Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Spiced Caramel Sauce



Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Spiced Caramel Sauce

by guest blogger Amy Watson

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Not because this cake is so scary, but because you’ll want to sit and eat the whole thing in one sitting.  It’s that good.  If you haven’t heard of it before, the name alone might scare you away from making this cake.  No worries, though, because there’s nary a tomato in mind when you’re digging into this cake.  It tastes a lot like a pumpkin spice cake, since it’s chock full of cinnamon and cloves, much like a traditional spice cake.  The tomato soup does the job of keeping the cake nice and moist, while adding another layer of flavor at the same time.  One of the things we Southern cooks pride ourselves on is our ability to make something delicious out of very, very little.  The Tomato Soup Cake is a prime example.  The first recipes for Tomato Soup Cake showed up during the Great Depression, when supplies were definitely limited to say the least.  Another name for this yummy cake is Mystery Cake, because you would never guess that there’s canned soup in it, let alone tomato soup.

Little Rock is not the biggest town in around, but we are lucky enough to have a really awesome kitchen store like Eggshell Kitchen Company in the Heights.  I got this totally beautiful new bundt cake pan from them a couple of weeks ago and I’ve just been waiting for an excuse to test it out.  Pans like this are usually a nightmare to get your cake out of, but this Nordic Ware stuff is super-crazy with the nonstick awesomeness.  My cakes just popped right out of the pan.  Hardly a crumb left behind.  They rock.  Plus, this pan makes just about the most beautiful cake imaginable.  It makes you look like you’ve slaved over a hot cake for hours, when the pan really did all the work for you.  Plus, since I have a feeling I’m gonna go bundt cake crazy, I have an excuse to go get a bundt cake carrier from them, too.

Okay, so back to the recipe.  I had to update the traditional Tomato Soup cake at least a little, so I added a cream cheese filling to the cake.  It’s like a tunnel of cheesecake.  How could that be bad?  I decided to make a spiced caramel to pour over the top.  The caramel really makes this like two recipes in one because you’ll have some extra caramel sauce.  You could pour it all over each slice of cake and use it all that way.  You could also eat it over ice cream, make a milkshake, dip apples or pears in it, or just eat it with a spoon.  It’s your call.

You can get your own bundt pan just like mine at Eggshells Kitchen Company in Little Rock or you can go to their website at  Support them, because they’re awesome folks.

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Filling and Spiced Caramel Sauce

For the cake:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

One 10 ¾ oz can condensed tomato soup


For the filling:

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature

¼ cup sugar

1 T lemon juice

1 large egg


For the caramel glaze:
½ cup water

1 cup sugar

2 T light corn syrup

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

½ cup heavy cream

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cardamom


To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350˚.  Butter and flour a bundt cake pan; set aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add the egg and beat for another minute until well combined.  In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and flour.  Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the soup and beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Only mix each addition until just combined.

To make the cream cheese filling, combine all filling ingredients and beat until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

To assemble the cake, pour a generous half of the cake batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cream cheese mixture down the center of the batter, being careful not to touch the filling to the sides of the pan.  Pour the remaining cake batter over the top, covering the cream cheese mixture completely.

Bake on the center oven rack for 45-50 minutes, or until springy to the touch and a tester comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cake.  Remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the caramel drizzle.  In a medium to large saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup.  Heat the mixture on medium high without stirring.  Swirl the pan occasionally.  Heat the sugar mixture until it turns deep amber in color.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the butter and heavy cream and step back.  The mixture will bubble up and sputter angrily when you do this – don’t get splashed by the sugar napalm!   Once the bubbling has calmed down a little, stir in the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom.  Remove from heat.  Let the caramel cool while your cake is cooling.  The caramel will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.  Just heat it up a little bit to pour it over the cake just before serving.  If you are serving your cake right away, the caramel will be cool enough to be a good pouring consistency about the same time as your cake is cool.  Just move the cake onto your serving plate before pouring the caramel over the top. 

Amy Watson is a Little Rock native, wife, mother, ex-punk rocker and fashion designer.  She loves baking, especially those desserts that bring back memories of being in the kitchen with her mother and grandmothers.  Her email address and the website for her blog is

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