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‘Back to the Future’ Foods

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Back to the Future, I’ve compiled a few recipes to honor the food and drinks featured in the film!

To start, we’ve got meatloaf! Did anyone notice that Lorraine serves meatloaf and mashed potatoes to the McFlys in 1985 just as her mother does to the Baines’ when Marty dines with them back in 1955? It’s true: meatloaf is a food that spans generations. Here’s a recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray for Mini Meatloaves that is a definite crowd pleaser:

Mini Meatloaves (4 servings)


1 1/3 lbs. ground beef

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup of breadcrumbs

½ small green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place meat in a bowl. Make a well in meat. Fill well with egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix meat and breading.
  3. Form 4 individual oval meat loaves, 1-inch thick. Coat loaves with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast 18 to 20 minutes.


Next up is dessert! The most iconic dessert from Back to the Future has got to be Uncle Jailbird Joey’s chocolate sheet cake. Uncle Joey may not have made parole (again) but we can’t let a perfectly good cake go to waste! Of course you can go ahead and pick up a box of Betty Crocker and some premade frosting, but try this recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting from baking author Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction and freeze a few for when Uncle Joey finally gets out of the clink:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting (12-14 cupcakes)

Cupcake Ingredients:

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking soda

¾ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

2 eggs (room temperature)

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup pack light brown sugar

1/3 cup coconut oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter (softened at room temperature)

4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar

¼ heavy cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Line a second pan with 2 liners – this recipe makes about 14 cupcakes. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla together until completely smooth. Pour half of the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Then half of the buttermilk. Gently whisk – about 5 stirs. Repeat with the remaining wet ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until *just* combined; do not overmix. The batter will be a little thin.
  3. Pour/spoon the batter into the liners – fill only halfway to avoid spilling over the sides. Bake in batches for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. Make the frosting: With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Add 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 full minutes. Add up to 1/2 cup more confectioners’ sugar if frosting is too thin or another Tablespoon of cream if frosting is too thick. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.
  5. Frost cooled cupcakes however you’d like. I used Wilton 1M piping tip. There may be leftover frosting depending how much you use on each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Leftover prepared cupcakes can be stored covered tightly at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
  6. Make ahead tip: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and frost the day of serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.


And finally, a couple of drinky poos for the grownups! First, we see a distressed Lorraine sip straight vodka during dinner in 1985 but that’s a little hardcore even for me. Better to make it a Vodka Tonic! Here’s the classic recipe from

Vodka Tonic (1 serving)


2 ounces vodka

4 ounces tonic water

Wedge of lime



  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour vodka in glass. Top with tonic water.
  3. Squeeze lime wedge over the drink, drop wedge into drink, and lightly stir (DON’T shake).


And in honor of George getting his courage to speak to Lorraine from chocolate milk back in 1955, we’ve got an Adult Chocolate Milk, also from

Adult Chocolate Milk (1 serving)


2 ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream

2 ounces Kahlua

2 ounces chocolate liqueur

2 ounces milk

1 oz. vodka



  1. Stir all together in a measuring cup, using shot glasses to measure.
  2. Fill glass with ice.
  3. Pour mixture over ice.

Now that you’re armed with these recipes, you’re ready to host your own Back to the Future 30th anniversary party! Or at least make yourself a good cocktail.

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