tomato soup cake with boiled caramel frosting

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Spending lots of time reading and browsing vintage cookbooks, sipping iced tea, and today…a bit of pre-autumn cleaning. The temperature only needs to dip below 70 and I start thinking school shopping, autumn road trips to our favorite spot on Lake Superior’s north shore, soup, bread, nesting…nesting…nesting. Are you like this?

Anyway, I came across a very old recipe for a simple tomato soup cake with boiled caramel frosting during one of these late night recipe quests in my study. How interesting and unique! The perfect recipe to try and blog about, I thought. Oh MY. Am I ever glad I did! This is one of the best little cakes I’ve ever made. Moist, wonderful spice cake-like flavor. (No, it doesn’t taste like tomato soup.) And the frosting? Don’t even get me started. I want to marry the frosting.

for the cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 can condensed tomato soup

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and soup, and mix well. Sift the flour, soda, salt and spices into the butter mixture. Mix until smooth and everything is evenly combined. Pour into a buttered 9 x 9 square, glass baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. until a toothpick comes clean when inserted into center of cake. (About 35 minutes.) It’s important to not over-bake this cake.

for the frosting:

1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Mix well with a wire whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and allow to boil for one minute. Remove from heat and continue whisking while the frosting cools and becomes thick. (5 to 10 minutes.) Pour over cake, and working quickly, smooth over surface of cake until it drips down the sides.



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  54 comments for “tomato soup cake with boiled caramel frosting

  1. carrie
    August 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    i am totally trying this and while i will have to veganize it i think it will work. i am envisioning a rainy cool day with a cup of tea and a good book. Thanks for posting!

    • Melissa
      August 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Hello, Carrie! I’m so pleased you like the recipe! When you “veganize” it, will you please share your version with me? I’ll share it on this post so my vegetarian friends can enjoy it too! XO 🙂

  2. August 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    You grabbed my attention with this one. What a treasure. It sounds crazy and delicious. Definitely will have to give it a try. Thank you for sharing.

    • Melissa
      August 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Hi Libby! Thanks so much for stopping by and for commenting! SO pleased you like the recipe! it’s totally YUM! enjoy 😉

    • Sue
      July 30, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Going to try looks good

      • Melissa
        July 31, 2017 at 10:10 am

        enjoy! 🙂

  3. lgranados
    August 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe. While my granddaughter is visiting me we shall make it together. Will be a good memory.

    • Melissa
      August 8, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      My pleasure! enjoy, and have fun making a memory! XOXO 😉

      • Jan
        June 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

        Sounds verry sweet

  4. Shelley
    August 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Funny, the directions don’t indicate when to mix in the soup. LOL I’m a baker so it didn’t deter me. Cake is in the oven now.

    • Melissa
      August 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm

      thanks for the heads up, Shelley 🙂 I went in and fixed it. XO

      • Shelley
        August 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm

        The cake was a hit yesterday. Easy to make and easy to eat 🙂

        • Melissa
          August 12, 2013 at 6:53 pm

          so happy you enjoyed it! thanks for stopping by to let me know! 🙂

  5. eileen bowser
    August 16, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    sounds fabulous, cant wait to try

    • Melissa
      August 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      Hello, Eileen! SO pleased you like the recipe! Enjoy! 🙂

  6. lgranados
    August 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Thank you for the recipe. Will try it Monday for my granddaughter who is visiting.

    • Melissa
      August 17, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      My pleasure! Enjoy! 🙂

  7. Kathi Petti
    January 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I add raisins and nuts to my tomato soup cake, and it use a bundt pan, I usually use a cream cheese frosting, can’t wait to try this boiled one u posted !!!!!!

    • Kathi Petti
      January 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      We call it the mystery cake, no one ever guesses the tomato soup ingredient !!!!

      • Melissa
        January 23, 2014 at 4:29 pm

        Love it! What a cute name 🙂 thanks for visiting and for commenting, Kathi! xo

    • Melissa
      May 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      enjoy, Kathi! 🙂

  8. Ross Wendel
    April 6, 2014 at 7:39 am

    This cake is sooo good !!! My great aunt used to make this all the time. Thank you for finding it and to everyone …. make it , it won’t disappoint !!

    • Melissa
      April 6, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Hi Ross! Thanks for stopping by and for commenting 🙂 I’m so pleased you like the recipe. Yes, this is an “oldie” but a goodie. Enjoy! ~M

      • Sandy
        February 5, 2018 at 1:17 pm

        Melissa I made your cake. And would like to make the icing but I only buy 2% milk Will my icing still be okay 🙂 ty for your time .

        • Melissa
          February 5, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          2% should work 🙂

  9. teri
    April 17, 2014 at 11:11 am

    What ‘flavor’ does this cake have?

    • Melissa
      April 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

      Hi Teri 🙂 This cake tastes like a very rich spice cake. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

  10. carole
    May 9, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I have been looking for a recipe for Tomato Soup Cake for years!!!! I had eaten it a long, long time ago. Thank you so much.

    • Melissa
      May 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      Hi Carole! I’m so glad you like the recipe! Thanks for visiting 🙂 Enjoy!

  11. artygirl
    June 21, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    my mom made this so yummy. I want to give a try with gluten free flour to male cupcakes.
    brought memories back thanks.

  12. Lynn
    October 14, 2014 at 8:13 am

    My “Memere’ use to make this when we were kids. But she would make cream cheese icing to go with it. Amazing. Going to try it with this caramel icing. Looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Ankita
    December 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    Hey! Couldn’t find condensed tomato soup here in India! Will fresh soup work?

  14. February 23, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Gonna try this

  15. Mary
    February 23, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I remember as a child, 60 years ago,my grandmother (who emigrated from England) made this cake. Loved it then and am glad to find the recipe. Thanks for posting .

  16. February 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    I make a Caramel frosting but I use butter, white sugar, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and I add a cap full of vanilla to it!! It’s the best frosting ever! I’ve always put it over chocolate cake with holes poked in it so the hot frosting gets into the cake! My mother has made this for us growing up and since my daughter and myself have kept it up! Going to have to try on your cake recipe!

    • G. Sitzman
      May 3, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      Love Carmel frosting …would you share your recipe for your Carmel frosting…how much butter, white sugar, condensed milk, etc. ?


      • Melissa
        May 13, 2018 at 11:18 am

        The recipe for the caramel frosting is right there in the same post as the tomato soup cake 🙂

  17. Jane
    February 25, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Haven’t had this in years. Mom used to make it often but she put 1/2 cup of raisins in hers.

  18. Eileen
    February 26, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    This is my all time to die for cake. Anyone making a birthday cake for me this is it. I put raisins in mine. Love,love it.

  19. Ilse
    March 11, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    This has been my favorite cake for fifty years I never get tired of it

    • Melissa
      March 12, 2017 at 10:36 am

      My favorite too! I agree. It’s the best! 🙂 XO ~M

  20. Heather
    May 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    My Dad hated tomatoes but loved Mom’s fruit cake which had tomato soup in it as well as raisins,
    mixed glace fruit, candied red and green cherries and nuts. The recipe was very similar to yours but doubled
    to make a bigger cake. Yum Yum!

  21. Billye
    July 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Just saw this recipe, sounds very good. How long do you leave in pan, or do you pour frosting over cake in pan? How will it drip down the sides?

    • Melissa
      July 31, 2017 at 10:11 am

      You can do either, Billye. Either leave the cake in the pan and frost it, or remove it and pour the frosting over. 🙂

  22. Judy Dove
    August 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Do you think it would work with Robin Hood Gluten Free flour?

  23. January 14, 2018 at 6:40 am

    I tried this yesterday and it was a hit! Put some pecans in too, and divided the batter between two smallish cake tins.

    One small note: The icing was still very runny when pouring it on after 10 mins, and even seeped into the cake. I left half of the icing to sit for a few hours and it thickened up to a much better consistency for spreading.

    It’s also very sweet, so next time I’ll serve it with whipped cream or a low-sugar cream cheese frosting.

  24. Sandy
    February 5, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Melissa thank you so much for your Delicious recipe.. Also using 2% milk for the icing was not a problem… YUMMALLICIOUS!!!!

    • Melissa
      February 9, 2018 at 1:19 am

      Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed it! 🙂

  25. Crystal
    April 13, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    Do you know how many calories, carbs, proteins, and sugars are in here?

    • Melissa
      April 15, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      Not quite sure, but I think there are online calorie calculators. 🙂

  26. Patti
    August 14, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    I couldn’t get my icing to thicken at all. Looking at other recipes a lot of them call for powdered sugar. Is that missing from the recipe?

    • Melissa
      August 17, 2018 at 10:24 am

      The icing doesn’t get super thick like frosting… it will thicken a bit as it cooks, and after you glaze the cake it will harden after it cools. 🙂

  27. Nancy
    January 26, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Frost it while cake is just out of the oven or after it cools?

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