Tuesday, April 4, 2017

SHHH... Sweet Spice Surprise

DS just had a birthday. As he’s about to embark on the rest of his life away from here, I relished the opportunity to make him an honest to goodness non-virtual birthday cake. Who knows when I’ll get to do it again on his actual birthday?
In years past, it was easy. The choice was always chocolate. Sometimes it was chocolate with chocolate chips and dark chocolate frosting.
“Chocolate, right? “ I said.
“No,” he said. “Not chocolate this time, and please surprise me.”
They do grow up, don’t they.
But then he added, “Make it something weird. And don’t tell me.”
A weird surprise. Okay, maybe he’s still a kid at heart.
But what should I make?
I did not want to make something weird for weird’s sake, as a sort of joke that after a brief chuckle will not be edible. Weird is one thing, but if I make a cake I want it to be good.
I remembered that years ago I made just such a cake. It was popular briefly across the land. It was good, surprisingly so. It was a spice cake made with a full can of condensed tomato soup.
It seemed a bit weird even then. But to the millennials it qualifies as uncanny, pun intended.
And so I made a Tomato Soup Spice Cake, with cream cheese frosting, and added candied angelica and cherries glace on top.

One good cake—


And one happy son—



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Condensed Tomato Soup
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 egg
  • ¼ cup water


Step 1

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9” inch baking pans.

Step 2

Stir the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Add the soup, butter, eggs and water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until blended. Increase the speed to high and beat for 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the pans.

Step 3

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack to room temperature before frosting.




  1. What an unusual cake! I can see how it would work, though, because tomatoes are sweet. I'm glad he liked it.

  2. The Prince's comment when he saw the picture of the cake was, "Yum!"

  3. Now that's a cake I'd like to try! =)

  4. Looks yummy! And does sound unusual. I'm so glad Ben was pleased. You're a wonderful mom!

  5. It is the Joy of Cooking's Mystery Cake!

    1. An adaptation of the very cake you mentioned, yup!

  6. Happy Birthday to your son. I've never heard of that cake, but it sounds delicious!

  7. That's so cute that he wanted something "weird" and fun for you to be creative. I remember this tomato soup spice cake from back in the day, my mom's generation I think. I'd like to try it! Thanks for including the recipe!

  8. Wow, this is really creative, Mirka. I've never heard of a tomato soup spice cake! I'm glad your son liked it. Happy Belated Birthday to him!

  9. Happy Birthday to your son. Looks like his cake turned out very tasty. Adding a can of tomato soup sounds a little familiar but I've never tried it--great choice!

  10. Wow! That is different. I'm always saving recipes that sound unique, but rarely end up trying them. Maybe it's because I bake pretty infrequently these days, and if I'm going to go through the trouble, I want to make sure it's something I know everyone will like. As is my habit, I will tuck this recipe away, just in case, though. Thanks, Mirka! And happy birthday to your son.