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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

INGREDIENTS


Cake:

  • 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


Frosting:

  • 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

METHOD


Cake:

  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.


Frosting:

  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
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