Already have an account?
Get back to the

Tomato Soup Cake Is a Real Thing That Saves Money (No Eggs Needed) and Actually Tastes Good — Here’s the Recipe

For cake and soup lovers alike.

Life is expensive. Making food at home and using up your kitchen staples can help cut down on costs — but what happens when the price of those staples suddenly skyrockets? Egg prices are high across the US right now, which makes budget-friendly cooking and baking even more difficult. But there’s some good news: You don’t have to give up making your favorite treats — like cake — just because eggs are making you shell out (get it?) more than you normally would. In fact, you probably have an unexpected egg replacement in your pantry right now: canned tomato soup. Read on to learn more about this treat’s history, and find a recipe for yummy and eggless tomato soup cake. 

What is tomato soup cake?

It’s not just a silly name — it’s really a cake made with tomato soup. And it’s been around for longer than you might think. Atlas Obscura says that tomato soup cake (also called “Mystery Cake,” which doesn’t sound at all appealing) is a variety of spice cake from the early 1900s. The first printed recipe dates back to 1922, and it catapulted to popularity during the 1930s and ’40s, when rationing due to the Great Depression made certain fresh ingredients, like eggs, harder to come by. Tomato soup was a great substitute because it’s shelf-stable and its ingredients (like pectin, fat, and starch) help keep cake moist. 

The cake’s popularity continued into the ’60s and ’70s. Bonnie McDowell of food blog Quaint Cooking notes that it was the first recipe to appear on the side of a Campbell’s Tomato Soup can, which helped boost its acclaim; it even appeared in a cookbook from the company called 100 Best Recipes in the ’70s (Buy on Amazon, $5.98). One notable baker of tomato soup cake is poet Sylvia Plath, who made it on the same day she wrote the poem “Death & Co,” according to Atlas Obscura. It was her mother’s recipe.

Wonder what this tomato soup cake actually tastes like? Well, it doesn’t taste like tomato soup! It’s sweet, moist, and delicious, according to McDowell. And while you will get a faint, sweet hint of tomato, says Taste of Home, it’s the spices — like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg — that really shine through.

How to Make Tomato Soup Cake

If you’re like me and have been avoiding eggs due to their steadily rising cost, this is the workaround you’ve been waiting for. So take a peek inside your pantry, grab a can of tomato soup, and get ready to bake. Try this recipe for WWII Era Tomato Soup Cake from Stephanie Ann Farra of food and history blog World Turn’d Upside Down.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (dissolved in the soup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1¾ cups flour

Icing Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together and add soup and dry ingredients, mixing until combined.
  3. Pour batter into greased cake pan and bake 45 minutes to 1 hour (or until toothpick inserted in middle of cake comes out clean).
  4. Mix icing ingredients and drizzle over cake.

There you have it: A moist, delicious cake with not an egg in sight. Have it for dessert, maybe after eating a grilled cheese sandwich — tomato soup’s ultimate companion — and enjoy.

More Stories

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.