Secret Ingredient Chocolate Cake
A chocolate version of the classic "secret ingredient" tomato soup cake.
- 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 1 10.5- oz can condensed tomato soup
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
- 2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a standard Bundt pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and soup and beat until smooth.
In medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and stream them into the soup mixture while the beater is running until a thick, glossy batter forms. Scrape into prepared pan.
Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted towards the center of the cake come back virtually dry.
Cool on wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, unmold and cool completely on wire rack.
Add a simple glaze--whisk together 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon cocoa and drizzle it over the cooled cake.
This year for our annual New Year’s Eve movie marathon we decided to do end of the world movies and make food using primarily shelf-stable and long-lasting ingredients.
I had heard of a spice cake made with condensed tomato soup over the years and was always intrigued but never quite enough to make it myself. I don’t love spice cake in general and a lot of versions had dried fruit or nuts, two other things that aren’t my favorites in a cake. Still, I kept the idea and would bookmark mentions of the cake over the years. This post
by the Campbell’s company which made the soup reveals that the original tomato soup dessert nearly 100 years ago was a secret ingredient steamed pudding
! Very interesting. Steamed puddings never really reached the popularity they’ve had over the years in the UK so I wasn’t surprised that by the 1940s the dessert had evolved into a cake. In 1960 it became the first recipe to appear on a soup can label. I don’t think it ever really was a popular cake exactly but it certainly wasn’t unheard of!
My love of secret ingredient recipes and retro cooking really come together in this cake so I did feel strongly that one day I had to make this cake. In the late spring, I picked up a few cans of soup but didn’t get up the nerve until now. What better excuse than my apocalypse-themed New Year’s Eve? I was still stuck on it being a spice cake which didn’t excite me at all. Then I realized that I was in control here and I could make whatever I want. I quickly switched gears and got to work on a moist, chocolate cake that I’d actually want to eat. No fruit, no nuts, no regret that it’s not chocolate.
How does it taste? That’s the big question. Surprisingly, not a lot like tomatoes. I was a little worried because the cake didn’t have the spices of the traditional version to cover up the tomato flavor. It really tasted just like a regular chocolate cake but with a something that you can’t quite put your finger on–a slightly savory note. I don’t know if I’d ever think it was tomato soup but there is a slight hint of something to the cake that is unusual. If you’d like, you could glaze it with 1/2 cup of buttermilk, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, and 1 tablespoon cocoa to further sweeten it–the cake is chocolatey and has a tang of buttermilk but it isn’t terribly sweet.