CREATIVE FAMILY FUN: Meatloaf cupcakes for Father’s Day

By Donna Erickson

Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting. (Photo by Donna Erickson)

If Dad is a meat-and-potatoes type of guy, surprise him on Father’s Day with this clever twist on a traditional “Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes” menu item. Your kids will get their hands in the preparations as they form the meat mixture into mini loaves in a muffin pan. Top them with swirls of mashed potatoes and a whimsical garnish when they come out of the oven for eye-catching, savory meatloaf cupcakes!

The recipe for the individual meatloaves has been one of our family favorites for years; not only for the fun size, but also for the special piquant sauce that gets its snappy taste from the nutmeg. The meat mixture goes together quickly and only requires extra-lean ground beef rather than the traditional addition of ground pork and veal.




1 cup milk

2/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef

2 eggs

1/4 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/3 teaspoon sage


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk in a mixing bowl. Add the ground beef, slightly beaten eggs, onion, salt, pepper and sage. Mix well.
  3. Form individual portions and place in 12 greased muffin pans or sturdy foil baking-cup liners. Cover each one with piquant sauce (below). Bake for 45 minutes. Makes 12.


Piquant sauce:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon dry mustard


Combine the ingredients in a small bowl.


Mashed potatoes “frosting”:

While the mini meatloaves bake, prepare 3 cups of your favorite mashed potato recipe. When the meat is done, carefully remove from muffin pan and spoon dollops of mashed potatoes on top of each “cupcake” to look like frosting. Or, pipe the potatoes from a zip-top plastic bag with a bottom corner snipped off.


Tip: Pull out this recipe for an April Fools’ caper when friends stop by.


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© 2022 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.