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Mystery Cake (Tomato Soup Spice Cake)

Author: MaryJane Robbins

Mystery Cake (Tomato Soup Spice Cake) Recipe Mystery Cake (Tomato Soup Spice Cake) Recipe

Dating back to the 1930's, Mystery Cake was tremendously popular as it required very little butter and eggs, precious ingredients in Depression era America. The flavors in this cake are rich with no true tomato taste, just the warmth of the spices and sweetness of the raisins. This cake keeps beautifully and can be enjoyed as a snack cake with no icing needed, or iced with a simple vanilla glaze to dress it up. "This is a pleasant cake, which keeps well and puzzles people while you are cooking other things, which is always sensible and makes you feel rather noble, in itself a small but valuable pleasure." M.F.K. Fisher 1942

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
1 cake 9" round

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Spice Cake

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup (Campbell's preferred) 10 3/4 ounce size
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spritz a 9" round cake pan with cooking spray. Line with a parchment circle and spritz with spray again. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Add egg and mix well.
  2. Combine baking soda with undiluted soup in can. Let foam for 1 minute. Pour soup mixture into butter/sugar/egg and blend well. Mixture will look slightly curdled. This is normal.
  3. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and spices. Whisk well and add to tomato soup mixture. Beat together for 1 minute on medium speed. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool on wire rack and ice as desired.