If you need a unique appetizer for a retro-themed party, this bologna cake recipe is for you.
It’s meaty, creamy, and a fun alternative to chips and dip.
Featuring layers of bologna (also spelled ‘baloney’) and cream cheese, it’s definitely not a traditional cake.
Instead of fluffy sponge and sweet frosting, it’s meaty, salty, creamy, and wonderfully savory.
So, if you’re looking for an unusually delicious dish that’ll spark conversation, you’re in the right place.
It’s a classic southern appetizer that’s beginner-friendly, inexpensive, and a breeze to whip up.
I know that picture has you intrigued. So let’s take a closer look at this bologna cake, shall we?
What Is Bologna Cake?
I know it looks like a cake, but it absolutely doesn’t taste like one. So, be sure to set your expectations.
Bologna cake is a southern appetizer made with multiple layers of bologna slices and a savory cream cheese frosting that includes grated onion and Worcestershire sauce. The layers are stacked to look like a cake, and the whole thing is covered in cream cheese and often served with crackers.
If you’ve seen the classic rom-com Sweet Home Alabama, you’ve probably heard of it.
But while they say it’s been around for ages, I only heard of it recently. And my curious mind just had to try it.
I’m so happy I did!
What Does Bologna Cake Taste Like?
I have to admit I was hesitant to try this dish. But as a curious cook, I had to. And I was pleasantly surprised by the result!
Bologna cake tastes like bologna and cream cheese with added umami flavor from onion and Worcestershire sauce. The layers create a lovely mouthfeel that’s a little like a savory crepe cake. The taste is predominantly salty, with some smokiness from the processed meat. It’s best served with crackers.
I definitely don’t recommend eating this appetizer on its own. It’ll be way too salty without something to cut through the richness.
Crackers give a nice crunchy contrast to the soft cake. And their buttery flavor complements the saltiness of the bologna and cream cheese well.
This is a super simple recipe. It needs just five ingredients and about ten minutes of prep.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sliced Bologna – you can use any bologna brand. The only important thing is that you like the taste.
- If you can’t find bologna, substitute it for any cold-cut deli meat.
- Although I haven’t tried it yet, I imagine sweet ham and salami will work well here.
- Grated Onion – you’ll mix this with the cream cheese to give your frosting a strong punch of flavor. Don’t want to peel and chop onions? Use Ranch onion mix instead.
- Just keep in mind that you need grated onion – as in, very small pieces.
- Not only will that help the flavors blend with the cream cheese, but it also means you won’t have big chunks of onion in every bite.
- Cream Cheese – soften it to room temperature before use, so it’s easy to mix.
- Worcestershire Sauce – it gives the frosting an extra layer of umami flavor.
- Ritz Crackers – there’s nothing like buttery and crunchy Ritz crackers to eat this appetizer with!
How to Make Bologna Cake
1. Make the cake frosting.
Combine softened cream cheese, grated onion, and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
I prefer using a hand mixer here as cream cheese is a little thick to mix by hand. However, if you don’t mind the arm workout, feel free to use a rubber spatula.
Mix until everything is well blended.
2. Assemble the cake.
Start by spreading a bit of cream cheese frosting on the bottom of your serving plate. This will keep the first layer from slipping off as you apply the frosting.
Add the first layer of bologna, and spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
Repeat the process until all bologna slices are used up.
Top-tip: use a piping bag to get the cream cheese on clean. Make a small barrier around the edges, pipe a spiral into the middle, then spread it flat.
3. Frost the cake.
Cover the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese frosting. Decorate as desired.
4. Serve with crackers and enjoy!
- Allow the cream cheese to soften to room temperature before use. Otherwise, it’ll be too hard to mix. If you forget to take it out of the fridge on time, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- Spread a bit of cream cheese mixture on the bottom of the serving plate before adding the bologna. This will keep it from sliding off.
- Blot the bologna with a paper towel before layering the cake. It’ll keep sliding off if it’s wet or moist.
- Use an offset spatula to frost the cake to make smooth edges. A knife will work, too, if you use the flat side.
- If you have Cheese Whiz or canned cheese, use it to decorate the cake. It’ll add flavor and color.
How to Serve Bologna Cake
Bologna cake is already pretty impressive, so serving it as is will do the trick. But if you want to jazz it up, try the following:
- Make it extra pretty by decorating the cake with canned American cheese!
- Serve it on a cake platter and surround it with buttery crackers.
- Slice the cake thinly, just like a regular cake, and top it on crackers or toast.
- Add savory decorations like roasted red peppers, olives, or capers.
How to Store Leftovers
Wrap leftover bologna cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.
More Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love
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