|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 15 to 20|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 4g||20%|
|Total Carbohydrate 20g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||13%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
What if you could experience the warmth of rich, creamy tomato soup combined with gooey grilled cheese all at once? What if it was in the form of an airy cake? Seems mind-blowing, right? That's the sensation I hoped for (and nailed!) when developing this savory cake. I love making desserts with a savory spin because it's an excuse to enjoy our favorite treats all day long. Plus, I like the challenge of turning something familiar on its head.
What Makes This Savory Cake Work?
To maintain the key aspects of cake--moist, tender, fluffy, and springs back when touched--I added more moisture and fat than I might typically. Much like buttermilk, the sour cream and condensed tomato soup help tenderize while adding a slight tang. I used a touch of brown sugar to add a caramel-y depth of flavor along with more moisture. The combination of olive oil, spices, and herbs is similar to what you might find in your favorite bowl of soup. Lastly, the caramelized onion and cheese finish reminds me of a sultry French onion soup topping while giving a nod to tomato soup's sidekick: the grilled cheese.
So, is this just a quick bread?
I call it cake, so it is in fact a cake. But, what's the difference? The main difference between bread and cake comes down to 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 loaf are similar to cake (some even say they are cake), but tend to have a tighter crumb. A higher sugar ratio in cake not only makes it the sweeter option, but it provides moisture and creates a tender, soft slice.
There are many ways to make this snacking cake your own from ingredient swaps to how you serve it. Make this as an on-the-go nosh or serve it as a side at your next potluck.
- Take your time when caramelizing the onions. One trick to encourage the onions to wilt down is to cover the pan for the first 10 minutes of cooking. This allows them to lose volume without browning. Then you can remove the lid and proceed to cook them until deeply browned and meltingly tender.
- Oil-packed sun dried tomatoes or plain sun dried tomatoes are both good options for this recipe. Make sure to drain oil-packed tomatoes well. If using plain sun dried tomatoes, make sure they're pleasantly soft. If they're on the chewy side, place them in a bowl, pour boiling water over them, and let them sit for a few minutes. Then drain them and pat them dry before using.
How to Make Tomato Soup Snacking Cake
"The savory tomato soup snack cake was moist, fluffy, and delicious. The cheese, caramelized onion, and sun-dried tomato topping gave the cake a nuanced flavor with natural sweetness and texture. I enjoyed the heat the red pepper flakes provided, but you could easily reduce the amount 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 tomatoes, divided
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 2/3 cups (319 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons celery salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 large eggs
1 (10-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup sour cream
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 9-x 13-inch baking pan.
Combine the caramelized onions and 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Combine the Parmesan and Cheddar in a separate bowl.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, pepper, celery salt, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
Whisk together the eggs, tomato soup, olive oil, and sour cream in a separate medium bowl until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the tomato soup-egg mixture along with the remaining 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes. Stir together only until just combined and no traces of flour remain.
Pour the batter into the greased baking pan, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle the onion-tomato mixture evenly across the top.
Sprinkle the cheese mixture all across the top.
Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, drizzle of pesto, or spicy tomato jam if desired.
- ROOM TEMP The sooner you consume this snacking cake, the better. However, it will keep, covered, at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
- FREEZING The cake will freeze well wrapped (try it in individual portions), placed in a zip-top freezer bag, for up to 6 months. Defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Gently rewarm in the microwave or oven.
- This cake can easily be converted to different size pans. If you want to make them in individual portions, this recipe will make 48 savory "muffins." Be mindful of the baking times.
Swap Out Ideas
- For a denser crumb, you can use melted unsalted butter instead of olive oil.
- Swap any of the spices and dried herbs for whatever you have on hand.
- Try stirring Calabrian chili paste into the batter for a kick of heat.
- Feel free to leave off the caramelized onion topping or swap it for pesto before baking.
- Just like how you can use a variety of cheeses for your favorite sando, try swapping the Parmesan and cheddar for options like fontina, gouda, feta, and more.