Fricassee Cake: A Comfort Food Classic


You know those days when you’re craving something warm, sweet, and nostalgic fricassee cake? The kind of food that takes you back to childhood and simpler times? Well, you’re in luck because today we’re diving into a retro recipe that’s sure to satisfy: fricassee cake. This tender, fluffy cake is chock full of fruit and topped with a gooey, sweet glaze. It’s the ultimate comfort food.

Maybe your grandma used to make it, or it was served up at every church potluck. However you were introduced to this old-fashioned treat, it’s high time to revisit it. Bust out your mixer and preheat the oven, because we’re about to take a tasty trip down memory lane. This cake is calling your name.

What Is Fricassee Cake?

Fricassee cake is a true Southern comfort food classic. This sweet and savory casserole brings together chicken, rice, eggs, and vegetables in a creamy sauce that’s simply irresistible.

  • The name comes from the French “fricassée”, meaning a meat or vegetable stew. Fricassee cake takes those stew-like flavors and bakes them into a hearty, spoonable casserole.
  • At its base, fricassee cake is made up of cooked chicken, rice, hard-boiled eggs, onion, celery, and chicken broth. Sometimes mushrooms, peas, or other veggies make an appearance too.
  • The ingredients get combined with a creamy, cheesy sauce made from egg yolks, butter, cream, and Parmesan. Everything gets baked until heated through and lightly browned.
  • When you dig into a slice, you get soft, fluffy rice, tender chicken, creamy sauce, and bites of egg and veggies all in one comforting bite. It’s like a chicken pot pie met a savory bread pudding!
  • Fricassee cake has its origins in the American South, where cooks would transform leftover chicken and rice into this nourishing, budget-friendly dish. It’s still popular today at potlucks and family meals.

With its rich flavors, pillowy texture, and versatility, fricassee cake is the ultimate comfort food. So next time you have leftover chicken, consider whipping up this classic Southern specialty. Your family will ask for seconds!

Fricassee Cake’s Humble Origins

This Southern comfort food favorite has roots stretching back centuries. Though the precise origin is unclear, fricassee cake likely emerged in the American South sometime in the 1800s.

  • The dish takes its name from the French “fricassée,” a method of braising meat in wine that dates back to the Middle Ages. Fricassee cake adapted this old world cooking technique using local ingredients.
  • Cornmeal and rice were staple grains, while pork was a common meat. Eggs and milk made the batter rich and moist. Spices like nutmeg and mace added warmth and depth of flavor.
  • The cake was a thrifty way to stretch inexpensive ingredients into a hearty, satisfying meal. For rural families and slaves, it was a lifesaver during lean times when food was scarce.
  • Passed down through generations, fricassee cake became a nostalgic food that evoked memories of grandma’s country kitchen. It remains a favorite at potlucks and church socials across the South.
  • While recipes vary, the soul of this humble cake stays the same – simple goodness from simple beginnings that still warms hearts and bellies today. Fricassee cake is a culinary connection to the past.

How to Make Classic Fricassee Cake

Making this old fashioned comfort food is easier than you think! Follow these simple steps:

  • Start with 2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken or turkey. Dark meat works best. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt. Stir to blend.
  • In another bowl, beat together 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter (melted), 1 large egg.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
  • Gently fold in the shredded chicken or turkey until evenly distributed.
  • Pour the batter into a greased 8×8 inch baking pan.
  • Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Top with your favorite gravy or sauce.

For best results, use homemade chicken stock when cooking the meat. This adds extra flavor. You can also swap in different cooked meats like beef or pork. Get creative with add-ins like mushrooms, veggies, or cheese. This humble cake has many delicious variations!

Fun Variations on Fricassee Cake

Fricassee cake is a great basic recipe that lends itself to all kinds of creative twists. Play around with different mix-ins, frostings, and serving styles to make this comforting cake your own.

  • Add nuts or chocolate chips to the batter for extra texture and flavor. Pecans, walnuts, almonds, peanut butter chips, and semi-sweet chocolate chips all pair nicely with the vanilla and cinnamon flavors.
  • Frost with flavored buttercream rather than plain powdered sugar icing. Cream cheese, peanut butter, or maple frostings add more complexity.
  • For a festive cake, alternate layers of fricassee cake with layers of fruit pie filling, like cherry, blueberry, or apple. Frost the outside with whipped cream.
  • Make mini fricassee cupcakes for a fun twist on the original loaf cake. They’re perfect for parties or snacking.
  • Use a Bundt pan for a decorative, sculptural shape. Glaze the entire cake with a simple icing that will drip down the ridges and holes.
  • For a tropical twist, use coconut milk instead of regular milk. Add shredded coconut or crushed pineapple to the batter. Top with a coconut whipped cream frosting.

The simple fricassee cake base allows for all kinds of creative remixes. Don’t be afraid to try new add-ins, shapes, or serving styles to liven up this classic.

Fricassee Cake FAQs: Your Top Questions Answered

Fricassee cake is a comforting classic, but you might have some questions if it’s your first time making this recipe. Let’s go over some of the most frequently asked questions.

  • What is a fricassee cake exactly? It’s a layered cake made with cooked, shredded chicken or turkey mixed into a creamy white sauce. The chicken mixture is sandwiched between layers of buttery mashed potatoes.
  • What kind of meat do I use? Chicken or turkey both work great. Opt for boneless, skinless thighs or breasts.
  • How do I cook the meat? Simmer it in a little water or chicken broth until fully cooked, then shred or chop it.
  • Can I use canned chicken? Yes, canned chicken can substitute for cooked chicken. Drain it well and give it a rough chop.
  • What’s in the white sauce? The sauce is a creamy béchamel made with butter, flour, milk, and seasonings.
  • What potatoes should I use? Starchy russet potatoes work best for mashed potatoes. Boil them until tender before mashing.
  • How do I assemble it? Layer mashed potatoes, chicken mixture, and sauce. Top with more potatoes. Bake until hot and bubbly.
  • Can I prepare it ahead of time? You can make the components up to a day in advance. Just assemble and bake right before serving.
  • What sides go well with it? Buttery peas, roasted veggies, or a crisp green salad balance the richness nicely.
  • Can I freeze any leftovers? Yes, you can freeze assembled fricassee cakes or individual portions. Reheat gently from frozen.

Let us know if you have any other fricassee cake questions! This comforting casserole is simple to whip up and makes a family-friendly meal.


You really can’t go wrong with this cozy comfort food. Fricassee cake takes you back to childhood visits to Grandma’s house. The soft, pillowy texture and warm cinnamon-apple filling wrap you up in nostalgia with every bite. So next time the weather turns chilly or you need a pick-me-up, pull out your favorite casserole dish and whip up this old-fashioned favorite.

With just a handful of supermarket ingredients, you’ll be transported through time and place with each mouthwatering forkful. Trust us, your family will ask for seconds and you’ll be eager to keep leftovers coming back to this yummy baked delight. Now it’s your turn to share the love by passing on Grandma’s timeless recipe to create new memories.

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