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

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

Hamburger Cookies
Photo by Tricia Winterle Jaeger

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

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!"

8. Try these recipes when you make Meatloaf Cake:

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.

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."

5. Try these recipes when you make Fish Stick Surprise:

April Fool's Dinner | Ice Cream Baked Potatoes

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

How to Make Spaghetti Cake:

1. Watch the step-by-step Video: How to Make a Spaghetti Cake.

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

3. 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.

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

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

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

7. Try these recipes when you make Spaghetti Cake:

More Ideas

April Fool's Dinner | Cereal Treats II
Photo by Wyattdogster

April Fools' Day Recipe Collection

A Fool's History

According to our sources, April Fools' Day began when the Christian world adopted the new Gregorian calendar, which shifted the start of the New Year from spring to January 1. Unfortunately, not everyone got the memo. Many folks, particularly those who lived out in the country, were left unaware of the change. They kept right on ringing in the New Year on April 1st. These uninformed April celebrators were taunted as "fools" who would believe anything. And April Fools' Day--a day devoted to tricking people into believing that something false is true--was born!