Savoury Turkey Carrot Cake (Meatloaf-Style)

It’s a carrot cake but not as you know it! Made with ground turkey meat, this is a savoury meatloaf cake version that will impress your friends and family even more than the regular cake. Perfect for those following a paleo, Whole30, low-carb diet.


Savoury carrot cake with ground turkey and mayo frosting

In This Post:

Yes, you read that right: turkey and carrot cake in the same recipe! It might sound crazy and you might be wondering if I’ve had too many sweets while coming up with this recipe, but it’s a total winner and very delicious.

The idea came to me when I was working on a few recipes for Easter. I thought, why is it that most Easter recipes are centred around sweets and desserts? As a result, the Easter weekend is always viewed as an overindulgent affair with way too many chocolate eggs and hot cross buns. Why not just focus on serving creative and festive savoury food, with maybe just a sprinkling of chocolate treats.

So, I started thinking of how to turn a traditional Easter recipe like carrot cake into something fun and pretty but not sweet. That’s when I came up with the idea of making the cake out of ground-up meat, kind of like a round meatloaf.

I thought about what would go with carrots, cinnamon and raisins and decided on poultry. I made this recipe with ground turkey but you can use chicken just as well. It turned out DELICIOUS!

You might also like my baked salmon loaf or my meatloaf with bacon & caramelised onions.

Savoury turkey carrot cake, paleo and low-carb friendly

What You’ll Need

Here is what you will need for this potato bake. Find the full measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Vegetables & fruits: onion, carrots, sweet potato, garlic, lemon zest and orange zest.
  • Meat: ground turkey or ground chicken mince can be used.
  • Oils & fats: olive oil or avocado oil
  • Seasonings & spices: salt, cinnamon, ground coriander seed, paprika, hot mustard (e.g. English mustard or mild), black pepper and bicarb soda for rising.
  • Acids: Lemon juice
  • Binding agents: eggs, cassava flour or tapioca starch (for dusting, regular flour can also be used)
  • Optional: Nuts of choice, chopped, raisins or sultanas.
  • Toppings: mayonnaise, carrot slices, parsley, seeds and chopped nights, lemon and/or orange rind, black pepper.

How To Make Ground Turkey Carrot Cake

Jump to the full recipe card below for more detailed instructions, ingredients list and nutrition info.

  • Preheat oven to 170 C / 340 F (conventional).
  • Sauté onion in olive oil with ¼ tsp salt until soft and golden, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Grate carrots and sweet potatoes, squeezing out half of their juice to reduce excess liquid.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine grated veggies with other cake ingredients and sautéed onions. Mix thoroughly with clean hands.
  • Grease a round springform cake tin with coconut oil and dust with tapioca or cassava flour to prevent sticking and add a crust.
  • Transfer mixture to the cake tin, leveling the top.
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 1 hour.
  • Let cool slightly in the tin, then remove from tin onto a plate.
  • Cool to warm or room temperature before decorating.
  • Spread mayonnaise over the top and garnish with carrots, parsley, seeds, lemon and orange zest, and black pepper.
How to make savoury carrot cake with ground turkey  step-by-step photos

Recipe Tips

  • Just a few notes before you begin. I used a 7.5-inch spring form cake tin but you could use a larger pan and the cake won’t be as tall. You could also do a loaf tin or a square tin, that’s really up to you.
  • Ground turkey or chicken mince is great for this recipe, and you could also add a little bit of pork mince, if you like.
  • I used mayonnaise as my ‘frosting’ but you could also use ketchup instead. I think the white looks very pretty though, and the mayonnaise goes well with the ‘cake’ flavours.
  • I used a medium shred grater for the carrots and sweet potato, but you could go with more course/larger grater. Here are some step-by-step pictures for you to follow.

Serving Savoury Carrot Cake

This turkey carrot cake is quite simple to make and it works well both as a warm and a cold dish. It’s firm yet moist and is easy to cut into cake-like slices and serve with a side of green salad, roasted veggies or steamed greens.

It’s also great for leftovers and we enjoyed it for a few days afterwards. You can easily pack it into lunchboxes, dice it up and serve over a salad, and use in paleo wraps.

And of course, this is a great potluck dish that will impress your friends and family. Plus, you get to feed them real food that is nutritious and tasty minus the excess sugar.

Savoury carrot cake (paleo, gluten-free, Whole30 friendly)

Storage Tips

Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. If you don’t have a cake storage container, you could do what I did and store the cake inside the spring form tin, with cling wrap over the top.

Storing round carrot cake

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Savoury paleo carrot cake with turkey

Savoury Turkey Carrot Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 8 servings
Course: Main
Cuisine: American
Print Pin Save
5 from 7 votes
Calories: 399kcal
It’s a carrot cake but not as you know it! Made with ground turkey meat, this is a savoury version that will impress your friends and family even more than the regular cake. Great

Ingredients 

For the 'cake part'

  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 kg ground turkey about 2 lbs.
  • 200 g carrots grated (about 2 medium carrots / 7 oz.)
  • 100 g sweet potato grated (about ½ of medium potato / 3.5 oz.)
  • 3 cloves garlic grated or finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest half a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest half of orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon hot mustard such as English mustard (Dijon or yellow is also okay)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup nuts of choice, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins or sultanas, chopped (optional, omit for Whole30)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil for greasing
  • 1-2 tablespoons cassava flour or tapioca starch for dusting

For the ‘icing’ & garnishes

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise maybe a little less, I measured with my eye
  • Slices of carrots and parsley
  • Seeds or chopped nuts
  • Thinly sliced lemon and/or orange rind
  • Ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 170 C / 340 F (conventional).
  • In a small pan, sauté the onion in olive oil with ¼ teaspoon of salt for about 5-6 minutes, until soft and golden.
  • In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients. When you grate the carrots and sweet potatoes, I suggest to press them firmly against the side of the bowl to squeeze some of the juice out. Discard half of the juice. You don’t have to squeeze all of the juice out as some of it will go to moisten the cake, but you don’t want too much excess liquid.
  • In a large mixing bow, combine the grated carrots and sweet potatoes with the rest of the cake ingredients and the pre-cooked onions. Use clean hands to mix and work through the mixture until everything is well incorporated.
  • Grease a round spring form cake tin with coconut oil and dust evenly with tapioca or cassava flour. This will give our cake a little crust and stop it from sticking to the tin.
  • Transfer the meat and carrot mixture to the cake tin and spread evenly on the top.
  • Place in the oven, middle shelf, and cook for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool down slightly while still inside the tin.
  • Then release the spring and remove the cake from the tin onto a plate. You can turn it upside down onto another plate to the remove the tin’s bottom.
  • Allow the cake to cool to just warm or room temperature.
  • Time to decorate! Spread the mayonnaise over the top and decorate with carrots, parsley, seeds, lemon and orange zest and some black pepper.

Nutrition

Calories: 399kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 116mg | Sodium: 918mg | Potassium: 635mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 6178IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg
Keywords: Holidays, Dinner Meals, Carrots, Ground Turkey, Mashed Potatoes
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookedandloved or tag #cookedandloved

Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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Comments

18 Comments
  1. You really crushed it Irena!! This meatloaf looks so pretty and packs in some truly fun and unique flavors. I know I will love this and can’t wait to try it. Even better, I love the versatility of “icing” this cake – so many fun design possibilities for the seasons/holidays!!

  2. 5 stars
    What a lovely inventive idea ! I love how cute the cake design is and best of all it’s an absolutely healthy and savory one. Love it !!

    1. I think that you should be able to make this without eggs in the cake as the meat will hold its shape quite well. The mayonnaise would have to be replaced with something else, and you could use tomato ketchup/sauce.

  3. 5 stars
    I just love this savory celebration recipe! That’s my kind of cake!! Love the creativity Irena!

  4. 5 stars
    This looks really yum. Very excited to make it for Easter. What can replace hot mustard? Also, if I put mayonnaise, can this ‘cake’ last for 3 to 4 days? Should I pan fried it if eat the leftover? Thanks.

    1. Hot mustard can be replaced with some tabasco or hot sauce or regular mustard. Mayo should be fine in the fridge for 3-4 days. We had the leftovers both hot and cold.

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