> Skip to content

Recipe  •  17 July 2023


Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato soup . . . as a cake? What will they think of next!

You might think something has gone terribly awry in a society when condensed tomato soup finds its way into a cake. Perhaps you think of it as an indicator of the beginning of the end, and that we should put a stop to things before it all goes to the pits. I shared this sentiment as I recoiled from the sound of soup entering my batter upon making my first Tomato Soup Cake. But the truth is, tomato soup has been the secret ingredient in countless spice cakes even before the 1950s, and the Campbells company jumped on the opportunity and began promoting recipes for soup cakes on their products. The 1950s saw the height of this tomato cake craze, and when paired with a cream cheese frosting, it is unusually and uncomfortably good. Unlike other wild, wacky, and wonderful bakes, I cannot tell you why it works. It is one of the unanswered questions of life. I can only tell you that it does, and you should try it.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes



  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 (10.75oz/305g) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 tsp baking soda


  • 3oz (85g) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 3 cups (360g) powdered sugar
  • 1oz (30g) bitter chocolate, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Grease a 9×5-inch (23×13-cm) loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until crumbly.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the fl our, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. In a third bowl, combine the condensed soup and baking soda.
  5. Working quickly, alternate adding the fl our and soup mixtures to the creamed mixture. Mix until barely combined.
  6. Turn into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center can be removed cleanly. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowlwith which an electric hand mixer is to be used, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the milk.
  2. Beat in the powdered sugar 2 tablespoons at a time, beating well.
  3. Beat in the melted chocolate, vanilla, and salt. Beat until smooth.
  4. Frost the completely cooled loaf using a spatula or a piping bag.

Feature Title

Baking Yesteryear
A decade-by-decade bakebook that highlights the best (and a few of the worst) baking recipes from the 20th century
Read more

More features

See all recipes
PB&J Cheesecake

A classic sandwich, transformed into a scrumptious cheesecake.

Food for the Gods

An unorthodox, god-like dessert popularised in the 1900s.

The best book duos to gift for Christmas 2023

Perfect book pairings to give loved ones this holiday season.

10 fun facts about B. Dylan Hollis

Learn all about TikTok sensation and cookbook author, B. Dylan Hollis.

Buddy Oliver's Greens Pasta

Try this kid-friendly recipe for greens pasta from Buddy Oliver for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. Packed with broccoli and peas and topped with a crunchy garlicky breadcrumb topping this simple dish is ready in just 20 minutes.

Rhubarb Pie

A tasty spring-time pie.

Pink Cake

Yellow cake with a watermelon-strawberry jam filling.

Quick Meatball Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

This Quick Meatball Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella is an easy, flavour-packed recipe that makes a satisfying weeknight dinner. Ready in under an hour, this speedy recipe is guaranteed to be a new family favourite.

Survival Burger

A special type of burger that is well loved by foragers, woodcutters, and adventurers of all kinds.

Cheddar Taralli

Taralli are one of the most popular crackers across Italy.

Butter Cookies

Where would an Italian cookie tray be without these?

Ciambella Della Mattina

The ciambella is a typical citrus-based breakfast cake served in the morning in bars across the country. It’s pleasantly simple, both in flavor and in effort. Because I couldn’t resist adding some American touches here, blueberries and a wildflower honey glaze bring a little extra sweet zing, making this a breakfast that straddles the best of both worlds.

Looking for more recipes?

See all recipes