What? Green Tomato Spice Cake? Brie said “gross”, Ryan made a face. Doug thought I was crazy. Yet, they kept eating it. They had no idea that what they were eating WAS the Green Tomato Spice Cake.
I didn’t tell a single soul the day I made it and guess what? They had no idea. No clue. Until I said, guess what you’re eating? *pause* Green Tomato Spice Cake. Wait what? The look of confusion, the look of total disbelief as they began to examine this incredible piece of deliciousness in front of them – they noted the tiny green specks and started to put it all together. Spiced to perfection and totally Fall like, this cake does not, as the name implies, taste anything like Green Tomatoes.
So Why Green Tomato Spice Cake?
I found this recipe a zillion years ago. I held onto it for the longest time until one day I found myself with my own garden. And it was September. And I was staring at dozens of green tomatoes on this plant that I knew was about to die with the summer closing. What will I do with all these green tomatoes, I thought. I can only make Fried Green Tomatoes so many times before everyone gets sick of them. And then I remembered. This recipe I had buried in the back of an old recipe box I hadn’t touched in years. I pulled it out and I read the ingredients. I had everything on hand to make a Green Tomato Spice Cake that very day and I did. And I remember I loved it. Everyone I served it to loved it. But I never told any of them what it was.
Why not share the Green Tomato Spice Cake earlier?
This is an easy one. My daughter blogs with me. She bakes with me. She cooks with me. And she can be pretty picky when it comes to some things and I was 100% positive that if she knew I had put green tomatoes in this beloved cake she enjoyed many times, she’d swear I hadn’t before now. So I never shared it, but made it a handful of times over the years. This year it was HER turn to have an abundance of green tomatoes leftover. A very LARGE abundance. And we’ve been struggling to use them in any way we can. And so I decided to make the cake. And I didn’t care if she saw what I put in, though she missed what the green tomatoes went in, when all was said and done. She thought I had made a relish and didn’t go looking for it, so she had no idea. Mom was making this awesome Spice Cake they all loved and she didn’t care. Only… it was the Green Tomato Spice Cake. And this year she found out what it was and was shocked. I also made it for Doug and Ryan and both were gobbling up warm slice after slice before I revealed… the name of the cake. Green Tomato Spice Cake. They looked around in confusion. What? Yep. So before you turn your nose up, and assume this will be gross – I swear it’s not. It really just tastes like a Spice Cake. It’s so moist and delicious and is a little thicker more like a coffee cake and goes GREAT with tea or coffee. It’s really incredible, tastes like fall in a cake pan and uses up green tomatoes that would have gone to waste. A win-win situation all around.
A few Green Tomato Spice Cake Tips:
- If you want to keep it a secret that Green Tomatoes are in this cake, chopping the green tomato into fine pieces is a much better way. They cook down so they almost aren’t detectable.
- Some people remove the skin before chopping. I do not. I cut them small enough that there isn’t a need to.
- Many people add salt to the bowl after they’ve chopped them to draw more water out. This gives you a rather salty tomato and no amount of rinsing removes that salt flavor. I use sugar. I sprinkle a little bit over the bowl. It helps to bring out the sweeter flavor, pulls out enough liquid and technically doesn’t need to be rinsed before it goes in the batter.
- Some people puree the tomatoes before adding to the recipe. This is fine too, except sometimes it makes the cake a little TOO moist and it will fall apart easier.
- This is just some information I’ve learned and gathered, by trial, error and research while making this cake year after year. Take it or leave it.
Ready to try your own Green Tomato Spice Cake?
Green Tomato Spice Cake
- 4 cups green tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a medium sized bowl, place the chopped tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of sugar and let stand about 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse and drain in a colander. Dry with a paper towel as much as possible.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9x13 baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until creamy.
- In another bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture and mix really well.
- Fold in the drained tomatoes and again, mix well.
- Spoon into your prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.