Monthly Archives: September 2012

Tomato Soup Cake

Wait, wait, wait!

I swear I’m not crazy. Just bear with me  a little bit. It’s good I swear.

Honestly, if I didn’t just tell you I made a cake out of a can of tomato soup, you never would have guessed it. But you see, I’m all about honesty here. And it’s way to good not to share.

I have been  making this cake forever. I do believe it was the first cake I ever made from scratch, out of a cookbook I had been given for Christmas one year. And me, being the rotten child that I was, developed a certain smugness ( that only an 11 year old can) when it came to this cake:

Here try a piece of this delicious cake. What’s in it you say? Oh, you’ll never guess in a million years! You give up you say? Welllll….. TOMATO SOUP!

You know? Like it was boogers or slime or something equally as gross going into this cake. (Which by the way, didn’t)

And honestly, that’s how you got people to eat it. I brought it to  a church potluck one time, and my sister ( in her excitement and unfortunate attempt at shock and awe) went around telling the entire congregation that I had made tomato soup cake. That poor cake did not get touched

Many months later, I made it again, swore my siblings to secrecy in a way that only an older sibling can, and brought it to the pot luck. When people asked what kind of cake it was , I simply said a spice cake, and boy did it fly. 😉

Although I don’t remember this, Mom had to go through the same thing with us, trying to convince her very picky family to try it out, ensuring us that no, it did not taste like tomato soup, that yes it was actually good, and no, she was not lying to us. And she really was right ( although she had prior information because it used to be a cake that her mom would make all the time).

So, what I’m saying is that tomato soup in cake is good and tasty thing. Especially when you want a comforting and spicy cake, that’s slathered in cream cheese icing.

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: 

makes one 9×9 cake. Adapted from Company’s Coming: Kids Cooking  circa 1996

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can ( 10 oz) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1 pkg ( 8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 °F. Grease and flour a 9×9 square cake pan.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and  salt and set aside.
  3. In large bowl or the bowl of your mixer, beat together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Dump in the can of tomato soup and mix until it’s combined with the butter mixture.
  4. Pour in the flour mixture, stirring slowly, until it is smooth and all combined, being sure to scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack completely.
  6. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat together the cream cheese and the butter until smooth and combined.
  7. Gradually add the icing sugar to the butter mixture, beating until smooth and creamy. Stir in the grated lemon zest, then spread onto your completely cooled cake. If you find the icing a bit thin, then just stick it in the refrigerator for a bit until it firms up a bit.

– Mel


I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck, Strut Your Stuff Saturdays, and On the Menu Mondays! Click the links to check out more great recipes!

Love Bakes Good Cakes
Categories: Cake and Cupcakes | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Zucchini Cake Bars

It has been feeling like fall around here.

I know technically there are still a few days left of summer. But I really think Mother Nature has other ideas. Leaves are changing and falling. The dry heat of the summer has bee replaced with the cool wet that I associate with fall. It feels like fall here.

Which means we’ve been craving fall foods.  Come cooler weather, I crave the wonderful aroma of fall spices, cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger and cloves. Add a wood burning stove and it smells exactly how Gran’s kitchen would smell this time of year.

So when Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker chose zucchini and brown sugar as ingredients for this month’s Improv Challenge, I knew I wanted to do something with lots of those spices, and full of comfort.

What I came up with were these moist bars, that before they were even gone, my mom and sister were requesting again.

Zucchini  Cake Bars

makes 12 bars or 1 8×8 pan, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Ultimate Cookie Book

For the Bars:

  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed dry.
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

For the Cinnamon Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp milk to thin as needed
  1. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease and lightly flour an 8×8 in square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and spices. Set aside for later.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, melt together the butter, brown sugar and honey. Remove from heat, let cool a little, then beat in the egg and the vanilla.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just to combine. Add the shredded and squeezed dry zucchini, pecans and cinnamon chips.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and  bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about then ten minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. In a small bowl, beat together the butter, icing sugar and cinnamon, adding the milk as needed to get the right consistency. Spread the frosting onto the completely cooled bars. Cut into bars and serve.

Don’t forget to check out the other great recipes using zucchini and brown sugar!



I’ve also linked this post to The Weekend Potluck,   On the Menu Monday, and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the links to check out more great recipes!

Love Bakes Good Cakes
Categories: Bars | Tags: , , , , , | 21 Comments

Reverse Chocolate Chippers

Chocolate chip cookies.

They are my favourite cookies to make and the ones that I make the most often. Also what gets requested most often. It’s soft and chewy comfort all wrapped up in a few bites. It’s one of the first recipes I recall making from scratch, and linked to memories of eating cookie dough straight from the bowl.

This doesn’t mean, however, that I am not opposed to switching it up a bit with my cookies. And while these aren’t wildy off the beaten path, they hit the spot when dad asked me to make him some cookies with white chocolate chips. Perfect with a book, a cup of tea and a snuggly kitten. 🙂

Reverse Chocolate Chippers

makes about 2 dozen cookies ( more if you like smaller cookies)

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pkg ( about 2 cups) white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the first 4 ingredients and set aside.
  3. In another, larger, bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars, just until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet, switching to a spoon if your mixer starts to strain.  Pour in the chocolate chips, giving them a stir to distribute them throughout the dough.
  5. Using a cookie scoop ( mines about 2 tbsp) or a couple of spoons, mound the dough onto a cookie sheet, about 2 inches/ 5 cm apart. Stick them in your preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Let them cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Sometimes, you can”t beat just a little twist on a classic.



I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the link to check out more great recipes!

Categories: Cookies | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Gran’s Cabbage Rolls

In our family, birthdays=food.

Every year for my Mom’s birthday, Gran would make cabbage rolls. Every year, it was a birthday treat she looked forward to. When Gran passed away, Mom decided that they were far too much work for a meal that the rest of her family would complain about and refuse to eat. So that was then end of them for a little while. Dad would try and bring her home ones from the store every now and then, but they never compared to her moms.

About 6 years ago, when I was looking for a birthday gift to get Mom, she asked me to make her cabbage rolls, then told me how to make them. That first year was a disaster. I didn’t bake them quite long enough, made them too thick and left the rinds in the leaves. Undeterred, she asked for them the following year, and gave me a few more pointers. The following year she asked me to make a few more so she could freeze some to enjoy throughout the year. Then Mr. Ginge caught on, and started dropping not-so-subtle hints that he wanted in on the cabbage rolls too. So it’s stuck. Every year, the week of my Mom’s birthday, I pick a day and it becomes Cabbage Roll Day.

I will warn you, this truly does require a whole day, or if you aren’t up for that, then a day for rolling and a day for baking. Try and pick a cooler day because it’s hot work, and believe me, since the last week of August isn’t always cool, it’s no fun to make these when it is hotter than hell in the kitchen . As I mentioned, these freeze and reheat beautifully, and the recipe doubles, triples, or ( if you are crazy like me) quadruples wonderfully.

If you’re wondering, that makes approximately 215 cabbage rolls.

Gran’s Cabbage Rolls

makes enough to feed an army.

  • 1 – 2 large green cabbages.
  • 2 lbs ( about 1 kg) of ground meat. Half beef and half chicken is our favourite.
  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 tsp each  salt and pepper
  • 1 1.36 L (46 oz)  can of tomato juice
  1. Find the biggest pot you own, and fill it with water ( I use my canning pot). Peel the outer, rubbery leaves off your cabbage. Remove the core. I do this by carefully slicing diagonally around the core, three times. This makes a triangle around the hard core, which you then should just be able to yank out. Set the pot on the stove, dunk your cabbage into it, cover and let boil. Yes, boiled cabbage will stink up your house, and every member of your family will complain about it,  but it is a necessary step.  You will want to boil the cabbage until the leaves are tender and the leaves have become translucent.
  2. While your cabbage boils and smellifies your house, combine the meat, rice, salt and pepper. Smoosh it all together with your hands or a wooden spoon, then set it aside. This will help soften the rice a little bit before it gets baked.
  3. The outer leaves of the cabbage so cook first, and should peel away from the cabbage easily with some tongs ( if they haven’t already floated off) If they won’t peel away, then carefully lift the cabbage out of the water with a couple of big serving spoons into a big bowl, then carefully peel away the leaves, cutting away some of the core if necessary. When they are still hot, but cool enough to handle, cut away the tough rib. For the larger, outer ribs, cut the leaves in half.
  4. Scoop out 2-3 tablespoons (or larger if desired) of the meat mixture and roll into a thin sausage  shape. Place in on the boiled cabbage leaf, fold both sides over to cover then roll. Place seam side down and pack tightly in a roasting pan (see below), then continue with the remaining leaves, peeling from the cabbage as necessary. If you are finding that the leaves are getting too small or hard to roll, discard the remaining cabbage, and boil a second as above.
  5. When all of the meat mixture has been used up, heat the oven to 300° F. Pour the tomato juice over the cabbage rolls, just enough to barely cover the top, otherwise it tends to boil over and is murder to clean out of your oven. The juice will thicken up and create a lovely rich sauce.
  6. Cover them with the lid, then pop them in your oven for 6 hours, making sure to check them every 2 to top up the tomato juice.  In the last half an hour remove the lid to brown the tops a bit.

Slow Cooker Alternative

  1. Prepare the rolls as above. Pour a little of the tomato juice into the bowl of your slow cooker, then pack in the prepare rolls.
  2. Pour the remaining tomato juice over top, then cook on high for 8 hours. These cabbage rolls will be a lot lighter and will have a much runnier sauce.

Serve with some crusty bread and butter


P.S. Please excuse the  terrible photos.


I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck , On the Menu Monday,and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays ! Click the link for more great recipes!

Categories: Main Dishes | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Create a free website or blog at