Tomato Cake Experiment

Over the summer I read a lot of articles in the Globe and Mail’s Food section, and one day I came across an article claiming that tomatoes are delicious in desserts. Ever since, I have been curious about how a tomato cake would taste, and today at work I had time to bake something new. January is a bit of a slow month for bakeries, and at  Life of Pie we have the opportunity to explore with recipes if we have time. I found the recipe for tomato cake from from 



1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons shortening

2 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 can tomato soup

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cloves

1 cup raisins

1 cup nuts (I used chopped pecans)

Cream together the sugar, shortening, eggs, baking powder, and flour. Mix baking soda with tomato soup and add to mixture. Mix in spices, raisins and nuts. Pour into a square baking tray and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. My cake was done in 15 minutes, probably because I used a large baking pan.

I iced the cake with a brown sugar icing. I mixed 3 tablespoons of milk, 3 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 1 1/2 cups icing sugar. Ice the cake when it has cooled down, and cut into squares.

In all, the cake tasted good. The tomato soup made it quite moist, and the flavours went well together. To be honest though, I think I had built it up in my mind and was expecting something ridiculously delicious. This recipe uses a can of tomato soup, so perhaps the outcome would be different using fresh tomatoes. I also think the cake could have used some salt – when cooking, my stepdad always tells me how much tomatoes need salt – and I was surprised that the recipe I found did not call for any. The cake was a teensy bit bland, and perhaps a 1/4-1/2 tsp of salt is all it would have needed to have more flavour. I also would have liked the cake better without raisins.

The verdict: this will not be the last time I bake with tomatoes – there is a lot more exploring to be done! Perhaps next, some tomato ice cream? In the mean time, if you happen to be in Ottawa and happen to be near old Ottawa south, stop by Life of Pie for a slice of tomato cake!