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Tomato Soup Cake

One morning, my mom and I were talking about Depression-era meals (as one does), and she mentioned this Campbell's Tomato Soup cake. I was intrigued, so I looked into it. Since this soup is sugary, tart, and has stabilizers and emulsifiers in it, women in the Depression would combine a can of tomato soup with a package of spice cake mix for a cheap and easy cake! This cake is surprisingly tasty, and the sweet buttercream doesn't hurt it either!

Tomato Soup Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (available at most grocery stores! If you don't have it, though, substitute for an extra 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cardamom)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 neutral oil (like canola)

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) Campbell's Tomato Soup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 degrees Celsius. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and line with parchment. Click here to see how to line a round cake pan!

  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, Pumpkin Pie Spice (or cardamom), and nutmeg. Then, make a well in the center and add in the water, oil, beaten egg, vanilla, and the star of our show, the can of tomato soup! Mix well to combine, then pour into the cake pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely. 

  3. While the cake cools, go ahead and whip up Sweet Buttercream Frosting! 

  4. Time to make a crumb coat! Use an offset spatula to spread a thin, even layer of white frosting over the cake. It's okay if some cake is still poking through. Chill in the fridge at least 30 minutes.

  5. Use an offset spatula to frost the sides in with white buttercream. Then, frost half the top red and the other half white. Use the yellow frosting to make a circle in the middle of the cake. Use the white frosting to ice the word "Campbell's" into the red part. Finally, use black writing gel (or black frosting) to write "Tomato Soup" in the bottom white portion of the cake. 

  6. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve. This cake is sweet, moist, and utterly not tomato-like! 

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You can decorate however you like, but we went with the design of a Campbell's Tomato Soup can! Very meta.

Sweet Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided

  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened salted butter

  • 1 to 2 tablespoon milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instruction

  1. In a stand mixer base or a large bowl, combine the butter, 2 cups of the powdered sugar, the milk, and the vanilla. Use a whisk attachment or a hand mixer to beat until well combined.

  2. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and add in the remaining powdered sugar. Add the powdered sugar in stages helps prevent it from puffing everywhere when you turn the mixer on. Beat together on high speed for 1-2 minutes.

  3. To decorate like we did: color 2 tablespoons of the frosting dark yellow. Divide the rest in half. Color one half red, and leave the remaining white.

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