My Mom has been making this cake forever! She often made it for company or to take to a party and she says she usually never told anyone that it was called a ‘Tomato Soup Cake’ because that turned everyone off. She would just say it was a spice cake. However, in the end, everyone always loved it.
She made it when I was home in the summer time so I took a few photos and she said that I could share!
- 1/4 cup of shortening
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. of baking soda
- 3/4 cups of white sugar
- 1 can of tomato soup
- 1/4 tsp. of salt
- 1/4 cup of raisins – mixed into a bit of the flour
- 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. of cloves
- 1/2 tsp. of nutmeg
- 1- 1/2 cups of cake and pastry flour
- Cream the shortening and sugar together and beat in the egg.
- Sift the flour and measure. Add all of the dry ingredients to the flour and sift again.
- Stir in the raisins.
- Alternate adding the flour and the soup to the wet mixture.
- Bake a 350′ for approximately 30 –40 minutes in a greased square pan.
My Mom always ices the cake with a homemade white buttercream icing.
I have never made this cake myself and as I type up the recipe, I am wondering about some of the “old fashioned” steps. I always remember my Mom baking and sifting the flour with her old sifter, but I never do that!! I don’t even own a sifter! Do they still make them? I also know that she buys cake and pastry flour for baking cakes which is something else I do not do.
It gets me wondering whether these steps are still important.
I looked up the differences in the flour and here is what I found out;
All-purpose flour has a 10-12% protein content and is made from a blend of hard and soft wheat flours. It can be bleached or unbleached which are interchangeable. However, Southern brands of bleached all-purpose flour have a lower protein content (8%) as they are made from a soft winter wheat. All-purpose flour can vary in its protein content not only by brand but also regionally. The same brand can have different protein contents depending on what area of the country in the United States you are buying it. Good for making cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries.
Cake flour has a 6-8% protein content and is made from soft wheat flour. It is chlorinated to further break down the strength of the gluten and is smooth and velvety in texture. Good for making cakes (especially white cakes and biscuits) and cookies where a tender and delicate texture is desired. To substitute cake flour for all-purpose flour use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour. Make your own – one cup sifted cake flour can be substituted with 3/4 cup (84 grams) sifted bleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch.
Pastry flour is similar to cake flour, although it has not been chlorinated, with an 8-10% protein content and is made from soft wheat flour. It is soft and ivory in color. Can find it in health food stores or through mail order catalogs. To make two cups of pastry flour, combine 1 1/3 cups (185 grams) all-purpose flour with 2/3 cup (90 grams) cake flour. Good for making pastry, pies and cookies.
Apparently, there is a lot to learn about flour!!
I also wondered about the shortening versus baking with butter. I hardly ever bake with shortening.
Many of my older recipes for cakes and cookies call for shortening. It seems that today’s recipes use mostly butter or margarine. Can these be substituted for shortening? What changes will I notice in taste and texture? —R.M., Wyoming, Michigan
Yes, butter or stick margarine can be substituted for shortening in equal proportions in cake and cookie recipes. Most folks prefer butter because of the wonderful flavour it imparts. However, you can expect some changes in the texture of your baked goods. Cookies made with butter will have a darker color and tend to spread out more as they bake. Using part butter and part shortening will help cookies keep their shape. Cakes made with butter can be as light and tender as those made with shortening…if the butter and sugar are creamed properly. During the creaming process, the sugar and butter are beaten together to incorporate air bubbles into the fat, which helps to make the cake texture light.
For best results, start with butter at room temperature (65°). The bowl and beaters should be cool to prevent the butter from becoming too warm as you beat it. Before you begin, it’s a good idea to rinse both the bowl and the beaters in ice water. Cream the butter and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula
Sorry, this blog has become about much more then just a yummy cake recipe. Lots to consider!! I am leaving the recipe just the way my Mom makes it and I will let you decide if you want to make any changes.
Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading!