Recipe: Turkey Dinner Celebration Cake

No need to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy this creative concoction from award-winning chef Jennifer Crawford. Photo: Jennifer Crawford

Give them cake! Serve up a truly memorable turkey feast with this unique creation from Chef Jennifer Crawford, the winner of Master Chef Canada 2019.



Turkey Dinner Celebration Cake (pictured above)

Serves: 6-8

Prep time: 45m

Cooking Time: 30m


-1 boule loaf (rye, country white, or pumpernickel)

-2 Tbsp butter (or olive oil, if making dairy-free)

-1 med onion, diced

-2 cups poultry stock

-½ tsp dried thyme

-½ tsp dried sage

-400g turkey deli meat

-½ can cranberry sauce (whole berry)

-2 packages (500g) cream cheese, room temperature

-250ml sour cream

-1 carrot, peeled into ribbons and rolled into rosettes

-4 cherry tomatoes

-1 cup arugula

-fresh herbs, as desired


1) Set a 6” cake pan or plate on top of the boule. Using a serrated knife, carve directly downward to create a circle. Cut the domed top off of the boule. Tear all the cut-off bread into small chunks and set into a 170 F oven for 20 minutes, until dry.

2) While the bread chunks are drying, cut the remaining circle of bread into three even pieces. The bottom layer will be inverted and used as the top layer, to ensure a nice sharp cake edge!

3) Melt the 2 Tbsp of butter in a medium pan. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the dried herbs, and cook one minute more.

4) Retrieve bread chunks from the oven. Toss with the onion mixture in a big bowl. Add the poultry stock until it’s thoroughly moist, but not soggy. You may not need all of the stock — start with 1 cup and then add ¼ cup at a time.

5) Transfer to a loaf pan, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely.

6) In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer) whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly add the sour cream, adding a few tablespoons at a time. It will have the consistency of a nice buttercream icing.

7) If you will be transporting the cake, build it directly in your cake carrier! If you are serving it on a platter or cake stand, you can build it there.

8) Put a small dollop of cream cheese in the centre of your platter, and affix a bread layer to it. Now layer: 1cup of the prepared dressing, ½ of the cranberry sauce, and 200g of the shaved turkey. Fold the turkey nicely to give the cake a bit of height! Leave ½” of the bread exposed at the edges — this will prevent your fillings from spilling into your finished icing layer.

9) Put the next layer of bread on top and repeat the layering.

10) Finally, top with the last bread layer. It should be the layer carved from the bottom of the boule, with the browned side facing up. This will give you a nice flat cake top with a sharp edge.

11) Transfer the whipped cream cheese mixture into a piping bag (or a ziplock with the corner cut off). Pipe loosely across the top, and up & down the sides of the cake.

12) Using an off-set spatula and starting with the top of the cake, smooth the cream cheese mixture.

13) Garnish with a handful of arugula, cherry tomatoes, carrot rosettes, and fresh herbs if you like. Dill flowers, peppery edible flowers, and shelled peas are also lovely additions.

14) Use a serrated knife to slice and serve with a fork & knife!

Recipe courtesy Jennifer Crawford/


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