There’s What in the Cake?

Bettcha can’t guess what’s in this cake!  A secret ingredient that provides that extra moisture.  Hint:  Theme Thursday?  Tomatoes?

A moist and flavorful apice cake.

A moist and flavorful spice cake.

Some of you may have guessed it by now, but maybe some of you have never heard of  this  recipe for Tomato Soup Cake that dates back quite a few years.  It was popular when my Mom and Dad were young, and my mother used to make it when I was growing up.  She got the recipe from my Dad’s mother.  She made it about once a year, since it was my favorite cake and I always wanted it for my birthday.  I loved it with walnuts and raisins in it and lots of cream cheese frosting.

The recipe got lost after a while, and when my children were young I wanted to make it for them, but couldn’t find the recipe.  I was thrilled to find it on a web site called Heritage Recipes.  We had a family birthday get-together last weekend, and I made this cake.  The flavor and spiciness are just as I remember.  It was like meeting an old friend again.    If you are somewhat put off by using tomato soup in a cake, I promise you will never know its there.  It just tastes like a wonderful spice cake.  You must try it.

Tomato Soup Spice Cake

Tomato Soup Spice Cake

After having written the above introduction to this recipe I found another version of it using a spice cake mix, tomato soup, eggs and water.  So that is the one I actually made since it was quick, but I am including both recipes here because I really want to save the original so it doesn’t get lost again.   You can take your pick about which one to make, the quick version was also very moist and intensely spice flavored.

TOMATO SOUP SPICE CAKE

Yield:

Ingredients:IMG_5199

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ( 10.75 ounce ) can tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch cake pan.

2.  Cream the shortening with the sugar using an electric mixer.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Stir baking soda into the tomato soup and add to shortening/sugar mixture.

3.  Whisk together dry ingredients and add to the creamed mixture.  Beat to blend well.

4.  Stir in raisins and nuts.

4.  Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350*F for 45-50 minutes, testing with a cake tester or toothpick for doneness.

5.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Quick Version:IMG_5181

  • 1 ( 18.25 oz.) box Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 ( 10.75 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350*F.  Lightly grease 2  8″  or 9″-round cake pans, or a 13 X 9″ cake pan.

Mix cake mix, soup, water and eggs as per package directions.

Mix all 4 ingredients together at medium speed.

Mix all 4 ingredients together at medium speed.

Pour into prepared pan(s), and—-

Bake  for 30 -35 minutes till it tests done with a toothpick.

IMG_5183

Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting with cream cheese frosting.

IMG_5194

IMG_5195

SOURCES:  Heritage Recipes,  and CampbellSoup.com

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Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Fresh Tomato Curry Soup

Here we are again, Theme Thursday, and the theme is still tomatoes.  Today I have a recipe for Tomato Soup with the added flavor of curry to give it a little zing.

The inspiration for this soup came in a brown paper bag,  a plain brown wrapper you might say, but there was nothing naughty inside.  No, I’m happy to tell you the bag was full of ripe tomatoes.  A friend, going away for a few days, picked all the ripe tomatoes from her garden, and brought them to me, knowing that I would make good use of them.  Such a good friend!  My creative juices started flowing and looking for recipes for tomatoes I found several for soup.  I liked something about this one, and something about that one, but not everything about any one of them.  So how did I choose which one to make?  I didn’t.  I made a merger, taking a little from here and a little from there,  and came up with this idea for a tomato soup.

Using a large onion chopped, I sautéed it in butter then added the curry powder, stirred it around for a minute or so to blend flavors, added the crushed tomatoes and chicken broth and let it simmer a while.  So simple, and yet so good.

I used 2 1/2  pounds of fresh tomatoes with skins removed, and seeds squeezed out, but the really nice thing is that you can use  canned crushed tomatoes ( 28 oz. can), and have this soup anytime you want it.  You don’t need to wait for tomato season to roll around.  I also used chicken broth, but, here too, you can make a substitution and use vegetable broth instead for a vegetarian/vegan soup.  Since I associate curry with Indian cookery, and sour cream is also widely used in Indian cookery, at serving time I swirled a little sour cream into each bowl of soup and sprinkled on chopped chives for garnish.

We enjoyed this soup totally, and along with it I made a pretty spectacular grilled cheese sandwich, using kale, caramelized onions and cheese.  Wow!!  Stop back next week when I’ll have that recipe ready for you.  For now, here’s the soup.

Rich, deep tomato flavor.  The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

Rich, deep tomato flavor. The curry is mild, but you can add more if you like.

TOMATO CURRY SOUP

Yield:   serves 6

Ingredients:

2 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

2-3 pounds tomatoes, onion, butter, chicken broth and curry seasoning.

  • 1/2 cup  ( 1 medium) onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter ( 1/2 stick)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder ( more if you like)
  • 2 – 3  pounds fresh tomatoes, skinned and seeds squeezed out, ( or use 1  28 -oz. can crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 32-oz. container chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • chopped chives for garnish

1.  Melt butter in a large sauce pan.  Sauté onion in butter until transparent.  Add in curry powder, stirring over low heat for  1 – 2 minutes to blend flavors.

2.  Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Break up tomatoes with a wooden spoon as much as possible.   Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 15 – 20 minutes.  You can smooth out the soup by pureeing in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Otherwise serve as is; it will be a little chunky.

3.  Ladle into serving bowls, swirl in 1 – 2 teaspoons sour cream.  Garnish with chopped chives.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

If you like tomato soup, you will like this.

Source:   a Carolyn Original