Mystery Spice Cake (we will frost tomorrow!)

A few weeks ago I asked for ideas … Barbara suggested a small decorated cake for 2 to 4 people.  Well, this is a one-layer 8″-9″ round cake … maybe for 4 hungry people … or cut it in half and freeze one half for later … or bake it in 2 – 6″ pans!  Spice cakes remind me of fall … after all, today is the first day of fall!

My favorite part of this cake (other than how easy it is) is to let people guess the “mystery” ingredient.  So far nobody (that I have asked) has guessed!  The “mystery”  is a can of tomato soup!!!  Yes … tomato soup … I couldn’t believe it.   I had to try it.  It definitely does not taste like tomato soup … I would not lie to you.  I don’t like tomato soup.  This recipe is very old, from the 1930’s and I found it on the King Arthur Flour website.  I do love King Arthur Flour … great products and recipes.

I baked the cake today … wrapped it in plastic wrap … put it in the freezer … and will frost it tomorrow.  I will show some very fast and easy decorating … please check back tomorrow!

Let’s get started … prepare your pan with cooking spray and parchment paper (I use unbleached paper) …

Cream butter and sugar …

Add the egg and mix well …

Bring the kids in for this … add the baking soda to the can of soup …

Watch it foam … it reminds me of a science experiment …

Add the soup mixture to the butter mixture … it will look slightly curdled …

Whisk all remaining dry ingredients …

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture …

Pour the batter into the prepared pan …

Now bake … let it cool in the pan 15 minutes … then finish cooling on a rack.  Look how clean the pan is … parchment paper is a wonderful thing …

Mystery Spice Cake

(slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour)

  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup – 10 3/4 ounce (Campbell’s preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour (or all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray an 8″ or 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray.  Line with parchment paper and spray again.  Cream butter and sugar in large bowl.  Add egg and mix well.
  2. Combine baking soda with undiluted soup in can.  Let foam for 1 minute.  Pour soup mixture into butter/sugar/egg and blend well.  Mixture will look slightly curdled.  This is normal.
  3. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and spices.  Whisk well and add to tomato soup mixture.  Beat together for 1 minute on medium speed.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Cool in pan 15 minutes.  Remove to rack and cool completely.

Remember to come back tomorrow for frosting and decorating.  We will use cream cheese frosting!!!

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2 thoughts on “Mystery Spice Cake (we will frost tomorrow!)

  1. What? Tomato soup? I don’t think so. It just sounds wrong. But knowing you, I know you wouldn’t lead us astray – it’s not like you added brocolli. It just sounds wrong – like a bacon chocolate cake!!!! But seriously, what does it taste like?


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