Chasing Delicious | Yellow Tomato Cake
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Yellow Tomato Cake

Yellow Tomato Cake

 

The drawn-out modulated purr of calling cicada fills the hot air. My ears track the undulating sound as the calming song moves from one tree to another, from my backyard to across the little slow moving creek just feet behind a worn wooden fence. Big green leaves tousle about otherwise stoic trees. The scent of freshly cut grass – a result of that saturday’s suburban ritual – dances about my nose as I use my fingers to prune a lanky basil plant.

It’s hard for me not to smile with leaf-filtered rays of hot sun landing on my shoulders, the warm breeze circling around me. I can’t help but smirk knowing I’m getting away with being unproductive.

I slide my feet from their thongs and step off the deck, landing in the soft cushion of a bright green patch of Saint Augustine. Blades of unkempt grass poke through between my toes. A friendly ladybug uses my pinky toe as a shortcut from one blade to the other. A wasp tries to do the same thing but my panic-induced flailing limbs scare the little critter off.

I should be doing something – I know that much – but what escapes my mind. Fastidiously constructed schedules and to-do lists mean nothing out here. Summertime has a delightful ability to make everything except the unbridled enjoyment of the outdoors disappear. I ignore the fleeting requests from my brain to get back inside to work.

Bored with my backyard, I trek down the little dirt path lining the little, slow moving creek that lies not too far behind that worn wooden fence. I find myself at a local farmer’s market, basket in hand, ready to eat up whatever treats I can find. Farmer’s ready their paring knives as I hop from one stand to the next, tasting slice after slice of fresh, delicious fruit. My tummy begins to ache. I’ve tasted too much. I take the cue and retreat but only after procuring a far-too-full basket of yellow, red and orange tomatoes.

Back home again and I find myself sitting around a table with family and friends. We dig into the bright, colorful tomato salad, sprinkled delicately with salt, pepper and a few herbs from the garden. I hurry through lunch, excited to dig into dessert.

“I’m ready for dessert!” I shout – my ability to control the volume of my voice flies out the door as excitement rushes in.

“Dessert?” Suddenly all eyes are on me as inquiring minds poke and prod, begging for a hint of what I have waiting for them. “You didn’t tell us to save room for dessert.”

Forks slide through the crumbly, moist cake. Its sweet and earthy flavor hides a subtle secret. Sweet, lightly-acidic yellow tomatoes give this cake a seductively complex flavor profile. Forks continue to dig in; my guests rattling off fruits and vegetables as they try and guess the flavor. Moments before the last of the small loaf cake is devoured, someone solves the riddle.

Tomatoes: Tomatoes come in all shapes (well mostly one shape), sizes and colors. While numerous attributes can affect flavor, different color tomatoes typically have different flavor profiles. Yellow tomatoes, while sweet and flavorful like a red tomato, are far less acidic and more mellow than the standard red. Orange is similar to yellow tomatoes though will contain a little more of the bold acidic tomato flavor. Some heirlooms and dark red tomatoes will be stronger and bolder than the typical red.

I’ve used yellow tomatoes in this recipe because of their mellow tomato flavor and sweetness. You can substitute any tomato you’d like – just remember different colors and varieties will affect flavor differently. I also suggest avoiding store-bought tomatoes.  Homegrown or local farm grown tomatoes will always be far more flavorful than anything you find in the store. That will make a difference as the tomato in this cake is already quite subtle.

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Yellow Tomato Cake

Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 
1, 9″ loaf cake
Prep Time:
20 minutes
Bake Time: 
45 minutes

Tools:
1, 9″ x 4″ loaf pan
Parchment paper
Bowl
Standmixer & flatbeater, or
Large bowl & spoon

Ingredients:
8 ounces all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces butter
5 ounces sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup pureed yellow tomatoes *(note on pureeing below)

Instructions:

1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper. Butter and dust the pan with flour. Set aside.

2. Mix together  the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after adding each.

5. Add the lemon zest and mix in well.

6. Add the flour mixture and pureed tomatoes in three additions starting and edging with the flour mixture.  Mix until the batter comes together.

7. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

8. Let cool completely before serving.

*Pureeing Tomatoes: Peel the skin from tomatoes and remove all the seeds and juice from inside before pureeing.You will need about 3 to 5 tomatoes to make 1 cup pureed tomatoes.

To peel: Score the bottom of the tomato with a cross using a sharp knife. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for just a few seconds (until the skin around the cross begins to look a little wrinkly) then immediately place the tomatoes in a bowl of very cold, iced water. Once the tomatoes are cool you can peel back the skin from the scored cross.

To Puree: After peeling, be sure to remove all the seeds and juice from the inside of the tomato. Once that is done, place the flesh of the tomato in a blender or  food processor and blend until pureed and smooth.  [/print_this]

You can serve the cake on its own or with the following cinnamon honey glaze. The sweetness of the honey and spiciness of the cinnamon helps bring out the mellow flavor of the yellow tomatoes in the cake.

 

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Cinnamon Honey Glaze

This recipe is adapted from a Bo-Friberg recipe.

Difficulty: Easy
Yield: 
1 cup
Prep Time:
5 minutes
Cook Time: 
5 minutes

Tools:
Heavy bottomed pot
Wooden spoon

Ingredients:
2 ounces butter
5 ounces brown sugar
2 ounces honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon water

Instructions:

1. Add all the ingredients together in the pot. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for just a few moments, stirring constantly.

2. Remove from the heat and continue to stir until the butter is melted.

3. Set aside and let cool a little before serving.

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Enjoy!

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AUTHOR - Russell van Kraayenburg

Born and raised in Texas, Russell van Kraayenburg may sit you down for a stern lecture if you confuse barbecue with grilling. Creator of Chasing Delicious, and author of Haute Dogs, his work has been featured in Southern Living magazine and on such sites as Lifehacker, Fast Co. Design, Business Insider, The Kitchn, Live Originally, The Daily What, Quipsologies, Neatorama,Explore, and Fine Cooking.

55 Comments

0
  • Riley

    Yummm. Tomatoes are so good this time of year, I bet this cake is scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  • kankana

    This is so original. I have NEVER heard of cakes made with tomatoes! I got to try this one.

  • jacquie

    that does look like a delicious recipe and so easy even. i’m putting it on the “to make” list for when tomatoes get ripe here.

    on a related – kind of due to the farmers market connection – you wouldn’t have something similar in terms of beets would you? i got some in my CSA a couple of weeks ago and i’m still wondering what to do w/ them.

    • Russell

      Hi, Jacquie! Thank you for the kind words. I unfortunately do not have any beet recipes. I will keep an eye out though and if I find any I will let you know!

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I just love adding traditionally savory items (like zucchini or beets) to baked goods! I’m all over this one… honey glaze and all!

  • Jiric

    I do have tomatoes obsession at certain level. Your recipe is simply awesome and definitely will push my tomatoes obsession to sky high :p

  • Michelle

    I’ve never seen a tomato cake before, but it sounds interesting. Love the photo with the scale.

  • Linda

    I so enjoy reading your intro to your recipes…and your beautiful photos . This recipe sounds wonderful and so easy. Thanks!

  • Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.

    SO super creative!

  • Amy @ fragrantvanillacake

    I always have room for dessert, especially a cake like this one ;)! Love this cake, and powdered sugar is the perfect topping as well. I made a tomato cake last year and it was wonderful, so I can only imagine how delicious this one was :)!

  • Meki

    This sounds interesting! <3 I hope you make more videos. I love them!

  • Valeria

    Oh wow, what a great idea! never ever thought of putting tomatoes in a dessert! if there was a cake like this on my table, i would surely have room for dessert!

  • Kathryn

    This is such an intriguing recipe, I don’t know why I’ve never thought about those sweet yellow tomatoes in cake before.

  • Carolyn

    I would really actually love to try this. I’ve heard of tomato cake before and think it sounds wonderful!

  • Maria

    Tomatoes are healthy, so I can eat the entire loaf, right? :) I love the glaze too!

    • Russell

      Haha. That’s what I did!

  • naomi

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the use of tomatoes in this recipe. Im such a huge fan of tomatoes and never thought to use it this way.

  • Sommer@ASpicyPerspective

    Honestly Russel, I’m memorized by this recipe. It has never occurred to me to put tomatoes in dessert. You just changed my little ol’ world view!

  • sarah

    I *love* this. I made sweet tomato jam last summer and realized maybe tomatoes didn’t always have to go with savory food, but I never thought to put them in a cake. Genius.

  • Shaina

    I agree, there is always room for dessert. The tomatoes are just starting to appear at our markets, but once they truly arrive, I’ll have this in the oven in no time.

  • kitchenriffs

    I always have room for dessert. Probably I shouldn’t, but I do, so there! Nice recipe, and tomatoes are just starting to get decent (although the ones in my garden are still a far piece from turning ripe). Great pictures, as always. It must take awhile to set up your shots, but it’s worth it.

  • Kristen

    This is amazing… seriously so creative and unique!

  • Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com}

    Brilliant recipe! I love finding recipes I’ve never heard of before. This sounds amazing and the perfect use for summer’s finest :)

  • Michael Toa

    You’re so creative! Never heard of tomato cake, but it sure does look incredible. And I agree, there’s always room for dessert, always.

  • Denise

    I love the idea of using tomatoes in a sweet cake, it sounds intersting and fascinating! Those yelow colours are just gorgeous and totally bring me in the summer mood, even though it’s raining here…

  • Diane {Created by Diane}

    I’m convinced you can make ANYTHING look lovely! I can’t wait to give this a try.

  • Eileen

    TOMATO cake? Very interesting! I think I might have a hard time baking my precious summer tomatoes, but I’m definitely intrigued…

  • sweetsugarbelle

    Your photos and recipes are SOOOOOOOOOO inspiring!

  • RavieNomNoms

    This is totally brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing it, I am definitely going to try it as soon as I move into my new house!

  • Jen @ Savory Simple

    What a beautiful cake! Your photography is wonderful and this cake is so creative!

  • Reem | Simply Reem

    Beautiful!!
    I have seen tomato recipe once before… This looks phenomenal!!
    I have to try this soon!!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This is so unique! Love it!

  • Rosie @ Sweetapolita

    I love how innovative and unique this is! Gorgeous images, and I’m intrigued, to say the least. Love this post!

  • Jeanette

    Such an interesting idea – I’m sure it was really good!

  • Anne@FromMySweetHeart

    Russell…what an absolutely beautiful and unique cake! The icing sounds sweetly divine. But on it’s own…is the cake more savory? What a great recipe as the summer wears and tomatoes get better and better. Your photos are gorgeous! : )

    • Russell

      Thank you for the kind words! On it’s own the cake is still quite sweet. It does have a little tanginess and earthiness to it though.

  • Cindy

    I didn’t know that you can make a cake out of tomato, sounds like a fun idea!

  • Beth Michelle

    I have never even heard of a cake with tomatoes in it! I am loving the idea. The cinnamon honey glaze on top just sounds perfect.

  • Ashley Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine)

    I love when you can make a usually savory ingredient into something sweet–like this cake! I’d never think to add tomatoes to a cake, but when you really think about it, it does make sense!

  • Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    I loveloveLOVE tomatoes, but I never would have thought to put them in a cake! This sounds just delightful. Even better that half the people I cook for don’t like tomatoes…more for me ;-)

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    What a great recipe! I would have never thought to put tomatoes in a cake!!

  • Liz

    I’m hoping we have a good tomato crop this year. I’ve never made nor eaten a tomato cake, but it looks moist and wonderful~

  • Sandi

    Tomato cake — what a wonderful idea! I’m jealous that cicadas don’t send you screaming like they do to me, though.

  • kita

    Is there anything you can’t make look good? Im not even a fan of tomatoes but I want to sink my teeth into a bite of this cake.

  • Lauren @ Part Time House Wife

    Love your scale and love the creative tomato recipe. Love.

  • Donna @ The Slow Roasted Italian

    This cake looks amazing, tomato cake sounds funny. I bet it is fabulous.

  • Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies

    I’ve never had a tomato cake before. This sounds intriguing!

  • anh@anhsfoodblog.com

    Speechless! This cake, simple as it is, is full of creative ideas! I cannot wait to make it when summer arrives back to Australia!

  • Amy (Savory Moments)

    What a great idea! I don’t think I’ve ever had tomatoes in a dessert, but it seems very logical and delicious. Pinning and making!

  • Kay

    I’ve never heard of tomato cake before and this sounds really delicious, looking forward to giving it a try!

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