Holiday Sugar Dusted Tomato Spice Cake - Extra Moist and Delicious!
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!
Reynoldsburg: "Birthplace of the Tomato"
- 2011 Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival
This Ohio community did not invent the tomato, but it brought the tomato into popularity and wide use in Ohio.
Some East/Southeastern Ohio Points For Tomato Spice Cake
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.
Safe Food Colors
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.