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Holiday Sugar Dusted Tomato Spice Cake - Extra Moist and Delicious!

Updated on February 11, 2013

Fruits and Vegetables Make Great Cakes


Tomatoes in Autumn and Winter

I was reading mljdgulley354's Hub about her first gardening experiences and green tomato recipes that include a delicious bread at My First Garden and Green Tomato Bread. It reminded me of Eastern and Southeastern Ohio farms, their produce gardens, and how farm families have been using fruits and vegetables in breads and cakes there for at least 200 years. Actually, probably since the days of the Ohio Territory before we became a state in 1803. The air as clean, wildlife was abundant, and the soil fertile. Johny Appleseed even came by and because of him we have even more fruit - Ohio apple varieties.

Tomatoes, also called love apples in the old days, were thought poisonous for a long time, but Reynoldsburg, east of Columbus OH on the way toward those farms I mentioned, became the Home of the Tomato in Ohio. They've a Tomato Festival there every year, complete with tomato delicacies and recipes. If you've never had tomato ice cream, you must try a little, if you attend the festival.

Farming and orcharding were incredibly hard work in the early days, but home grown foods made a good reward. The recipe below is made with tomatoes for added moisture and a bit of flavor difference, but many of these cakes use applesauce or mashed bananas instead. Conversions are listed for you if the thought of a tomato in a cake is unlikely. Thanks for reading!

Some East/Southeastern Ohio Points For Tomato Spice Cake

show route and directions
A markerReynoldsburg OH -
Reynoldsburg, OH, USA
get directions

B markerCambridge OH -
Cambridge, OH 43725, USA
get directions

C markerAthens OH -
Athens, OH, USA
get directions

Sugar Dusted Tomato Spice Cake


  • 3 Cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Cups white sugar
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1, 8-oz can of tomato sauce and 1.5 tsp baking soda [You can substitute 1 ripe mashed banana or 1/2 Cup of applesauce and just add the soda to the flour mixture].
  • 2 Whole eggs, beaten well in a small bowl
  • 3/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 1.5 Cups dark or golden raisins
  • 1/2 Cup orange juice
  • 1/4 Cup powdered sugar for dusting the top*
  • 1 Bundt pan (10 inch diameter), sprayed with cooking spray

*When some cooks did not have powdered sugar, they crushed granulated sugar on a bread board with a rolling pin.Today, you could use a blender.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, pour in tomato sauce and baking soda and stir well.
  • Using a large mixing bowl, pour in flour, sugar, baking powder, all the spices and the salt and blend well.
  • Add the tomato sauce and soda mixture, stir (there should be some foaming), and then add beaten eggs, oil, nuts, raisins, and OJ. Stir well to finish this batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake the cake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove form oven and cool the cake in its pan for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the cake out onto a serving platter and dust with powdered sugar. Some bakers use red or green powdered sugar for the holidays.**

**For colored powdered sugar, you can place the sugar into a gallon sized plastic zip lock bag or into a clean, dry glass jar with a lid, add a few drops of vegetable-based food coloring and shake the closed bag or jar to absorb the coloring evenly. It should end up as dry, colored powdered sugar.

A Version From The Great Depression and WWII


  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 Large egg, well beaten in a small bowl
  • 1 Can Campbells tomato soup. Store brands usually contain more salt, so if you use one of those, your cake may taste salty. You might find a lo-salt brand. [Don't like tomato? - Substitute 1 ripe mashed banana or 1/2 Cup of applesauce].
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup raisins, if you have them.
  • A 9" cake pan, greased with butter or sprayed with cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper cut to fit, so the cake won't stick.(During the depression, cooks dusted the pan with flour.) Spray the top of the parchment paper as well.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.
  • In a large mixing bowl,cream the butter together with the sugar.
  • Pour in the beaten egg and blend well.
  • In a small bowl, place baking soda and undiluted soup, mixing slightly, and the mixture will foam. Allow foaming to continue for 60 seconds.
  • Pour the soup into the other bowl and blend well until evenly mixed. The batter will look a bit curdled, a normal result.
  • In another clean, small bowl, place the flour, baking powder, and spices. Whisk together and add this into the tomato soup mixture.
  • With an electric beater, beat for 60 seconds on "medium" speed setting. Alternatively, use a wooden spoon vigorously for the same amount of time or until well blended.
  • Pour the batter into the cake and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife blade inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.Turn out onto a platter.
  • You can dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, or ice it with frosting, if desired.

Types of Pans

Below the first recipe above, we have a selection of very decorative Bundt pans that are good for special occasions. The recipes might also be made using individual sized Bundts. The Chicago Metallic Multi Tier, 4-cavity cake pan to the right is another twist to holiday cakes that is fun. You batter can be used to make four individual 3-tiered cakes. Dusted with powdered sugar or frosted in a number of ways, these cakes make for a different dessert experience.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I hope it turns out well for you, Kim! - There is another recipe, one that uses a can of tomato juice, but I don't have that one. This one is pretty good tasting, though.

    • Kim M Gregory profile image

      Kim Morgan Gregory 6 years ago from The Coast of The South Carolina Lowcountry

      I have GOT to try this! Very unusual...and what a conversation piece!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Green tomato pie! - I'd forgotten all about that. We've a market that sells green tomatoes; I must go get some.

      Dave - That frosting is really good on the cake.

      anglinwu - Let us know how you like it and what changes you might make!

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      Patty: Thank you for the recipe. The cake without the tomato sounds delicious and the cream cheese frosting is still a great Idea.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 6 years ago from Minnesota

      A friend of mine only uses green tomatoes to make apple pie. When I heard this, I thought it sounded icky but now I like it more than apples in apple pie. Great recipes and I bet your recipes are great too.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 6 years ago

      I've never thought of putting tomato sauce in a cake but this sure sounds interesting. I've to experiment with it . Thanks for sharing.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      If anyone is leery of tomatoes in cakes, but would like to try the recipe, divide ingredients by 4 and make a couple of cup cakes! Cream cheese frosting is good on this one, as well as a butter cream type. But I like the powdered sugar.


    • HendrikDB profile image

      HendrikDB 6 years ago

      Very interesting!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Maren Morgan M-T -- I first heard of it on a Southern Ohio farm in the late 1970s. It was easier for me to try than the calf brains!

      FloraBreenRobison - To me, it's very moist and does not taste like tomato. There's a chocolate mayonnaise cake, though, that I don't think I'd like - but then again, it would be not much different from chocolate-sour cream.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I have never heard of tomato spice cake.

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile image

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I'm sorry, Patty, but this idea of tomatoe - even though botanically it is a fruit - is not apealing to me. I will wait til a "brave" day to make a small batch of the recipe. Thanks for informing us, though. :)