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Tomato Soup Bars

by on August 10, 2008 · 18 comments

I won’t be able to give a final German Chocolate Cake report until tonight, so for now, here’s a recipe I made with things in the pantry. I chose it because 1) it’s unusual and 2) I couldn’t find anything else that seemed very interesting. Besides, I needed to use this can of tomato soup which I bought for no apparent reason.

So are the bars good? Hmmmm. Yeah. I guess. I haven’t tried one iced, but they taste okay hot out of the pan. I’m waiting for them to cool down so I can smear the top with cream cheese icing. I’ll make my final judgement when the bars are iced.

People seem to like pictures, so I’ve taken more than usual this morning.

Here are the ingredients. Basic things.

tomato soup bars -- ingredients

Batter, poured into a pan. Exciting! — I used a 12×17 inch pan and the bars were very thin. Next time, I will use a 15×10 inch pan.

tomato soup bars uncooked

Bars – cooling down. Note the reddish hue. I kind of thought the tomato soup would be unrecognizable. That’s not the case, but the bars have a pretty unique flavor. I can’t say the tomato soup is not discernible, but it’s not unpleasant either.

tomato soup bars

One Bowl Tomato Soup Bars

1 (10 oz) can tomato soup
1/2 soup can water (5 oz)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour (9 oz)
1 cup raisins
Frosting of choice – cream cheese or vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 15×10 inch pan with cooking spray or line with non-stick foil.

Mix tomato soup, water, oil, sugar, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add baking soda and salt and stir well, making sure you remove any lumps of soda. Add the flour and stir until mixed, then stir in the raisins. Pour into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Frost with cream cheese icing.

Since I made my bars too thin (pan was too large) the icing was somewhat overpowering. Next time, I will use a 15×10 inch pan and maybe a drizzle of icing.

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Published on August 10, 2008

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

bakingblonde August 10, 2008 at 10:03 am

Those looks good, but the thought of Tomato Soup in my bars is not pleasant and I don’t know if I could get past it. If I did NOT know it was there, then maybe.

What a unique and interesting recipe!

Lisa Ernst August 10, 2008 at 10:08 am

I never would have dreamed up an idea like this, yet the photo looks attractive. I can only imagine the tomato taste is very mild and the spices and cream cheese frosting balance it out. Sometimes the unexpected can be fun.

Anna August 10, 2008 at 10:15 am

It’s a spinoff of an old cake called Tomato Soup cake. I found the “bar” version on Recipe Goldmine, but they’d inadvertently left out the vegetable oil. I also used a bit less allspice and added some vanilla.

They’re actually pretty good.

VeggieGirl August 10, 2008 at 10:33 am

I’m POSITIVE that the final report on the German Chocolate Cake will be a good one :0)

I can definitely say that I’ve never made/eaten a savory tomato soup bar, haha.

HeartofGlass August 10, 2008 at 10:45 am

There is an unusual ‘novelty’ cookbook called the ‘Back of the Box Gourmet’ that has an apple pie recipe with ketchup. I Googled it and it’s online:

Anna August 10, 2008 at 11:07 am

These are actually really good! The pan I used was too big, though. I think they’d be perfect made in a 15×10 inch pan. You could make them in a 13×9 inch pan, but they’d be way too thick. So if all you have is a 13×9 inch pan, just pour the batter about an inch high and discard the rest of pour the rest in a smaller pan.

The icing was almost overpowering. I think they’d be good with a light drizzle.

Joanna August 10, 2008 at 11:25 am

This recipe is a funky one. I wonder how clam chowder would work. We have like 4 cans in our pantry, but I have a feeling that a fishy bar would just be plain disgusting haha

Anna August 10, 2008 at 11:35 am

Ha! I would save the clam chowder ;).

I may make these again. I’m mad at myself for using the huge pan, but the original version of this recipe on Recipe Goldmine used an even BIGGGER pan.

I think the 15×10 inch pan plus a very light drizzle of glaze of icing would be good.

Anna August 10, 2008 at 11:38 am

Hey, these are probably vegan. I’ll have to check to make sure tomato soup is vegan, though.

Katrina August 10, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I feel like I’ve heard of using a can of tomato soup in a chocolate cake somewhere.
Your bars sound interesting.

brian August 10, 2008 at 12:12 pm

I’m surprised the recipe even called for salt, but I suppose not all tomato soups are loaded with the stuff. I can’t believe all this fuss over adding fruit to a cookie! ;-) I bet with the spices, the tomato flavoring isn’t a big deal. Are these cookies more sweet, savory, or more like spice cookies?

Anna August 10, 2008 at 12:19 pm

Brian, I made a few additions to the recipe and the salt was one of them. The bars don’t need a lot, but I thought a pinch would bring out the other flavors and it did. But yes, most of the salt comes from the soup. I just didn’t trust that the salt in the soup would do the trick.

Also, these aren’t savory. They are really just spice cake bars and they are on the sweet side. The glaze/frosting is hardly necessary, but I did feel they needed something to jazz them up appearance wise.

alicat August 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

My mom has been making tomato soup cake since I was a little girl, so I’ve never found it to be weird. We call it spice cake for outsiders, so they don’t get squicked out about the soup. I love it – it is really good with a little cream cheese icing, but even a lemon juice/icing sugar glaze is good.

Michelle W. in Calif. August 10, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Hmm…..there’s a tomato soup cake in one of the Cake Mix Doctor books, but I’ve never tried it either! Not a big tomato soup fan! :-P

katie August 11, 2008 at 10:43 am

Nothing like a little creative cooking. How did they when frosted? I have seen a recipe for tomato soup cake before but never bars. I may have to try these, they sound very interesting.

Yvonne August 11, 2008 at 10:56 am


My family has a tomato soup cake recipe that’s been handed down for a couple of generations. Maybe it’s a Northern New England thing–like Moxie?

It really is delicious–kind of like a spice cake only richer–we put lots of dried fruits (left over from fruitcake making), golden raisins and walnuts in it and add a cream cheese glaze. WE like it around the holidays.

You could try the cream cheese glaze with your bars, Anna, if you want to “kick them up” a bit.


The City Sage August 12, 2008 at 11:53 am

What a unique recipe! I wonder how these would turn out if you baked them in cupcake tins instead of as bars? could be fun at a birthday party…

Kimberly August 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm

I made these for a get together this weekend using Anna’s recommended 10×15 pan, and they were very well received. I did have a minute of panic when I got home with my can of organic tomato soup (the recipe didn’t call for condensed so I didn’t get it) and while stirring the first bowl of ingredients together realized there were chunks of tomato and onion swimming around with the cinnamon and allspice. I strained those out and everything turned out great. We especially enjoyed them after they had been chilled.

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