I’m Not Bloody Kidding: Chocolate-Tomato Cake

tomato cake

When I think of chocolate pairings I usually go with strawberries, orange, mint and perhaps bourbon. Tomato, I think not.

A colleague recently told me how she substitutes water with canned tomato as the wet ingredient for her chocolate cake mix. Yes, you read that right. Tomato in a chocolate cake. As I’m not the baker in my household, it was nice to know that this little experiment would consist only of a box of chocolate cake mix and a can of diced tomatoes.

Following the instructions on the back of the box, an Organic Chocolate Cake Mix from Arrowhead Mills, I added just short of a whole can of Whole Foods 365 brand of no salt added, plain diced tomatoes, pureed.

Read on to see how this crazy combination turned out.

You can definitely taste the tomato, but not in a what the hell did you do with my chocolate kind of way. It gave the cake a little something extra, a softer, moister body. The tomato also added a little tartness, which a boxed chocolate cake mix wouldn’t ordinarily provide.

I’m not sure if this is something I would do for a recipe from scratch but it certainly gives a nice touch to a box of powder by adding the nutritional benefits of iron, vitamins A & C and fiber. It certainly does no harm. But a word of advice from someone who knows better: I wouldn’t tell those eating the cake that there is tomato in it. It’s not something many people want to hear (my better half didn’t go anywhere near it).

What other combination do you think would work in box of cake mix: jalapeno water, cranberry juice? Give us your ideas in the comments.

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  • Olga @ MangoTomato December 21, 2010  

    you know I LOVE tomatoes, but in a chocolate cake? Can’t really imagine it. I like adding orange zest to boxed dessert mixes: it really brightens them up. I think adding pomegranate juice would be amazing.

  • Katie December 21, 2010  

    This may be obvious, but a can of pumpkin with a chocolate cake mix is delicious! More like fudge than cake, but still great and more nutritious than making the cake as directed.

  • dad gansie December 21, 2010  

    Dear Britannia:

    This reminds me of my first day at Central High School in Philly, our English teacher (dept head too) gave us a homework assignment. It was a Henry Thoreau poem:: which basically said everyone beats to their own drummer….and lady your surely do with this one…enjoy, please next time you make it freeze a piece and get it to Gansie.

    by the way, maybe you eser’s might like to really keep the brownies tasty is to ADD CHOCOLATE SYRUP in stead of water



  • erica December 21, 2010  

    this reminds me of this fudge my mom makes that has Velveeta in it. people LOVE it.

  • Shirley @ gfe December 21, 2010  

    I made chocolate cake years ago using a box mix and tomato soup. It’s actually kind of “old school.” 😉 And, you’re right, it adds lots of moisture and a different flavor. Of course, I’ve even made ice cream with tomatoes and loved it … so did others, too. Pumpkin was mentioned in combination with chocolate. Avocado can be used with cocoa and sweetener to make fantastic puddings, mousses, cakes, etc. Bottom line–it can be fun and delicious to use produce in baked goods. :-)

    Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!


  • Britannia December 21, 2010  

    Oh @dad gansie, love the idea of chocolate syrup, but next time I make the chocolate tomato cake it’ll be from scratch, no box.

    @Katie, if I liked pumpkins enough that would be great too, perhaps something else for the texture, fudge always rules.

  • gansie December 21, 2010  

    what about using coconut milk and maybe some dried chilies for a funky thai-inspired chocolate cake?

  • Britannia December 21, 2010  

    @gansie, I think we have a cooking date… I realised today that you and I have never cooked anything before, I think we should do this. Let’s make it work.

  • Borracho December 22, 2010  

    @gansie love the thai inspired cake. Would a kaffir lime icing be too much?

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