M-m-m Good Fruit Cake With Condensed Tomato Soup, 1951 – The Five Days of Fruit Cake

Posted on Dec 21 2013 - 5:00am by RetroRuth

Welcome to the third day of The Five Days of Fruit Cake! Today we have a fruit cake that I think everyone is just going to love.

Wait…you guys love condensed tomato soup in your fruit cakes, right?


Well, if you do, then the M-m-m Good Fruit Cake might be for you!

M-m-m Good Fruit Cake With Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2½ cups prepared mincemeat (the kind in the jar)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda and spices.
  2. Cream shortening and sugar, add mincemeat and mix thoroughly. Blend in eggs. Add flour mixture alternately with soup, stir into soup. Mix in nuts.
  3. Pour into 9½ inch tube pan. In moderate oven, 350 degrees, for 80 minutes or until done.
  4. Cool, cover with your favorite white fluffy frosting or hard sauce and serve.


M-m-m Good Fruit Cake001 Good Housekeeping Dec 1951

Not that I discount tomato soup cakes as a whole. I love the Black Magic Tomato Soup Cake and I have heard good things about the spice cake that uses tomato soup. That is the primary reason that I decided to give this a whirl. Because putting tomato soup in a cake is crazy, but there is just a chance, just a small chance, that this might turn out amazing.

If I could get over the smell.


“Why do these tomato soup cakes always smell so bad?”

“I dunno. Probably because tomato soup smells bad.”


But the batter actually came together into a lovely cake batter. It was a very much cake batter, and not a quick bread.


And it did bake up beautifully, even if it still smelled terrible.

Another fun thing about this cake is that I got to coat it with fluffy white frosting, which is unusual for an American fruit cake. But I found that fun.


I made a simple buttercream by creaming together a stick of butter and 6 cups of confectioner’s sugar, and then adding a half cup of cream and some vanilla and whipping it like crazy. This frosting tastes very similar to a cream cheese frosting except not as tangy, and I thought it would be a good match with a spicy cake.

Plus, I used it as a bribe to get Tom to eat the cake.

Tom TastesIMG_4599

“I can taste the tomato soup.”


The Verdict: Tastes Like Tomato Soup

From The Tasting Notes:

The texture of this cake was very soft and moist, which is great for a regular cake, but not for a fruit cake. We expected this cake to be more dense and spicy, which is was not. It actually was a little on the bland side, which let the tomato soup taste come through. The soup taste mellowed a bit by the second day, but the aftertaste was still there.  The cake actually tasted a bit like a carrot cake, but without any carrots and a bunch of tomato soup in it. Not really worth making in its current form, but if you want a moist fruit cake, you could add more fruit and double the spices, and it might cover up the tomato flavor.

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I love everything retro, vintage, mid-century, kitsch and all things atomic! A 21st century housewife just trying to fit in...to the 50's. I have a passion for vintage recipes and an enormous vintage cookbook collection that I keep testing, even though by now I should know better. Creator of Mid-Century Menu (www.midcenturymenu.com), No Pattern Required (www.nopatternrequired.com), and I Ate The 80's (www.iatethe80s.com).

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8 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Teri December 21, 2013 at 7:07 am - Reply

    I am a huge fan of the important work you do here. I need to tell you that although this tomato soup recipe is terrible, tomato spice cake with cream cheese frosting is delicious. Not a bit of tomato flavor. They were what my mom always made and gave away in mini loaf pans at Christmas. You MUST try one. Really.

    Thanks for all your hard work and courage!

  2. Celia December 21, 2013 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Man, I thought this one would be good for sure.

  3. Dan December 21, 2013 at 9:10 am - Reply

    I have but one hard and fast rule with regard to cakes, pastries, and sweets, namely that they not leave an aftertaste of tomato soup.

  4. Buzz December 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I’m surprised by how many of the retro recipes that call for tomato soup (or paste) are actually fairly good. However, plenty of them are still losers.

    I love the Weyland-Yutani shirt, by the way.

  5. dkzody December 21, 2013 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    All these companies had a stable of home economists who did nothing but make up recipes all day long using their products. Some worked, most did not.

  6. Erica December 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Man, Campbell’s thought people would eat anything, didn’t they…

  7. Timothy December 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

    I’ve been getting a kick out of Tom cool sci fi tee shirts ( I collect them as well) That said I seem to remember a chocolate cake recipe containing tomato soup that a friends mum made. It was quite good to a nine year old palate.

  8. Lisa January 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Back in 1978 or so, we were trapped in the house during an ice storm. My mother, who barely cooked let alone baked, made a tomato soup cake that was absolutely delicious. Not a fruit cake, just a tomato soup cake. Tasted like a spice cake. It was the only cake I ever remember her making. A one and only triumph!

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