Tomato soup cake

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. B. Dylan Hollis shared this sentiment as he recoiled from the sound of soup entering his batter upon making his 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, Dylan cannot tell you why it works. It is one of the unanswered questions of life. He can only tell you that it does, and you should try it.

Makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 55 minutes


For the 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 (305g) can condensed tomato soup
1 tsp baking soda

For the frosting
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


To make the cake

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a 9×5-inch (23×13-cm) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until crumbly.
In a separate bowl, combine the fl our, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
In a third bowl, combine the condensed soup and baking soda.
Working quickly, alternate adding the fl our and soup mixtures to the creamed mixture. Mix until barely combined.
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.

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

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