Introduction: How to Make Tomato Soup Cake

This recipe has been in my family long enough for my grandma to forget who or where she originally got it from, but many variations of the recipe can be found online and it is originally a recipe that came about during the Depression Era. Innovative uses for strange ingredients are a common theme among depression era recipes, as women had to make due with what they had in their kitchen at the time, often using cheap and shelf stable products in place of what they couldn't get their hands on. Despite the name, this cake tastes nothing like tomato soup and can be compared more to a spice cake or gingerbread instead. My grandma's recipe is less sweet and more bread like than many online variations because we prefer to have it with coffee or tea for breakfast, rather than a dessert.



  • A bundt cake or loaf pan
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Liquid measuring cups
  • Mixing Spatula
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl


  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Can Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

Step 1: Soften the Raisins

First begin by preheating your oven to convection bake 350° so it will have time to heat up while you prepare the cake. The raisins in this recipe play a large part in giving the cake it's sugar content, which is why they aren't optional. This is also why they first need to be softened, otherwise the resulting cake will be dry and much less sweet. Put 1 cup of raisins in a saucepan and add water until level. Heat this on the stove at med/high heat and wait for the water to start coming to a boil. Once it begins to boil turn the heat to med/low and cover the pan, allowing for it to simmer covered for around 5 minutes. Once they have simmered for 5 minutes turn off the heat and set aside pan to cool.

Step 2: Measuring and Combining Dry Ingredients

In a bowl, use dry measuring cups and combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Make sure that the measurements are level and accurate, as the spices in this recipe can be easily thrown out of balance. Gently mix dry ingredients to combine and set aside.

Step 3: Measuring and Combining Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, add two large eggs and 1 cup sugar, mixing to combine until smooth. Then, add in one can of condensed tomato soup and 2 tablespoons of melted butter, mixing until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Step 4: Combining Wet and Dry Ingredients

Begin by gradually pouring the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, making sure to mix as you go. Once all of the dry ingredients are added in, mix until smooth.

Step 5: Add Baking Soda Mixture and Raisins

Once the batter is mixed, in a separate bowl combine

  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Gently mix to combine. You'll notice that a small chemical reaction happens when these ingredients are combined, and it will briefly foam up. Adding this into the mixture towards the end will help encourage a bit more airiness to the cake as it bakes, which is helpful for a batter this dense.

Lastly, drain the softened raisins and add them along with your baking soda mixture into the batter and use your spatula to give it a final thorough mixing.

Step 6: Bake at 350°

Grease the baking pan with butter or oil to prevent sticking, and pour in the tomato soup cake mixture. Make sure the batter is relatively level, otherwise it will retain some unevenness while baking. Bake at 350° for around 35 minutes, or if you are not using convection bake around 40 minutes. Once it's done baking let it cool and rest in the pan for around a half hour to an hour to allow for easier removal. This cake is good on it's own, or with some butter or powdered sugar on top.