Tomato Soup Cake -- Easy, Vegan and Super Moist!

Tomato Soup seems like a strange addition to a cake, but tomatoes are indeed fruit and we put fruit and fruit pulps and sauces in cakes all the time and no one questions their validity if apples or peaches are used.  Tomato Soup Cake is an ancient recipe harking back to the early 20th century (that's ancient, isn't it?).  The Campbell Soup company has a webpage devoted to the history of the cake and it's evolution to the present time.  I guess the Tomato Soup Cake was a good marketing strategy for the company as they continue to promote the recipe online and in cookbooks to this day. 

When I was young I thought it the strangest cake I'd ever heard of.  Carrot, zucchini, sauerkraut (yes, sauerkraut) cakes had not been on my radar as yet, so the tomato soup was strange at the time.  But, there was nothing strange about the taste.  Oh my, what a lovely spice cake the Tomato Soup Cake makes. And this one is vegan by default as it uses oil and no eggs. 

The oil makes this a particularly moist cake which, I think, is a very desirable quality in any cake.  I've baked up the cake in both loaf and bundt forms but I'll wager it would make great cupcakes and a layer cake slathered in cream cheese frosting wouldn't be amiss. (Of course, it wouldn't be vegan with the cream cheese frosting!)  

If you've never made or tasted a Tomato Soup Cake, try it out.  You'll be pleasantly surprised how good it is!

Tomato Soup Cake
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar                                                                     
1 can tomato soup                                                                 
1 teaspoon baking soda                                                            
2 cups flour   
Pinch of salt (Only a pinch because the soup is salty.)
1 teaspoon baking powder                                                                 
1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                          
¼- ½ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup cold water

Optional Ingredients:
½ cup glacé or maraschino cherries cut in half                           
½ cup raisins
½ cup cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pan spray and line with parchment if you desire, one 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or spray or generously grease a 10-cup sized bundt or tube pan.

Cream oil and sugar together. (This won't get very creamy.) Mix baking soda with tomato soup and add to creamed mixture.  Beat well.  Sift or mix the flour, salt, baking powder and spices together and add to the tomato soup mixture alternately with the water.  Mix well but do not over beat.  If using fruit and/or nuts, dredge in the 1 tablespoon of flour and add to batter, folding gently.  

Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 45-60 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. I baked the bundt cake for 45 minutes.  The loaf pan takes longer.

Cool in pan 5 minutes.  Turn out on cake rack to cool completely before frosting.

Makes about 12-16 servings.

I glazed the bundt cake with a Browned Butter Glaze but used a vegan margarine in place of the butter to keep everything vegan.

Browned Butter Glaze
2 tablespoons butter or vegan margarine
1 cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla or maple flavouring
2+ tablespoons water or milk

In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, melt the butter/margarine until it starts to turn a golden brown.  Watch carefully that it does not burn.  Remove from heat and let cool down.  

To the cooled butter/margarine, add the icing sugar, flavouring and 1 tablespoon water or milk.  Mix well and add enough liquid to make a thick pourable glaze.  I used 2 tablespoons of water and found it to be a good consistency. 

Cream the oil and sugar together.  As you can see, this doesn't really cream.  Just mix it really, really well.
While the oil and sugar are mixing together, open a can of tomato soup and mix in the baking soda.  Mix or sift the flour, salt, baking powder and spices together.

Beat the soup, baking soda and creamed oil and sugar together.

Add the mixed flour to the soup mixture alternately with the water. 

 Mix batter well but don't over beat.  
Today I made a plain cake without any fruit or nuts.

The cake can be baked in a loaf pan or...

 ... in a bundt or tube pan.

 The cake turned out perfect.  
A well greased pan is the secret to unmoulding a perfect looking cake.

While the cake is cooling, make the glaze if you are using it.  Melt the butter or margarine until it turns a golden brown, carefully watching that the butter does not burn.

Dribble and pour the glaze over the cooled cake.  Let the glaze run down the sides.

I had some left over toasted coconut in the freezer which I sprinkled over the glaze.  It tasted really good and gave a nice little crunch when eating.

 The first slice. 

 So moist and spicy.  
Who'd a thunk a vegan cake would be so good?

Tomato Soup Cake
Is it calling out your name?



  1. FYI, neither white cane sugar or icing sugar are vegan. They are both whitened using charred animal bones. To make this recipe vegan, one would need to use unfiltered cane sugar or beet sugar.

    1. Oh, in Canada, Redpath sugar is vegan. Sorry you cannot get that in your country.

      "Is Redpath Sugar suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans? We do not use animal products or by-products in our refining process for sugar, so Redpath Sugar products are suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans."

  2. What size of bundt pan did you use?

    1. The bundt or tube pan should hold 10 cups. This will allow the cake to rise without spilling over the top. If you're not sure how much your pan holds fill it with water and measure how much it takes.

  3. Which brand of tomato soup can you use to keep it vegan?

    1. Campbell's Tomato soup is vegan as far as I know but read the ingredient list on the side of the can.

  4. My late mother and I made this off and on through my childhood and sometimes we put raisins in it

    1. Raisins really compliment the flavours of this cake. :)


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