Buttercup was churning away in the background, mixing the butter and sugar together. I held the can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup in my hand, opened and ready to be poured into the batter.
Was this a joke? Could this really be a cake? “I’m about to put the Tomato Soup in!” I yelled to the beau.
“Okay.” He had been leery about this ever since I started talking about it. He too thought someone was messing with my baking dreams. Really, a Tomato Soup Cake?
Holy shit, I made a Tomato Soup Cake.
I can’t even remember for sure the search term I used. I’m thinking it was ‘old fashioned cakes’. Not to sound like your great grandmother, but I’m developing a soft spot for simple cakes that have been forgotten in our past. Cakes that faded out of the spotlight when we became obsessed with applying as much fondant decorations and three inches of Duncan Hines frosting. Yes, I want to master the world of bake from scratch cake making … but I want to tap into recipes that may only live in the minds of people who are fading away.
That’s how I found the Tomato Soup Cake.
I looked through recipe after recipe trying to find the one that appealed to me the most. That’s when I found Jean at I’m Cookin’ In My Kitchen. I loved the recipe that she adapted from The Joy Of Cooking. She says this one is much like the recipe her mother used (the big differences being shortening instead of butter and the lack of eggs). I was enticed by how she added not only raisins and walnuts, but dates and apricots. I had found my recipe!
The Cake: The cake is a gorgeous orange/red color. If Martha Stewart was here, she’d say it was pret-ty. I could not find dried apricots, so compensated with more raisins and dates. My cake was still gooey at forty five minutes, so I left it in for another ten which seemed perfect for the most part. The only problem I had was the ‘ends of the loaf’ were a bit crunchy. All other slices were yummy! We microwaved ours before scarfing the slices down.
The Icing: Jean recommended dusting with powdered sugar or using a cream cheese frosting. Many recipes recommended the same frosting used for carrot cakes. I kicked these ideas around for a bit. I had almost sold myself on the sugar dusting when I found a glaze that I liked. You will want to whisk 3/4 a cup of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon or orange juice. I also added a sprinkle of the spices used in the cake into the glaze. It kicked ass.
The beau gave this one a 6.5 out of 10, but I have to tell you, this is one of my favorites thus far. There’s something about spice cakes, something about a lemon glaze, and something about the insanity of dumping a can of tomato soup into your cake.