04 September 2009

tomato soup cake

I found this recipe card years ago while raiding my grandmother's recipe box for tomato soup cake. So of course I snagged it. It just sounded too bizarre, although apparently my grandfather loves it. I never made it.

So this week, feeling the approach of Fall and being in a baking mood, I decided to finally, finally make the cake. So of course I cannot find the recipe card. After looking around a bit (it is here somewhere, I just know it) I found a recipe online. The recipes are probably basically identical. I think the idea was from Campbell's so Grandma probably copied it off of one of their cans or out of a magazine!

Anyway, the idea is that the cake is a frugal, simple dessert choice during the depression (or even today's recession) because it has relatively few ingredients and they are items you usually have on hand. Except, having decided to make this cake at last, I realized, for the first time in my entire life probably, that I had no tomato soup in my pantry.

So I threw the kids in the car and drove to Wal-Mart for a can of tomato soup.

Anyway, the cake. The. Cake. The cake was fantastic. Possibly a new favorite for me. If you like carrot cake or spice cake, or even if you just like cream cheese frosting, then you must throw this beauty together. It is a gorgeous orangey-brown color, just a little more orange than a carrot cake, and you would never know there is tomato soup in it! It made my whole house smell like Autumn.

Warning: this cake is very dense and heavy so I recommend making it when you have company over. Because although it is delicious, I think I have gained five pounds since making it!

Our cake looks very sloppy because I was in such a hurry to eat it! I cut off two big pieces for the kids and gave them each a bowl of frosting so they could frost their own cake before eating it. Then I used my rubber spatula to literally just dump the rest of the frosting on the cake and quickly smear it around. But it was so freakin' delicious I don't care if it looks like a hot mess!

Tomato Soup Cake

3/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (10.75 ounce) can tomato soup
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt or tube pan.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, combine tomato soup, water and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture alternately with the flour mixture. Stir in the raisins and nuts.

Pour batter into pan. Bake 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.


Quinn said...

Actually, the cake goes farther back than my mother. She got it from her mother. Love, LOVE that cake!


Olivia said...


Anonymous said...

Erin, If you ever want to really, really impress your father-in-law, bake him this cake. His mother always made this for him on his birthday.

Where's Weber said...

sounds weird and totally interesting. i'm going to try it!

Roxanna said...

That sounds great I am going to have to try and make that!