Tomato Soup Cake

Some New Years Tomato Soup Cake.

I have heard it said that recipes and the wonderful food dishes they create are a real and concrete way to connect past generations of ancestors to the current generation. The one dish that does that for me is Tomato Soup Cake. A quick check of the internet places the origin of this cake in the late 1920s into the early 1930s. Campbell Soup came out with a recipe in the 1940s using, of course, its own can of tomato soup. However, as far as I am concerned, it came out of the kitchen of my Grandmother Pauline Bonnett Deloria. Even today the first taste of Tomato Soup Cake transports me back to my grandmother’s kitchen in the 1960s. That alone would be enough to eat this cake, except it also tastes so good.

After I moved away from my hometown of Plattsburgh, New York my grandmother would bake the cake every time I returned for a visit. One of the best reasons for these visits home would be time spent sitting in my grandmother’s kitchen eating Tomato Soup Cake and talking away the time. How I miss that. The recipe was given to my wife, and she has carried on the tradition  of making Tomato Soup Cake. Our children have all enjoyed the cake. It has been baked for holiday celebrations and even was the cake of preference for some birthdays. I have four grandchildren two which like the cake and two who have thus far refused to try it. I still hold out hope for them. The last few years we have baked the cake for the New Year celebration both as a treat and a way for me to remember my grandmother and the sadly growing list of people who have gone. The best part is the sweet taste of the cake, just like the memories.


Original Recipe from Grandmother Deloria

2                     cups of flour

1 1/3              cups granulated sugar

4tsp               baking powder

11/2tsp            ground allspice

1tsp                 baking soda

1tsp                 ground cinnamon

1/2tsp             ground cloves

1 10 3/4 oz     tomato soup

½ cup              lard

2                      eggs

¼ cup             water

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 inch baking pan. Add the baking soda to the soup and stir and let bubble. Stir flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice cloves, and cinnamon in a large bowl to mix. Add the soup mixture, eggs, and water and beat with an electric mixer on low to blend. Increase to high speed and beat for four minuets. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes and check with a toothpick and let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes. Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Revised Recipe from Sandra Lyon Moore

1                         spice cake mix

1 10 ¾ oz           can of tomato soup

½ cup                 milk

3                        eggs

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.Mix per cake mix directions add soup with the wet ingredients. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes and check if done with a toothpick.

Also, you can add raisins and or chopped nuts to either recipe. However, it has been our preference not to add these ingredients.






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60 Responses to Tomato Soup Cake

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I appreciate the revised recipe since I don’t have any lard. I don’t remember this cake from my childhood. I certainly remember tomato aspic, a quivering jelly like ring made with the soup.

  2. I have never heard of Tomato Soup Cake. Thanks for sharing the recipe and your sweet memories of times with your Grandmother and your family.

  3. Hi Charles! It is so great to be here with you and your wonderful grandmother! I live with a baker husband and daughter, and can hardly wait to share this with them1 It is interesting! I suspect my own grandson will say something similar when he is grown, he loves to come visit because as he says “You always have cake!” Often red velvet pound cake! He loves it–and the once when he came and we had none, oh my gracious…”But…but…but… you ALWAYS HAVE CAKE!” Nice to know what great memories that can bring! Always wishing you the best, Helen

    • chmjr2 says:

      I bet from now on you always make sure you have cake on hand. Perhaps you could make him some tomato soup cake. I would advise not telling him the name until after he eats it.

  4. karen harrison says:

    I have heard of this cake but have never tried it. I am going to bake this after your article! We made a family cookbook and put all the favorite recipes from our ancestors and relatives in it one year. Thanks for the recipe and tell your wife her cousin Paul says Hello

  5. I enjoyed this so much. The cake was an enjoyment that fed your body. Your Gran’s love fed your spirit and that just shines in this posting.

  6. GP Cox says:

    I can understand the cake bringing back wonderful memories! I’ve been to your area of upstate NY, a wonderful place to grow up!
    Welcome Back!

  7. dlpedit says:

    Never heard of this one. I’ll have to pass the recipe along to my wife and have her try it.

  8. Amy says:

    I must say that when I saw the title of the post, my eyebrows lifted and my nose wrinkled! But after reading your post and the recipes, I understand better the appeal of Tomato Soup cake!

  9. nwpaintedlady says:

    What a delicious sweet post. A reminder for me of the tastes and smells from my grandmother’s kitchen ~ Sharon

  10. Peter Klopp says:

    Tomato soup cake? I still learn something new every day. I’ll pass the recipe onto my wife. Thanks!

  11. I just had a flickering jolt of a long-lost memory. My mother or older sisters must have made this type of cake, at least once. I’ll have to try it. Thanks for the recipe!!

  12. Sheryl says:

    If I saw this recipe in a cookbook, based on the name of this cake, I don’t think that I would have tried this recipe. But, based on how you describe this recipe, I may just have to give it a try. It sounds wonderful.

  13. Jessica says:

    What a special memory. Never heard of this cake but am looking forward to trying it.

  14. This is something I have to try. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  15. KerryCan says:

    Do you know, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted this kind of cake, although I remember being offered it. Like your grandkids, I was a pick eater! But I completely understand the nostalgic power of food!

  16. Valarie says:

    You shared my childhood memory!!! I was just at my cousin’s house in December and saw her mother’s cookbooks. The first question I asked was, “do you have the Campbell’s Soup Cookbook?” I want the Tomato Soup Spice Cake recipe!” I knew I could get it on the web, but I wanted to see it in the book that I remember my mom using.

    • chmjr2 says:

      Have you made tomato soup cake yourself? I am getting snowed in this weekend so perhaps I will get some of the cake, if my wife is willing to make it. Yes I can bake but it taste much better when she does.

      • Valarie says:

        Yes, but over 30 years ago! If I had a can of soup I’d try it this weekend–The snowstorm is on it’s way.

      • chmjr2 says:

        As I write this the snow is starting to fall. They say we are to get between 18 and 24 inches. It is a light snow now but should pick up to 1 / 3 inches an hour tonight. Stay warm and safe where you are. I plan to get some family history work done.

  17. Bernice says:

    Looks yummy! 💕

  18. Averyl says:

    This is a vintage cake I have not yet tried! I just checked and there are six recipes for it in one of my 1930s Maine cook books! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • chmjr2 says:

      Six? I still am willing to bet that my grandmother’s is the best. Which ever one you try let me know how it turns out.

      • Averyl says:

        I bet you’re right! I will let you know and maybe will do a blog post if it turns out ok and will of course link to your post as inspiration.

      • Averyl says:

        (I double checked and the cook book is from the 40s, not the 30s. I have numerous versions of the same cook book printed different years.)

  19. Such wonderful memories. I must admit I don’t ever remember hearing about tomato soup cake. I ate a lot of Campbell’s Tomato Soup growing up so I think I’ll have to give this a try!

  20. I used to make tomato soup cake back in the day. I’d forgotten about it!

  21. I love family stories with recipes. Recipes bind generations ❤️

  22. I made your cake today! It is delicious. Dense and very moist and the cream cheese frosting is the perfect complement. I made it according to your Grandmother’s recipe, but instead of lard, I used 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp butter. The instructions don’t say where to add in the lard/butter, but I added it in with the tomato soup mixture, eggs, and water, and after beating it all for 4 minutes, even the batter looked delicious. I will definitely make this again. I did not tell my family about the tomato soup until after they’d eaten a piece of the cake. They were very pleasantly surprised. Thanks again for sharing this! I can see why the recipe holds so many fond memories for you.

  23. Luanne says:

    Wow, what a cool recipe. When you think about it, tomato is a fruit so why we don’t use it more for baking, I don’t know!

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