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Who put tomato soup in my chocolate cake?

I can feel your crazy stares through the computer screen, and, I’ll admit, they are totally warranted. Tomato soup? In a cake? And, for the love of God, beets in frosting? Before you judge me, make this cake. It’s fluffy, soft and one of the best you’ll ever have.

Tomato soup chocolate cake with beet chocolate frosting

Seriously, it’s the best chocolate cake we’ve ever had. I know that’s crazy, but my very picky husband, who never eats sweets, ate three pieces in one sitting.

Tomato soup chocolate cake with beet chocolate frosting

The tomato soup adds such a density to each cake, giving every bite an almost dream-like texture. Paired with a gorgeous beet frosting, you’ll never want another cake again. (Just ask my husband.)

Tomato soup chocolate cake with beet chocolate frosting recipe

Recipe adapted from The Mid-Century Menu

Serves about 12


For the cake

  • 3-1/2 cups cake flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • About 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup 2 percent milk
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • About 11 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5-6 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons beet purée
  • Chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease three 9 x 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, canola oil, applesauce and tomato soup together.
  3. Whisk the milk and buttermilk together. Add the flour mixture to the tomato soup mixture, alternating with the milk mixture. Stir until mixture is fully combined. Pour the cake mix into the greased pans. If you have extra, save or discard.
  4. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until cakes spring back and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely (about an hour) before you frost them.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Add the milk, vanilla and beet purée until the mixture is fully combined. The color should be a pretty pink.
  6. Level the cakes and stack on top of each other. Frost the layers in between with the beet frosting. Then use the remaining frosting to cover the rest of the cake. Garnish the top with chocolate chips and shavings.


To make beet purée, simply add a can of drained beets to your food processor and purée until smooth.

More decadent cake recipes

Whiskey cake recipe
Cake batter brownies recipe
Giant pumpkin cinnamon roll cake

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