Heinz Carnival Cream (aka Ketchup Ice Cream) – A Mid-Century Recipe Test

Posted on Jan 15 2014 - 4:34am by RetroRuth

Ever wondered what to do when you only have a cup of cream, a blob of ketchup in the bottle and three eggs? Personally, I would just make scrambled eggs and have a cup of coffee, but it turns out that with those ingredients you can also make a quick dessert!

This is Carnival Cream. Also known as Ketchup Ice Cream.



4.5 from 2 reviews
Heinz Carnival Cream
Serves: 8-12
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Heinz ketchup
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbs Maraschino cherries
  • 2 Tbs toasted almonds
  1. Whip cream until stiff. Fold in ketchup and vanilla.
  2. Beat eggs with sugar until thick. Fold into whipped cream mixture. Pour into individual molds or ice cube trays.
  3. Sprinkle with finely chopped cherries and almonds. Freeze until firm.

I know. I’ve shocked you speechless.

Heinz Carnival Cream001 p

Another shocking thing is that this recipe DID NOT come from the Heinz test kitchen, as you would expect. This is actually submission from a homemaker.  As part of their marketing campaign, Heinz paid $100 to anyone who sent in a recipe that they used in their advertising. She probably thought, cleverly, that the dessert section would have the least amount of entries and the biggest chance to be published, and she wanted to fill that void.

And boy, did she ever fill it.


Cream, ketchup and vanilla.


Is there anyone still out there reading this? You haven’t bailed on me yet, have you?

Completely random things often run through my mind while I am making a mid-century recipe, and this time was no different. All I kept thinking about was this poor woman’s family. I wonder how many versions of “Carnival Cream” she went through before she found one she liked? Any guesses?


Just a quick note about the eggs: I didn’t add them raw. I combined the sugar and the eggs in the top of my double boiler and cooked them (stirring constantly, of course) until they reached about 160 degrees and I kept them there for three minutes and then let it cool before adding it into the ketchup cream. They were still liquid, although they had thickened a bit.

I’m all for accurate reproductions of recipes, but don’t use unpasteurized eggs.


It actually ended up looking sort of pretty. It smelled terrible, of course, but didn’t look so bad.


Even cuter! They would have been adorable tinted pink.

Except, you know, for the lurking ketchup.

“So, what’s the story with these?”

“Just take a bite and I’ll tell you.”


Tom TastesIMG_5339

“Why are you laughing?”

“This is really good.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“It tastes like cherry ice cream. Actually, it tastes like cherries in birthday cake ice cream. So, what’s in these?”


“Holy crap.”

The Verdict: Delicious.

From The Tasting Notes:

Unbelievably, this is actually good. Thanks to the power of fat, sugar and maraschino cherries, you can barely taste the ketchup. It basically just tastes like cherry ice cream. Good cherry ice cream. And when you do get a bite without the cherries, the cream itself tastes sweet and mildly spicy, with more of the taste of cinnamon and cloves than tomatoes. We were actually so shocked that we ate a couple of them. And if Tom doesn’t get too sick to his stomach tonight, he is going to eat all the rest of them tomorrow.

WordPress Author Box

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).

Like us on Facebook
on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter
Follow @MidCenturyMenu on Twitter

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

  1. Celia January 15, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

    I am both terrified and intriegued. I have a recipe for coffee carnival, from cooks illustrated best lost recipes. Isn’t it weird how the ketchup carnival didn’t make it? Oh God girl. XO

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I love that Best Lost Recipes cookbook! 🙂

  2. veg-o-matic January 15, 2014 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Well, knock me over with a feather. Here I was, thinking that Tom has had it too easy for too long, that this recipe ought to rectify that toute suite.
    But he likes it! Hey, Mikey!
    I wonder though, if this would be just as good without the ketchup at all. It seems like one of those recipes that has a token amount of the manufacturer’s product in it, just so you can say you used it.

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      I know, this was a real shocker. Maybe because we made that peach and ketchup ice cream sauce and it was the most horrible thing ever.

      Spoiler Alert: I don’t think you are going to like the results of the recipe you just sent us, either!

      Maybe it would be just as good without it. The only thing that the ketchup seemed to give it was a slightly spicy flavor, so you could probably just add a bit of cinnamon and get the same result.

    • Lady Ashmire January 28, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I think I’d substitute the ketchup with something less disgusting, too, but I also know the main reason ketchup IS disgusting to me is that it’s got loads of sugar mixed in with vinegar and added to things that *should* be savory. I’ve never understood why even in recipes that aren’t meant to be desserts, people insist on adding sugar to tomato dishes instead of using something( psst…BASIL!!!) to tone down their excessive sweetness. But that’s certainly in the spirit of mid-century cooking so I guess a lot of them learned it from their mothers.

  3. Susan January 15, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    The second photo of Tom (with the “Oh God, I’m about to poison myself” expression) kind of sums up my expectations of this recipe. I don’t know. Even if it tastes OK, I still don’t think I’d eat it…just too weird (But isn’t that the point of these recipes? 🙂 )

    • Sneaky Burrito January 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      You’ve summed up my feelings pretty well. But I’m a longtime ketchup hater, which could be playing into things.

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Susan – that totally is the point! 🙂

  4. Lassie January 15, 2014 at 11:01 am - Reply

    This one really made me laugh! It certainly sounded like a total mess until the verdict (you surely must know how when you sometimes are making something, and you feel every step of the way that “this will not end well”) – ha! – surprise!

  5. Yinzerella January 15, 2014 at 11:36 am - Reply

    If you can put tomato soup in a cake, why not ketchup in a frozen confection?
    Do you have the full ad that this recipe was pulled from? I’d like to see it.

  6. Angela January 15, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    I actually said aloud, while reading the blurb for this recipe:
    “Oh, that’s just…NO.”

  7. CAT January 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Did Tom survive the night? 🙂

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

      He DID! And then he ate the rest, just as promised. 🙂

  8. HB Smith January 15, 2014 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Looking at the ingredients, I was sure this would be horrible. But, now that I know it’s actually good?

    I…I just don’t know what’s real any more.

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

      I know! This completely threw me for a loop.

  9. Lydia January 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    You are a brave woman. And smart too- it wouldn’t have occurred to me to cook the eggs, even though that’s how you do it for ice cream!
    I can’t get behind tomato soup or mayonnaise in baking, so I can’t get behind this, delicious or not!

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Ha! Thanks! 🙂

      You should really try the tomato soup chocolate cake. I know it sounds horrifying, but it is actually really good!

  10. Charmaine January 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm - Reply

    I wonder if this was ever a consideration at the labs at Ben and Jerry’s?

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply


  11. Deena January 16, 2014 at 1:33 am - Reply

    I can see this being good, I think. I like the no-HFCS added catsup – the spices seem to come through more. I may chicken out and use banana catsup 🙂
    I do plan to try it, one way or the other.
    I’m wondering if powdered egg whites would work? They’re already pasturized, and I’m never very good at keeping eggs from curdling on the stove top.

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:21 am - Reply

      Hey Deena! If you reconstitute them, the powdered egg whites might work, but the frozen cream won’t be as smooth because of the fat the egg yolks provide. If you are fine with that, then give it a try!

  12. Juti January 17, 2014 at 12:00 am - Reply

    Now when I tell my husband what recipe you’re testing, he asks, “What did Tom think?”

    This URL was flying around Facebook tonight and I thought of you (sorry about any ads but they seem to come with the territory):

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

      Ha! Getting to know us well! 🙂

  13. Juti January 17, 2014 at 12:02 am - Reply

    This URL was flying around Facebook today and I thought of you:


    • Teal January 17, 2014 at 12:24 am - Reply

      That’s how I discovered this website! I clicked on one of the links, and here it was!

      • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:22 am - Reply

        Cool! Thanks, guys!

  14. Juti January 17, 2014 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Grrr, sorry about the duplicate post.

  15. Teal January 17, 2014 at 12:23 am - Reply

    Just discovered your website last week, and I love it!

    This recipe is intriguing. It reminds me of all of those chocolate cake recipes that contain tomato juice. There must be something about the latent sweetness of tomatoes that makes things like this work.

    • RetroRuth January 17, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Thanks, Teal!

  16. Dee January 17, 2014 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    This sounds interesting. You know, my Northern grandmother always made the tomato soup cake and my Southern grandmother always made the mayonnaise cake and I never knew what was in them until I was older and asked for the recipes. I would have never guessed, so…Thank you Tom for being such a great Guinea Pig!

Leave A Response

Rate this recipe: