Savory snack cake with tomato soup

Savory snack cake with tomato soup

Savory snack cake with tomato soup
nutritional information (per serving)

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nutritional information
Servings: 15 to 20
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4g20%
43 mg14%
540 mg23%
dietary fiber 1g4%
total sugar 4g
Vitamin C 3 mg13%
Calcium 129 mg10%
Iron 2 mg9%
Potassium 248 mg5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What if you could experience the warmth of a rich, creamy tomato soup combined with gooey grilled cheese all at once? What if it was in the shape of a fluffy cake? Seems stunning, right? This is the sensation I hoped for (and got) when developing this savory cake. I love making desserts with a savory twist because it's an excuse to indulge in our favorite treats throughout the day. I also like the challenge of turning something familiar upside down.

What makes this savory cake special?

To keep the cake's most important qualities—moist, tender, fluffy, and springy again to the touch—I added more moisture and fat than I normally would. Much like buttermilk, the sour cream and condensed tomato soup help tenderize it while adding a slight spiciness. I used a touch of brown sugar to give it a caramel depth of flavor and more moisture. The combination of olive oil, spices and herbs is similar to what you might find in your favorite soup. Finally, the caramelized onion and cheese finish reminds me of the toppings of a muggy French onion soup, while also being a nod to tomato soup's accompaniment: the grilled cheese.

So is this just a quick bread?

I call it cake, so it's actually a cake. But what's the difference? The main difference between bread and cake lies in the ingredients. Bread uses yeast as the primary leavening agent, while cake uses baking soda and baking powder. Quick breads like banana bread or pumpkin bread are similar to cake (some even say it's cake) but tend to have a firmer crumb. A higher percentage of sugar in the cake not only makes it sweeter, but also adds moisture and makes for a tender, soft slice.

There are many ways to make this snack cake your own, from swapping out the ingredients to the way you serve it. Make it as an on-the-go snack or serve as a side at your next potluck.

recipe tips

  • Take your time caramelizing the onions. A trick to encourage the onions to wilt is to cover the pan for the first 10 minutes of cooking. As a result, they lose volume without turning brown. You can then remove the lid and continue cooking until they are deeply browned and melt-in-the-mouth tender.
  • Both sun-dried tomatoes in oil and plain sun-dried tomatoes are good options for this recipe. Be sure to drain tomatoes in oil well. If you use naturally dried tomatoes, make sure that they are pleasantly soft. If they're too chewy, put them in a bowl, pour boiling water over them, and let them sit for a few minutes. Then drain and pat dry before using.

How to prepare a snack cake with tomato soup

“The snack cake with hearty tomato soup was moist, fluffy and delicious. The cheese, caramelized onions, and sundried tomato topping gave the cake a nuanced flavor with natural sweetness and texture. I enjoyed the spiciness of the red pepper flakes, but you can reduce the amount slightly for a milder flavor. – Diana Rattray

  • 1 Cup caramelized onions (from 3 to 4 large onions)

  • 1 Cup drained, oil packed or reconstituted sun dried tomatoesdivided

  • 1 Cup (4 oz) grated parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 Cup (2 ounces) grated cheddar cheese

  • 2 2/3 cups (319 grams) all purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2 tablespoon Brown sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoon celery salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon Italian spice

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 (10ounce) may condensed tomato soup

  • 1/2 Cup olive oil

  • 1 Cup sour cream

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. In a small bowl, combine the caramelized onions and 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes. In a separate bowl, mix together the parmesan and cheddar.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, pepper, celery salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, tomato soup, olive oil, and sour cream until well combined and smooth.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the tomato soup and egg mixture along with the remaining 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes. Mix just until everything is well combined and there are no traces of flour left.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the onion and tomato mixture evenly on top.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  7. Sprinkle the cheese mixture on top.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati

  8. Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cheese is melted. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, a dash of pesto or, if desired, flavored tomato jam.

    The spruce eats / Bahareh Niati


  • ROOM TEMPERATURE The sooner you consume this snack cake, the better. Covered, however, it can be stored at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
  • FREEZE The cake freezes well wrapped (try individual servings) in a ziplock bag for up to 6 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven.


pan conversion

  • This cake is easy to convert into shapes of different sizes. If you choose to make them in single servings, this recipe makes 48 savory “muffins.” Note the baking times.

Exchange ideas

  • You can also use melted, unsalted butter instead of olive oil for a denser crumb.
  • Swap out spices and dried herbs for whatever you have on hand.
  • Try stirring Calabrian chilli paste into the batter to give it a bit more spiciness.
  • Feel free to omit the caramelized onion topping or substitute with pesto before baking.
  • Try replacing parmesan and cheddar with options like fontina, gouda, feta, and more, just like you can use different cheeses for your favorite sando.

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