The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Tomato Soup Cake!

Posted by in Baking, Step-by-Step Recipes

This cake recipe was submitted to Tasty Kitchen by Tanya Hollas, and the second I saw it I knew I wanted to give it a try someday.

I mean…cake? With tomato soup? How delightfully different and rebellious.

Here’s how it went down.


Here’s what you need: Tomato Soup (yes, you heard me), flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, baking soda, and golden raisins (optional!)



First thing you need to do is dump the tomato soup into a bowl. The world’s gone crazy!



Add the baking soda to the tomato soup…



And stir it to combine. It almost becomes foamy right off the bat because of the acid/baking soda mix!



In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar. There’s really not much butter in this cake, so it won’t be an overly creamy combination at this point.



Dump in the tomato soup/baking soda mixture…



And mix it together, which results in a really freaky-looking mixture.



Next, dump in the flour…



And mix it until just combined.



I took the liberty of adding in a cup of golden raisins. I thought it was the right thing to do.



Mix it together until the raisins are evenly distributed…and that’s it! This is a really simple cake—no eggs, very little butter.



Thoroughly grease a bundt pan. I sprayed the heck out of mine with baking spray—there’s nothing worse than having a cake partially stick to the pan.



Pour the batter into the bundt pan—it’s a little thick, so you’ll have to spoon it in.



Use a spoon or flat spatula to even out the surface, then pop it in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until no longer jiggly.



Pouf! There ’tis!



Isn’t the color gorgeous?



Turn it onto a cake plate or platter and let it cool completely before icing.



And speaking of icing…

I made my own, but there’s also a cream cheese icing recipe included with the tomato cake recipe. You can’t go wrong—just mix cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and good things will happen.



I did a package of cream cheese, half a stick of butter, and about a pound and a half of powdered sugar.



Mix it all together until it’s creamy and smooth.



Heap the icing on top of the cooled cake…



Smear and swipe and smooth until the cake is evenly covered.



Then cut right into it. No one’s watching!



Confession: my cake was still a tad warm when I iced it.



But when it comes to baked goods, I have a problem with patience.



Is this not gorgeous?



Is this not lovely?



Is this not tempting? Yum.

VERDICT: As I suspected it would be, the cake was really delicious. While you can still detect the tomato soup scent in the batter, once the cake is baked the tomato qualities are replaced by the spices…and it really does wind up as a richly colored spice cake. If you’re sensitive to the spices in the cake, you could easily pull back just a bit on quantities—particularly on the ground cloves—as the flavor really was powerful and strong! I loved everything about it, though, and thought the cream cheese icing was the perfect balance. Note that this cake does not contain eggs—perfect for egg-sensitive human-types.

Try it sometime soon—and this is the key: don’t tell anyone what the ingredients are until after they’ve tasted it.

That’s one of my favorite activities!


Here’s the printable recipe for the cake. Note that I substituted butter for Crisco; I think I might try shortening next time.

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Thank you, Tanya Hollas, for sharing!


Comments are closed for this recipe.

Kelly T on 7.29.2010

Made this the other night and it was very good…I found it to be more dense than regular cake. I added the raisins and just thought it screamed fall..perfect for that (or any) time of year.

Leela on 7.27.2010

Terrific, so easy to make and tastes like plum cake, I love it.

Tammy on 7.25.2010

I prefer to just put a drizzle a glaze of confectioner’s sugar, milk and a little lemon on this one, but the other’s are right — this one’s been around for over 50 years! Tastes just like spice cake to me. Always a hit, I just recommend not telling people what it is until after they’ve tasted it!

Mary Carole on 7.24.2010

This is my Grandma’s cake! Spicy & yummy. Good childhood memories. Always had lemon frosting. Yum! Don’t forget the walnuts!

cdnladiebug on 7.24.2010

I love this cake – I remember my grandma making it for us when we were little – I think I will make this for my kids :) (of course I won’t let them in on the tomato soup bit)lol!

Rebecca on 6.5.2010

AMAZING. I had never heard of this recipe before. I made it into muffins, added raisins; really dense and delicious! Added into my muffin recipe rotation.

Vivian on 5.1.2010

I’m making this for my hubby’s birthday Wednesday. Not telling him the secret ingredient till after he eats it.

Kelly Braughler on 4.30.2010

I grew up with the Tomato Soup cake!!!! My mom’s grandma taught her and my mama still makes it! It’s so yummy :)

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BookandSpoon on 4.21.2010

Made this last night and my whole family loved it. I didn’t even frost it, just dusted it with powdered sugar. Today I brought some in to work and had to make ten copies of the recipe to hand out. The only other thing I did differently was to use butter instead of shortening. Next time I think I will add nuts and currants. Delicious and SO MOIST!!

Marilyn S on 4.19.2010

I made this over the weekend and it is delicious. Definitely one to keep in mind for the Autumn months. My husband first thought it was made with pumpkin.

Kathy on 4.19.2010

I made this on Saturday, very easy and was so good! I gave some to my neighbor but didn’t tell her what was in it. Her family loved it!!! She can’t believe it had tomato soup in it!!!

DGTMT on 4.18.2010

I baked this cake for our Sunday dessert. I made it as 1/2 recipe & baked it in a 9×9 pan for about 35 minutes. I added raisins, too. Very, very good although I may reduce the cloves another time as they are very prominent in the flavor. Such fun to try something so unusual (& hubby is still non the wiser) He commented that it is a very good spice cake.

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ewolf on 4.17.2010

This just sounds gross and wrong to me!

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Chris/casavon on 4.16.2010

I have the ingredients to make this cake, and plan to do it the next time I have a family dinner, and then ask them to play the ingredients game. (People guess the ingredients for anything from salad dressing to complicated desserts!)

I was wondering if you could substitute pumpkin pie spice, and if so, how much to use?

Jessica @ The Cooking Chick on 4.15.2010

This looks even more delicious than a red velvet cake, and the ‘secret’ ingredient much more intriguing! Can’t wait to try it.

Julie =) on 4.15.2010

Tasty tasty cake! =) My Gram used to make it alot. She always added some shredded carrot as well as rasins.

Denise Rambo on 4.15.2010

My Nana made Tomato Soup Cake all the time. We prefer ours without frosting. We also add semi-sweet chocolate chips to ours. The trick to getting people to eat it is to not tell them what it is until AFTER they try it!

Jen on 4.14.2010

Wow! I must try this! It looks amazing.

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sweetebakes on 4.14.2010

definitely something im going to have to try. ha its too weird not to!

Sandy ( Your Life, Organized ) on 4.14.2010

Hmmm this is one I think I will have to try only because I have to know what it tastes like! And I can’t tell my husband what is in it! LOL
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abby on 4.14.2010

It brings back so many memories as a kid. Yes it sounds weird but it reminds me of carrot cake when I eat it with cream cheese icing.

Rebecca on 4.14.2010

Hmmm, sounds…salty. I’ve never heard of a cake recipe with so much sodium. But I trust your judgment!

Debbie on 4.14.2010

I will have to try this. Sounds like it could be as good as the Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake. This was a favorite of my children when they were growing up.

bob on 4.14.2010


bob on 4.14.2010

This Is Very GROSS!!!!

Dave G on 4.14.2010

@Bernie — put whatever spices you want — you’ll be just fine!

Dave G on 4.14.2010

I don’t understand adding baking soda to the tomato soup. When it foams up, it’s lost all its leavening capability. It makes no sense to do it that way.

Much better to add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, mix the dry with the wet, then bake it straight away.

Elaine on 4.14.2010

Wow.. it is like you channeled my grandmother. She made this all the time but it was always in a loaf pan, like her banana bread. thanks for the memories :)

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Calimom on 4.14.2010

This is just like Thundercake! I teach 2nd grade and read Thundercake by Patricia Pollacco every year.The grandma in the story makes a cake that has tomato puree in it. It is a chocolate cake and is moist and delicious!

Bibliohistoria on 4.14.2010

If we can eat a carrot cake and a pumpkin cake with no problems, then surely a tomato soup cake will be just as good?

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candela59 on 4.14.2010

I’ve been making this cake for years. It is sooooooo good. No one will ever guess what the secret ingredient is. In fact, that’s half the fun of making this. Try it…you’ll like it!

jana on 4.14.2010

my daughter has been making this cake for a yr or two; it’s a winner with her young kids, too (that should tell ya it’s good!).

Tiffany on 4.14.2010

OMG. I don’t know if anyone ever saw the soap Passions before but the mom on there used to make Tomato Soup cake all the time! It was the running joke on the show for awhile!

Kelly on 4.14.2010

My Nana used to make this cake for us when we were little. I love it!

Erin Glee on 4.14.2010

That’s what Surprise Cake is, mmmm, mmmmm good! (Sung to the tune of a certain commercial)…. : )

Jill S. on 4.14.2010

Mine is sitting in the oven as I type this. Can not wait to try it and trick the family! Since it has tomato soup in it, can I serve it at dinner and call it a meal? LOL

Angie on 4.14.2010

My mom makes this almost every Christmas when my G-parents come over. She likes to place them in muffin cups.

Heather on 4.14.2010

Have you ever chocolate cake made with saurkraut? Never would have though of putting those 2 ingredients together, but the cake was amazingly good believe it or not!

TM Sherwood on 4.14.2010

There was no mention/photo of adding the spices to the mix… I’m guessing they go in w/ the flour?

notsoblond on 4.14.2010

my mom makes a FANTASTIC tomato soup cake that is very similar to this recipe. Depending on who she is serving it to, sometimes she just calls it “spice cake” because some people (like my boys, ha!) are weird about the tomato soup part.

Samantha on 4.14.2010

There is a children’s book called “Thunder Cake” that uses tomatoes in a chocolate cake. We loved reading the book when we were little… and loved baking the cake even more! The recipe is at the end of the story!

Bernie on 4.14.2010

gee, I had guesses “prune whip” (gag) as the secret ingredient. I wonder if you could cut down the cloves (not a fan) and add some ginger. Would it screw up the
balance of spices? Anybody have any thoughts on this???

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sugarlover on 4.14.2010

I look forward to making this cake….fascinated by the fact that there are no eggs….AND is it lower fat than many other cakes – although I will prob lather on some of that yummy cream cheese frosting and that will make up for some of the lack of fat in the cake it’s self. :-)

fidgetblogs on 4.14.2010

so I was pretty much ready to say that you are 100% crazy until I saw the part about no eggs. Ive been able to convert my recipes over to being gluten free no problem, but avoiding eggs (for the sake of my nearly 2yr old) has been TOUGH. Egg yolks tend to add much richness and contribute to texture in baked goods. Now, I may have to give this a try.

A Cupcake For Moose on 4.14.2010

Sounds interesting and I bet it tastes good if you don’t think about eating tomatoes for breakfast.

Note: I didn’t MEAN to write breakfast…I meant to write dessert. Is my subconscious giving me permission to eat cake for breakfast? Woo hoo!!!!

Gorgeous shots, too!

Jessica on 4.14.2010

This is too bizarre! Looks yummy though.

Kari on 4.13.2010

That is a funny ingredient. The pictures looked like chocolate cake on my screen, but a tomato spice cake makes sense! I will give a try. Thanks for the craziness!

Jen Bradshaw on 4.13.2010

Fascenated!! This is my next book club treat – can’t wait to see their faces when I tell them what’s in it! :)

Denise on 4.13.2010

I’m gonna have to try this :) I didn’t see when you add the spices in, and I noticed someone else asked this too but didn’t see an answer. I will just add them with the flour I guess.

Liz Farrar on 4.13.2010

Have you read “Deep Dish” by Mary Kay Andrews?? There’s a recipe for Tomato Soup Chocolate Cake in the back. And her books are a juicy good time. Recommended. :)