Tomato Soup Cake
The secret ingredient for this cake is a can of tomato soup, although most people won’t ever guess it’s included.

This weekend, Joey walked into the house after leaving me alone for an afternoon to the wonderful smell of spices wafting through the house and a Tupperware container full of cake.

“You’re going to have to guess the secret ingredient,” I told him. “And it isn’t the raisins.”

He sat down, fork in hand, ready to see if he could figure it out.

He managed to identify the bevy of spices I added to the recipe, although I think that’s a bit like cheating since he knows cinnamon, cloves and ginger are among my favorite baking spices.

But he was stumped by the main ingredient.

After finishing the slice and still not guessing, he gave up.

“It’s tomato soup,” I told him.

It took a full 10 seconds of eye contact for him to realize I wasn’t just messing with him, and after the initial shock wore off, he said, “It doesn’t taste like tomato. I just thought it was a spice cake.”

I found this unique recipe on the blog “Lord Byron’s Kitchen.” You can find it at http://www.lordbyronskitchen.com/tomato-soup-cake/. I substituted other spices for the pumpkin pie spice the recipe called for.

Tomato Soup Cake

The secret ingredient for this cake is a can of tomato soup, although most people won't ever guess it's included.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, tomato soup

Ingredients

  • 10.75 ounces tomato soup
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a bundt pan or tube pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • In a bowl, combine the tomato soup and baking soda. (Be sure it has room to fizz, because it will bubble up.)
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Beat in the egg, and then beat in the tomato soup mixture.
  • Finally, add the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking powder and salt and beat until just combined.
  • Fold in the raisins.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Drop the pan onto the surface of your counter a few times to even it out and get rid of any air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate to remove it from the pan. Store in an airtight container.

The recipe’s author serves theirs with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, but it’s completely unnecessary unless you just like the look of it. This cake is delicious without it and doesn’t need the added sugar.

I was expecting more of a reddish color to my cake, but it turned out a bit darker. I’m guessing that’s thanks to my liberal use of cloves.

If you wanted to dress this up, it would be fantastic with cream cheese frosting, too.

I would argue this recipe is worth trying not only because it’s a great cake but also because it’s a fun combination to experience.

I don’t know why it works or why someone tried it in the first place, but I suppose since tomatoes are technically a fruit, it makes sense to try them in a dessert, too.

This piece first appeared in print on March 7, 2019.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.