Monday, July 30, 2012

Soup to Nuts

As part of my endeavour to make one new recipe a week, I've been trying a bunch of different things.  While I probably average that, often it's been a one day-three new recipes deal.  It's not quite my goal but it's working.  The bottom line is that I'm cooking more, period, even dragging out old favourites that have long been ignored, and that makes me happy.

I am a sucker for cake, and a fan of things I can eat with my hands, so a good snack cake is always welcome.  In flipping through old cookbooks, I have often come across the old Soup to Nuts Cake recipe which contains, as one of its ingredients, a can of condensed tomato soup.

Yes.  Soup.  When you remember that tomatoes are technically fruit, it seems far less weird.  After all, we throw veggies in cakes all the time. Carrots, zucchini, I've even heard tell of beets!  Perhaps you've heard of these cakes.  I imagine they've come from a long lost soup can label or brand-name recipe book.  The recipe is far older than I am.  As this is the summer of making new things, I decided that what has long intrigued me would be made and tasted.

Oh, the colour!  No amount of late-night, poorly lit, kitchen photography can capture that orangey-red.

The smell when mixing reminded me quite a lot of pumpkin cookies.  The spices would be mostly responsible for that, I'm sure, but even the soup helped to evoke that scent.  The batter was delicious!

Again, the camera let me down here and shows the cake as kinda saffron-y instead of more pumpkin-y hue.  Perfect with a brown sugar frosting but lovely without.  It was moist and delicious, improving in texture the next day but it didn't last much longer than that.  I'm not going to lie, I loves me some cake, people! This one did not disappoint so I'll definitely be making it again - in fact, I have since the original photos were eaten in the two weeks lost in the Great Computer Crash of Twenty Twelve.

The recipe called for walnuts but since we had pecans, I used them instead.  I prefer pecans to walnuts anyway. I skipped the currants.  I have even subbed in craisins.  I baked it in a 8x12 pan! It's a very forgiving recipe. By changing the butter to margarine, you could very easily make this cake vegan, since there are no eggs in it. I double-checked the ingredients on the soup can to be sure, so I was impressed with that, though eating vegan is always more incidental than intentional for me.  I'm little and pale so going meatless will likely never be a viable option for me, (and I believe not-so-secretly that margarine is evil) but it's nice to have recipes when inviting vegan friends for tea or taking to potlucks when you know there'll be people with dietary restrictions. Until such an occasion, I'm using butter.

Mmmmm, butter....


  1. Oh! I love that cake! We called it...Tomato Soup Cake (original, eh?)! My grandma made it all the time, and so did Mom. I have the recipe kicking around here somewhere.

    (Grandma usually made two cakes at a time - one without raisins for yours truly).

  2. It looks good. I agree... Butter all the way !

  3. I remember my aunts making this! My mother didn't make it because she never bought canned soup. I have a case of tomato soup, I got on sale the other day so now I know what one can is destined to become! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. I'm not familiar with this recipe at all. Still can't really wrap my head around Tomato Soup in a cake, but I think I'm going to try it. I love cake too and this one actually sounds rather healthy! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Admit it, you just can't follow directions.

    I can't do the vegan thing either. I tried for a week and it was the worst / longest week of my life. So basically, if it had a face, I'll eat it.

  6. Sounds really, Carly! I don't remember it being something my mom made, but maybe a new tradition needs to be started.....with butter!

  7. Testing the no reply fix! I hope! Thanks, Carly!

  8. Looks yummy. Thanks or sharing.

    I do remember, many years ago, there was a chocolate cake recipe that was made with tomato soup. It was excellent - flavorful and moist. But, somewhere along the way I can't find the recipe. Still searching.....


  9. Margarine is evil. And your cake looks delicious :)

  10. I haven't tried this recipe but have lots of those old typed pages around ! Maybe I should dig them out and see what treasures are in there.

  11. missing your blog and hope you come back soon. :)


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