Nostalgia- Tomato Soup Cake Recipe


Well, at this point it is clear that I am experiencing some symptoms of ADBBD (Attention Deficit Baking/Blogging Disorder).  I love to do both but honestly they are both a full time job, so I go back and forth depending on my circumstances at the moment.

I recently was asked to provide pastries for a new neighborhood market that is only a few blocks away from us.  It was a very exciting and fun opportunity and of course took so much of my time that blogging about my recipes took a back seat.  It was very enjoyable but after a month the market changed management and the new managers are bakers themselves. So I again have time to bake some things I have been wanting to bake and share the recipes with you.

Mother’s Day made me feel very nostalgic this year.  My amazing mom has been gone for more than 10 years now and I miss her dearly everyday.  She was my inspiration as a mom and she was an fabulous cook/baker.  When I was growing up we pretty much had a homemade meal every night and my mom held a full time job as a nurses aide outside of the home once all of us were in school.  The word amazing is not an exaggeration at all.

Well this past Friday evening I was looking through my 4 boxes of unorganized recipes to retrieve a certain one for my daughter, Alyssa, who was leaving to work back in North Dakota for the summer and I ran into this recipe for Tomato Soup Cake.  It brought back so many memories of mom baking in the kitchen and I decided that I needed to well, first of all, organize all of my recipes, and secondly and more realistically, at least go through them and find the ones from my childhood that I loved, bake them up and then share them with you guys.

Alyssa is getting married next summer so I think this will be a year filled with nostalgia, which may be reflected in my posts (I apologize in advance).

Alright, more about the recipe at hand.  Tomato Soup Cake may not sound appealing but trust me it is. I remember the intense spicy aroma and the rich, moist cake that we all looked forward to.  Do you ever have memories that you don’t know if they are real or somehow you just dreamed them up?  Well I recall mom baking this in soup cans some times.  At the last minute I decided to Google “baking in soup cans” and it really is a thing.  I did not do that but I am glad to know that I am not confabulating memories.  The one thing that really  took me by surprise is how the scent of the batter swept me back in time.  It is kind of crazy how powerful our sense of smell is to our memories.  When I was growing up we always had cans of tomato soup in the pantry because grilled cheese and tomato soup were a staple.  That is not something we make a lot of but I did make some a couple of months ago when I had a craving on a rainy day so I just happened to have a leftover can of tomato soup in the pantry and I knew that this would be my next post, but I was a little worried if it would be all I remembered it to be.

The cake did not disappoint at all!  It is fantastic and I will be making it more often.  It is definately the best spice cake I have had since I was a little girl and I love the rich reddish color that the tomato soup gives it.  The recipe itself was typed out on an old typewriter and written as most old recipes… not easy to follow with ingredients in no particular order and no pan size etc.  It also included raisins and nutmeats which I know my mom didn’t include because as a child I did not eat either of those.  A very small cream cheese frosting recipe was on the bottom of the card as well, but I don’t remember it with a frosting either.  It is that good, no need for frosting.  I think raisins and nutmeats would be a good addition though.  The only other change I made was butter for shortening, I try to avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats whenever I can so with only a few exceptions I bake with butter rather than shortening.

With no further delay, here is the recipe:

Tomato Soup Cake Recipe


  • 3/4 cup shortening (I substituted softened butter)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (10 3/4oz) tomato soup
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups (15 oz) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional:
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup nutmeats
  • For the Frosting-which you definitely don't need 🙂
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 tablespoon soft butter
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a 9X13 pan with cooking spray or shortening and flour.
  3. Cream shortening and sugar thoroughly.
  4. All eggs and beat well.
  5. Combine soup, water and baking soda in a bowl.
  6. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl.
  7. Add soup mixture and dry ingredients alternately, just mixing in after each addition (don't over mix).
  8. Stir in nutmeats and raisins if you are using them.
  9. Pour into your prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minute.
  10. For the Frosting- which you definitely don't need 🙂
  11. Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
  12. Add sugar and beat until well blended.
  13. Frost your cake.
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