A Southern Grace: tommy toes

July 12, 2014

tommy toes


Oh, the fun you can have with a can of tomato soup!

The first time I heard of cake being made using tomato soup, I was shocked and appalled. In my mind, that sounded even worse than adding mayonnaise to a batter! I can honestly say, though, that the final product isn’t the least bit offensive. Nope, it’s delicious. Cake made with tomato soup is so good, in fact, that I ended up making two.

The first recipe I tried was for a spice cake, which is something I know I love when it’s tomato-soup-free. Would I like this version as much? Well, while you can still detect the scent of tomato soup in the batter, the qualities seem to dissipate once the cake is baked. The result is basically a super-moist, richly-colored spice cake.

The second cake I tried was a chocolate cake that I spruced up with cherries and chocolate chips and baked in a bundt pan. Again, all you can really taste is chocolate; the tomato soup adds nothing but moistness. No complaints here!

This, my dear readers, is a chocolate cherry bundt butt.

I can almost guarantee that someone who has never knowingly had a cake made using tomato soup will not be able to identify the secret ingredient. In fact, the classic tomato soup cake is often called “Mystery Cake” or “Conversation Cake,” and rightly so.

Chocolate Cherry Bundt Cake
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup tomato soup
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour (or 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour), sifted
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 ounces butter (1/2 cup), at room temperature
  • 1 cup cherries, chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan very well, then tap cocoa powder around until all the surfaces are covered.
In a medium bowl, whisk the cocoa, tomato soup, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda on low speed for 30 seconds.
Add the butter and half the cocoa mixture; mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened.
Raise the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the remaining cocoa mixture in two parts and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Fold in the cherries and chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, being sure to press the thick and fluffy batter against the sides of the pan, and smooth the surfaces evenly with a small offset spatula.
Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center.
Leave the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert it onto a plate to cool completely.

Secret Spice Cupcakes
Makes 24 cupcakes or 2 9-inch rounds
  • 2-¼ cups cake flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1-⅓ cups sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • ½ cup shortening or butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup water
  • Cream cheese frosting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Generously grease and flour two round 8- or 9-inch layer pans or a 13×9-inch pan, or line two muffin pans with paper cups.
Measure and sift dry ingredients into large bowl.
Add soup and shortening. Beat at low to medium speed for 2 minutes.
Add eggs and water; beat 2 minutes more, scraping bowl frequently.
Divide batter equally between two pans or 24 cups, or if using one pan, spread the batter evenly.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes for full cakes, 20 to 25 minutes for cupcakes.
Let stand 10 minutes; remove. Cool.
Frost with butter cream or cream cheese frosting.


Katerina said...

Tomato soup in a cake!!!! I am so much impressed! They look absolutely mouthwatering! I should give this a try!

Joanne said...

I'll be honest, I have used mayo in a batter (even though I dry heaved the entire time I was mixing it in), but it really did make for some moist cupcakes in the end! I must try this tomato soup in cake business. On the to-do list!

lisa is cooking said...

I've curious about tomato soup cakes for ages, and I've never tasted one! This needs to change right away.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I've definitely heard of mayonnaise in chocolate cake but this is the first time I've heard of tomato soup! Very interesting!

Erica said...

This is very interesting, but I would love to try it, Grace!

I Wilkerson said...

Ooooo, spice cake is even on my list! Would this mean I could count it as a vegetable?

Caroline Taylor said...

This sounds really interesting, would never have thought of it!

Marjie said...

I made a chocolate cake with pureed tomatoes, and it was terrific! I'm sure this is great, too; just don't tell picky eaters what went into your cake.

Gloria Baker said...

Grace love this! Look absolutely amazing!!and never can image wiyh puree tomato! Amazing and yumm!

Barbara said...

Well Grace, that's fascinating. Would never have tried it, but after reading this, tomato soup must work something like sour cream. What I can't figure out is why you can't taste it. Really a must try...kudos for trying it first! I trust your taste buds!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe when I made one I tried to get people to guess what was in it but they couldn't! It's so hard to tell that it is in it :D

Carolyn Jung said...

A moist cake is always appreciated -- no matter what secret ingredient you have to use to get that sublime texture. ;)

Helene Peloquin said...

I have never baked with a cream of tomato soup but might try the Secret Spice Cupcakes. That must be so moist and delicious!

Tania @My Kitchen Stories said...

I've tried the chocolate cake but those spice cakes look really good