Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tomato Soup Cake

Soup Can by Andy Warhol
(a favorite of mine)
It was a dreary rainy day
in Phoenix yesterday, so
naturally the dudes and I
went for a two hour hike in
Papago Park.
We missed most of the rain but
there was a chill in the air and
the sky stayed gray. We loved it!
Yes, it is possible to get tired of
sunshine so we really try to enjoy
the gloom on the rare days that we
get it.
After our hike, we required cake
and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate
was easy (thank you, Swiss Miss).

But for the cake I wanted something a little more dense than the usual,
so we brought out Gram's recipe box and searched for the recipe my
mother had recently told me about: Tomato Soup Cake. It just begs to be
given a test drive, doesn't it?


1/3 cup oleo
(had to call Mom on that one -- I'd forgotten what oleo was)
(I used 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened, instead)
1 cup sugar

1 egg
1 tspn ground cinnamon

1/2 tspn ground cloves
1/2 tspn nutmeg
1 can condensed tomato
soup (10.75 oz)

1 tspn baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup raisins
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 9 baking dish.
Mix tomato soup and baking soda (it will foam a bit) and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until
fluffy then add egg, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Alternately
add the soup and flour to the large mixing bowl. Lastly, mix in

raisins. Pour into baking dish and bake for 50 - 55 minutes.
Let cool and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

Well, after dubious looks from the dudes and the Hub, I am
happy to report that this cake is delicious. It's a little heavier
than regular cake, but it's moist and has just the right amount of
spice. If you didn't know tomato soup was in there, you'd never
guess. Two oven mitts up, Gram! Next time I want to try it in
the form of cupcakes with cream cheese frosting!!! YUM!

The winner of our Cookie Cutter contest is Danica Rice!
Congrats, Danica! Good luck with the shamrock!

Yippee! I just got word that Sprinkle with Murder is ranked 9th on Barnes and Noble's mass market mystery bestseller list. Let's celebrate and give away some cupcakes! If you’d like to win cupcakes from Crumbs Bake Shop, send us an e-mail at or a comment with your idea of the wackiest cupcake ingredients you can think of.

Thanks to everyone who came to Saturday's signing at the Poisoned Pen and enjoyed some Lulu's Cupcakes! Murder and cupcakes -- what's not to love? Here are some pics my father-in-law (Robert Orf) took. He's a wonderful photographer! Thanks, Dad!

Jenn McKinlay



Lucy Lawrence



  1. Besides Fine Artists, Andy Warhol has inspired me, too. "My Life Runs on Food" posted a recipe in tribute to the Canned Cream of Mushroom soup.

  2. Tomato soup and cake are not two things I would have ever put together. You make it sounds good. This will be a good recipe to make, let people eat and then tell them what's in the cake. Can't wait to try it.

    Congratulations on Sprinkle with Murder being ranked #9. In no time, it'll be #1.

  3. I have heard of this before, but I've never tasted it. I do know my grandmother used cooked, mashed prunes in a chocolate cake recipe she had. I think the prunes were a substitute for shortening. I don't think she used enough to cause any unfortunate digestive repercussions. :)

  4. Congratulations, Jenn! And thanks for sharing your pictures from your appearance--it looks like everyone had a great time!

    This cake looks really easy and good...two things I'm always looking for. Thanks for the recipe!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  5. I love in store appearances! I met the owner of the bookstore here in the Virgin islands... He would love to have you (no expenses covered though).

  6. What a nice signing! Obviously, if you feed them, they will come.

  7. Congrats on the #9 spot, Jenn!! Excellent news! And this recipe sounds wonderful. I think the thing I don't like about most cakes is that they're wimpy. I like dense - like pound cake and carrot cake. This one sounds like something I'd enjoy. Thanks!


  8. MK Fisher offered a similar recipe in How to Cook a Wolf. It seems to be one of those imaginative recipes from WWII cooks who were not going to be defeated by rationing.

    congrats on the book rise!

  9. Tomato soup and cake. Wow, what a combo. Makes me think carrot cake. Congrats on all your success!! ~ Avery

  10. Jenn, congratulations on making the B&N list! I can't say I'm surprised -- Sprinkle with Murder is a fun mystery.

    I'm going to dub you the odd ingredient cake baker! First red wine, now tomato soup. ; ) It's interesting how many unusual ingredients disappear in cakes but give them wonderful texture.

    And Dave, we're packing right now.

    ~ Krista

  11. Thanks, everyone. It has been a wacky week, fo' sho! I did make people at work guess what the mystery ingredient was -- it was a stumper!

  12. We're on the same wavelength; I was just looking at that recipe several days ago. This is a cake my mom used to make; unusual and totally appreciated by us. Good to see the recipe posted. I'm going to have to make it now that I've seen it here. Must be a divine hint!