Tater Tot Hot Dish Cake

I think I finally lost my marbles.

I gave up potatoes and cheese for Lent, and then decide the theme for my friends’ monthly family dinner should be hot dishes.

For anyone familiar with hot dishes, that pretty much eliminates anything I could possibly eat that night.

What was my solution? (And this is where you can see I really lost it.)


I made tater tot hot dish out of cake.


No recipe, no potatoes, no cheese, just a girl, a lot of sugar, and some determination. I would have something to eat that night, gosh darn it, even if it was only cake for dinner…which really wouldn’t have been so bad.


And it turns out it wasn’t even an issue – there were a surprising amount of non-cheesy potato objects for me to eat. But I did end up with a super awesome cake recipe.


  • 1 box of your favorite yellow cake mix
  • 1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix (I suggest milk chocolate rather than devil’s food, or darker chocolate. It looks more like ground beef.)
  • 1 package of M&Ms – pull out the yellow, orange, and green ones – these are your peas, corn and carrots.
  • 2 cans of white frosting
  • 2 packages of yellow candy melts
  • 1 package of Cool Whip, thawed
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Yellow food coloring


1. Bake your yellow and chocolate cakes according to the package directions. Once they come out of the oven and have cooled to room temperature, set the chocolate cake aside, and get to work shredding/crumbling the yellow cake into a large mixing bowl. *Tip* I like to use a fork once the cake has cooled to room temperature and shred it directly into a bowl.

2. Add one can of frosting to the crumbled yellow cake, and mix together until the frosting and cake are well combined, and the cake sticks together easily when you squish some together.

3. Take golf ball-sized bits of cake, and mold it into tater tot size and shape (small barrels for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of eating tots), set your “tots” on a baking tray, and pop them in the freezer for 30 minutes to stiffen up.

4. While you wait, shred the chocolate cake directly in the pan you baked it in. Once it’s all crumbled, stir in half of the second can of frosting. You want just enough frosting so the cake sticks together in small clumps, like ground beef.

5. Toss in the green, yellow, and orange M&Ms (or other candy if you want, but it’s hard to go wrong with chocolate on chocolate) and stir until the M&Ms are evenly distributed, and set aside.

6. Add 5-6 drops of yellow food coloring to the Cool Whip. Once you’ve reached your desired shade of yellow (this part represented your melted cheese/base for the tots) spread it over your chocolate cake and M&M mixture, and set aside.

7. Melt your candy melts according to the package instructions. Add 3 drops of food coloring to a small bowl filled with shredded coconut and mix until the coconut looks more like shredded cheese. (The coconut creates the shredded potato texture.)

8. Grab your cake tots from the freezer, and dip each one in the candy melts using a fork. Set them on a sheet of wax paper to dry, and sprinkle the tops with the yellow shredded coconut, gently pressing the coconut into the top so it sticks.

9. Repeat the process with your remaining cake tots. Once all the tots have hardened completely, line them up in rows across the top of your cake, and continue until the entire cake is covered. Depending on the size of your tots you may have 7 or 8 left over. I did. And I ate those too!


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