs would work.  Adding sliced vegetables like seedless cucumber, radishes, or onion would add some crunch and flavor.  I wouldn’t recommend using tomato slices which would make the bread wet and mushy.

I used the bread crusts to make breadcrumbs which I bag and freeze and croutons for soup or salad.



Chai Tea

‘Tis the holiday season.  Time to make candy, bake cookies, and whip up a few batches of Chai tea for gift giving.  The main ingredients in chai tea are black tea, milk, spices, and sweetener.  I’m not sure where I found the recipe but I’ve been making it for years.   It has cardamom but no coffee so it is definitely not a Finnish favorite.  I typically do not care for cream or milk in my tea or coffee but I do like an occasional cup of this tea.


3 cups nonfat dry milk powder

1 1/2 cups of sugar

1 cup unsweetened instant tea

3/4 cup vanilla powdered nondairy creamer

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp ground cloves

In a food processor combine all of the ingredients, cover and process until you have a fine powder.

Once the mixture is processed dump it in a bowl to make it easier to fill your jars.

Scoop the mixture into jars and store the jars in a cool place.  One recipe makes a little over 4 cups of the mix.  I made several batches.

To serve add 3/4 cup of boiling water to 3 T of chai mix.

NOTE:  Because the nondairy creamer is sweet you can choose to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe or use a sugar substitute like truvia.

To make the jars more festive for holiday gift giving tie curly ribbon to the neck of the jar or take a square piece of colorful fabric and use the band to fasten the fabric down.  Include a copy of the recipe and instructions for mixing with the jar.

Hmmmmm.  I wonder how this would taste substituting instant coffee for the instant tea?  If I do a test batch I’ll be sure to blog the results.