A Sparkling Vintage Life

Who doesn’t love a hot bowl of tomato soup accompanied by a grilled cheese sandwich? That’s been the perfect cold-weather lunch since forever, it seems. But tomato soup in a cake?

It does sound a little off-putting, but Tomato Soup Cake, dating from the early 1900s, is one of those simple recipes that can get you by with little more than whatever is already sitting on your pantry shelf. With no eggs or butter, it’s also pretty economical. The finished result tastes like a spice cake. It certainly doesn’t scream “tomato soup.” In fact, your friends might not even know that it’s in there, unless you tell them. Here’s a recipe from the 1930s:

Tomato Soup Cake

2 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 can tomato soup
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup raisins (optional)

Sift dry ingredients 3 times. Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add dry ingredients and soup alternately. Stir in nuts and raisins. Mix all by hand. Put in greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes at 350 degrees F. Best if you let stand 24 hours before cutting.

Optional Cream Cheese Icing:

3 oz. cream cheese
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together. Spread on cooled cake.