Meatball Sub Cupcake

This month’s Iron Cupcake challenge was a bit of a departure for me…a savory cupcake? Hmmm….well, I knew what I was going to do from the get-go:

specifically in this case it’s a
Rosemary-garlic Focaccia “cupcake” stuffed with an Homemade Italian meatball topped with Ricotta-Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Meatball cupcake in a foil wrapper with a swirl of mashed potatoes on top
Here’s what I did:
I’ll start by stating that I am not a great bread baker…So I used a little help on this one and glad I did,
Buitoni Focaccia Bread Mix ~ Rosemary & Garlic
I made the mix according to the directions on the box, but instead of baking it in a 9×13″ pan I baked it in a cupcake pan with foil liners. It made 8 “cupcakes”.
Buitoni Focaccia bread mix packageDry focaccia bread ingredients in a bowlDough in a muffin tinBaked focaccia in muffin cupsAfter those were complete I started on the meatballs. Now I am going to give you guys the recipe for our family meatballs. My mother-in-law told me how to make these and I have never used a “recipe”, just eyeballed it…so I tried measuring this time and here you go:
(this makes approx 50 meatballs, so alter the recipe if you want a smaller batch…OR make the full batch and freeze what you don’t need for later.)
A package of meatloaf mix ground meat2.5 lb meatloaf mix

3 eggs
3/4 c. bread crumbs…either Italian or plain
1 c. Parmesan cheese – fresh grated
2 T. parsley flakes
3/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1/4 c. cream – either heavy or light
Mix all ingredients in large bowl combining but making sure not to over work the meat Over working the meat tends to make the meatballs too dense)
Form into meatballs approx 1.5″ in diameter ~ or golf ball sized
Raw meatballs in a bowl

Heat skillet over med heat and add oil to pan to fry meatballs.
Add in batches not too many at a time and brown meatballs.
Meatballs frying in a skillet
Once meatballs are browned add them to a simmering pot of sauce either homemade or jarred. For this amount of meatballs it will take you 3 jars of sauce or approx 8 cups homemade sauce.
Let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until cooked through.
Meatballs in a pot of tomato sauce
Next make a batch of mashed potatoes using whatever recipe you like..
in 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes I boil and mash them adding:
1/3 cup of ricotta cheese
1 T. garlic powder
2 T. butter
splash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
Set aside. 
Now for the assembly:
Cut out the center of your focaccia “cupcake” and insert meatball and 1 t. sauce on top. Cover the meatball with the reserved top.
Focaccia cupcake with a meatball and tomato sauce in the centerFocaccia cupcake filled with meatball and tomato sauce

Heat broiler
Now put about 1 cup of the mashed potatoes at a time in to a ziplock or piping bag and pipe on.
Add 1 T/ grated mozerella
Broil for 2 minutes until cheese is browned.
Sprinkle with a pinch of Italian seasoning and a pinch of salt!
Focaccia cupcake filled with meatball and tomato sauce and topped with a swirl of mashed potatoes

Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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March 31, 2011 5:06 pm

I'm making these for April Fool's Day supper tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe.

cookies and cups
January 18, 2011 10:40 pm

mommyspice ~ Any sort of focaccia bread mix will do. You can find them pretty readily (at least at my supermarkets) down the baking aisle where they have bread mixes.
I am sure that any variation on flavor would be fine!
Apparently after I posted this Buitoni stopped making these bread mixes, but I have found some generic alternatives that work great 🙂

January 18, 2011 10:27 pm

What's another option for the buittoni mix? I can't find it.

May 30, 2009 2:16 am

This is insanely creative! I have got to try this recipe! Great job…

cookies and cups
May 27, 2009 6:54 pm

oneordinaryday ~ I was a little unsure about it when I decided to do it, but I am telling you it is good…My husband was very unsure, but he agreed that it went together after he tried them! The mashed that I used were a whipped light mashed, not home style and I tried not to put too much on top, just enough to get sprinkle with mozzarella and crisp under the broiler.
Thanks for the comment!

May 27, 2009 6:44 pm

What a creative way to make your cupcakes. I love the idea of a mini meatball sub/cupbake. I’m not sold on the mashed potato top though. Did you like it together?

cookies and cups
May 25, 2009 12:09 pm

Risa-that was my main concern, but they were garlicky and cheesy mashed so they went really well…and broiling them gave it a little crisp so that was nice.
Bridget–no meatloaf mix in the lone star state? You know I had never seen it until I moved up here, but for me it’s the best for meatloaf and meatballs.

May 25, 2009 7:11 am

I’m not going to lie to you: this cupcake looks seriously good! Man oh man, I could definitely see myself popping these for dinners. What a fabulously creative idea!!

Danae - The Busty Baker
May 25, 2009 3:14 am

Mmm! I’ve already had dinner tonight, but this makes me want a meatball sub so bad, I’m almost tempted to run out and get one! They look fantastic!

May 24, 2009 10:48 pm

Those look delicious. How did the mashed potatoes go with the meatball sandiwch?

Sugared Ellipses...
May 24, 2009 6:20 pm

Oh my God! These look sooooo good! I love everything about this, from the bread, the meatball, to the tomato sauce, and the mashed potatoes on top…wow! And I’m not even that crazy about meatball subs. My Mom would go crazy on these because she loves them. Great idea!

May 24, 2009 6:15 pm

Wow…those are cool! Great idea! Let us know when voting starts!

You know, they don’t sell that “meatloaf mix” around here…they really should!

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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