Tomato Spice Cake (June 19, 1935)

This story originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune on June 19, 1935.

Nothing like a good spice cake. Come in the summer, for hastily planned picnics and emergency refreshments. Better than any other cake. It stays moist and cool – a quality that makes it dear to showy hostesses “who like to have something in the house”.

A long time ago we printed a recipe for such a moist and spicy cake based on tomato soup. However, we’d like to give another one now, either to remind you of the idea, if you’ve tried it, or to stimulate you if your innate conservatism has strayed away from thoughts of the soup in the cake.

Never would the unconscious feast guess that this cake contained tomato soup – and in such generous quantities! It has a rich warmth of color and an unusual richness of flavor, but there’s really no tomato taste or aroma to it. But that’s enough to talk about. Here’s how it’s done – give it a try and convince yourself if you need convincing:

The recipe makes two rather small layers or a generous pan of dripping cake. Frost with caramel icing or uncooked powdered brown sugar icing.


  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 cup canned tomato soup
  • 1/4 cup the water
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon a soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup nut
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  1. Cream butter, add sugar and cream until fluffy.
  2. To add well-beaten egg and continue beating. Then add the tomato soup and water mixture, alternating in thirds with the sifted dry ingredients.
  3. To beat well, stir in the nuts and raisins (some of the flour can be reserved for flouring if that’s your usual custom), and bake at 375 degrees. (Editor’s note: The original recipe didn’t include a suggested cooking time, but 15-20 minutes is suggested.)

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