Are you ready to learn the strange secret ingredient behind the beautiful orangey color and amazingly soft texture of this spice cake?
Are you sure?
Are you absolute sure?
Can you handle the terrifying truth?
Are you done answering dramatic questions?
Good. Here it is:
It’s TOMATO SOUP!
No, wait come back! Don’t run away just yet! It doesn’t even remotely taste like tomatoes! The vinegar taste completely cooks out and you’re left with what’s actually a rich and delightfully soft spice cake.
That’s right, delightfully.
I too was skeptical, why would I ruin a perfectly good cake with soup? Especially soup of the tomato variety. I could have just walked away you know, but the intrigue was too strong. You’ve heard the phrase “curiosity killed the cat“? Well, it was probably because he wanted to know what this recipe was like, tried it, then died from eating so much because this cake is so marvelously tasty.
That’s right, marvelously.
Also, cats shouldn’t have cake.
This is a vintage recipe and can be found in several places on the internet, but this particular recipe comes from ChinDeep, who found it in an old cookbook. She frosts hers with a boiled caramel frosting, which I bet is simply divine. However, I knew I wanted to put candied walnuts on top of mine and I didn’t want the cake to be too sweet.
By itself, this cake is delicious. However, once you add my marshmallow cream cheese frosting, it’s as if you’ve been taken up to heaven (say hello to the curious cat while you’re up there). Then, put the walnuts on top of that and you’ve brought heaven right back down with you and put it on a plate. And I don’t know about you, but I like things that are down-right heavenly.
That’s right, down-right heavenly.
Now, if you’re too scared to make this cake, I understand. However, it is Halloween, and you’re supposed to do things that scare you. It’s in the rules. You have to try it, it’s so sinfully decadent.
That’s right, sinfully.
So, how can something be both heavenly and sinful?
I think the answer is obvious: It’s cake.
Here’s What You Need:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 can of condensed soup
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup walnuts (whole or chopped)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- drizzle of maple syrup
Here’s What You Need To Do:
- Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan by tracing the bottom onto parchment paper. Spray inside with cooking spray and cut out parchment circle. Lay the circle inside the greased pan and mist again with cooking spray. Set aside and set oven to 350 F degrees.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, beat butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. This can be done with a stand mixer or hand-held beaters. Turn mixer to medium and slowly add the egg and soup.
- Gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until combined.
- Pour into the greased baking pan, put on center oven rack, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Do not overbake.
- After 30-35 minutes, remove cake from the oven and let it stand 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn cake out onto a wire rack and let it cool until frosting can be spread on without melting.
- While cake cools, make the frosting and nuts.
- In medium bowl, mix butter, cream cheese, and marshmallow fluff until combined.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla and stir until fully integrated.
- If frosting is too thin, add tablespoon increments of powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
- Prepare a sheet of parchment paper to dump nuts onto.
- In medium skillet, melt butter and sugar together. Once sugar has dissolved, quickly stir in syrup and add nuts.
- Stir until nuts are completely covered, then turn out onto parchment paper. Try to separate nuts or they will stick together in giant masses. Let harden for at least 5 minutes.