December 4, 2013

Christmas Recipe: Tomato Cake w/Cream Cheese Frosting @VickiBatman #RLFblog

 Great Fruitcake Bake Off 
Welcome Vicki Batman to the blog with a wonderful cake recipe that has a secret ingredient (tomato soup).
When I grew up, my mom and her family baked and crafted special things at Christmas time. Mom and our neighbor spent a whole day making divinity, and yes, it was divine. My sisters and I did Wrap-a-thon. My grandmother was known for her special dessert: Tomato Cake.
Before you get all weirdly freaked out, know this: I am/was a picky eater and I loved this cake. It does have tomato soup in it, but you know what? If you didn't know that was an ingredient, you'd love it too. There are spices, nuts, raisins, and a decadent cream cheese frosting.
This year, I wrote a hilarious holiday story entitled "The Great Fruitcake Bake-off." I do like fruitcake. There are lots of varieties, some of which don't have the candied fruit we've come to associate with the treat.
Care to be daring and try a variation on Grandmother's holiday cake?

Tomato Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Tomato Soup
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking pan. Stir the flour, sugar, baking powder, allspice, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves in a large bowl. Add the soup, shortening, eggs and water. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed just until blended. Increase the speed to high and beat for 4 minutes. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Frost with:

Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:

½ C crushed pineapple with juice
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
Beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat in the confectioners' sugar. Add the pineapple and juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the frosting is the desired consistency. Fill and frost the cake.
This version is a tad different from Grandmother's as it uses eggs and my sissie likes the Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting. Grandmother added raisins and chopped dates too.
And just to keep you hungry, here's a fun excerpt from "The Great Fruitcake Bake-off." Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Excerpt -- The Great Fruitcake Bake Off

"I am not entering this year." I pinned an unbreakable stare on Bethany, my long-time friend. We were piddling over coffee in her cubical like we always did before getting to the nuts and bolts of company business. "Period."
"Why not, Samantha? You should be proud to be the five-time winner of the Great Fruitcake Bake-off. You're a legend."
"Is being a legend in the fruitcake world a good thing? It's exhausting finding the perfect recipe, then bake and exhibit it. Besides, shouldn't somebody else win?"
Bethany's fists went to her hips. "Sam, we're talking fruitcake. It's not groundbreaking like, like the Declaration of Independence or...the Pyramids."
"I'm shocked to hear you say that. Fruitcake is the cake of all time. It dates to--"
She bobbed her head. "To the sixteenth century."
I raised my finger. "It gets a bad--"
"Rap." She sighed a soul searching blow of breath. "You always say that. You also always say you love participating; yet, you're not defending your title this year."
"I've used up all of Grammie's recipes."
"You could start over with the first confection you entered five years ago, couldn't you?"
"It seems like a weird way. And I don't cheat."
"You are a shining example of excellent values." Bethany drummed her fingers from the littlest to the index and considered. "I've got it! Why not check online and find a recipe?"
"They don't call you brainchild for nothing." I rubbed a finger along the divot below my lower lip. A tiny speck of excitement blossomed within me. "I'll need a brand new fruitcake. I wouldn't want to be like Crazy Wanda who enters the same freakin' lump of dough every freakin' year."
"It never hurts to expand your repertoire, even if it's by collecting fruitcake recipes."

Buy Links

And other e-retailers on December 6.

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of
jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general "do anything gal" at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Vicki Batman
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions, Noble Romance Publishing, Long And Short Reviews, and Museitup Publishing. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Find Me Here


  1. Mom used to make this... years and years ago. Thanks for the memory.

    1. I'd never heard of it, but now I want to try it.

  2. Hi, Lisa Day! And did you like it? Hehehe. I have to tell a Grandmother story. One year, she reached for something in the pantry automatically and added it to the cake batter. It was canned pears. You know what? It worked. thanks for posting.

    1. I had a happy accident like that yesterday making soup for dinner. Thought I had opened a can of petite diced tomatoes, but it was tomatoes with jalapenos (like Rotel). It spiced up the soup and tasted wonderful!

  3. Vicki, this sounds amazing. I suspect this isn't one of my family's Italian Traditional recipes, but eating in general is a tradition that will never go out of style. Thank you for sharing!

  4. And your book sounds like my cup of tea as well. Looking forward to checking it out. I love holiday books.

    1. Hi, Rose! It's my understanding this is an old war recipe, adapted from a time when Americans had to use their ingenuity. It truly is spicey, delicious and not a bit tomatoey. lol.

      And thank you regarding Bake-off. I had a great time writing it. Happy holidays!

    2. It must be rather like adding mayo or applesauce to get the right consistency. I have to try this cake for sure.

    3. I think you are right, Kayelle. I have my grandmother's recipe, but when it called for a can of soup--well, measurements have changed. So I got the recipe from the site which I'm sure updated theirs. Let me know what you think!


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