For the love of food and friends


(Dana McCauley’s Ketchup cake)

Can you please bake us something nice next week?, he asked, as I was about to leave work.

What do you think I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks? I said.

Oh you know.., he replied coyly, I’m just asking because it’s all been really good and we’ve gotten so used to it.


Well Dave, it’s true. Flattery does get you everywhere some times.

Flattery, that takes the form of big red cake-crumbed lips kissing you on the cheek. Just like the way I want to hug and kiss Dana for one of the most unusual additions I’ve ever seen, to a cake. I mean, tomato ketchup? I brought this cake in to work because I make treats for my work colleagues (also known as ‘the boys’) every day, and thought this might serve as an unusual and special dessert.

The reaction to the cake was initially hostile, especially since none of them was familiar with red velvet cake, which this recipe is based on. Thankfully, they are all sufficiently hungry (or greedy) enough people to be curious, and so the cake proved to be a success in the end. The flavour of ketchup is not as strong as you would expect, but it is detectable (and not unpleasant) and to quote one of my fearless taste-testers, Mitch, “the following bites just lent to spice notes, similar to carrot cake we all decided..”

Intrigued? You can try the recipe for yourself here.



  1. shaz said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

    Wow! The colour looks amazing. Will have to try that one day, I think I know at least two (small) people who’d eat it.

  2. Steph said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

    How odd but brilliant! The wonders of tomato ketchup are seemingly endless. I love red velvet but I’m so intrigued by this that I will probably give it a go the next time I get a craving for red velvet. Haha your workmates are very lucky πŸ™‚

  3. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

    Oooh I saw this on another blog and thought that it sounded brilliantly mad and was going to make it (one day). Good to know that it isn’t as crazy as it sounds!

  4. Christie, Fig and Cherry said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:56 pm

    I love this Y! And the first shot does look very much like lips – cute πŸ˜›

  5. Anh said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    OMG, a ketchup cake? Very pretty indeed!

  6. Y said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 9:59 pm

    Shaz : Actually I forgot to mention that this is also my first time baking a red velvet cake. The colour really is stunning (or scary?)

    Steph : Of course, not forgetting the cream cheese frosting, which really makes (takes) the cake, for me.

    Lorraine : Oh, where did you see it? Would love to know what other people who tried the recipe, thought of it.

    Christie, Fig and Cherry : Yes, the cake is puckering up! πŸ™‚

  7. the projectivist said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

    I’m having a hard time believing you on this one.
    (despite it’s pretty looks).
    that said –
    we used to eat tomato ketchup on toast for an after school snack.
    please don’t tell anyone.

  8. the projectivist said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 11:31 pm

    of course there was butter!
    butter & tomato ketchup!
    you’d have to swirl it together with a flourish of your knife
    (a little known artform)
    i’d cut mine into triangles.
    that helped it to taste EVEN nicer.

  9. clumbsycookie said,

    July 10, 2009 @ 11:52 pm

    I’m so curious about this. It’s quite a strange cake but it looks so good, who wouldn’t want to try it?!

  10. Manggy said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 12:53 am

    I’m just glad the frosting wasn’t bright yellow, lol. Mm, I’m in the mood for a hot dog, heh. Next time I’m commissioned to bake a red cake, I’m going to keep this in mind– it looks perfect! πŸ™‚

  11. Irene said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 2:52 am

    I love your gourmands at work! I have to admit that I’m not yet sold on ketchup in a cake, but the photos are phenomenal, as usual, so the more I look at them, the more curious I get! πŸ™‚

  12. Caitlin said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 3:14 am

    That color is just awesome! Guys at work always harass me to bring baked goods in, but it’s a trap – the more you bring in, the more they expect. Slippery slope!

  13. Louise said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 3:25 am

    Red Velvet Cake, yes, Tomato Cake, yes. I’ve heard of them both. This is a first for Ketchup Cake. It looks so darn pretty. Intrigued, yes…

  14. anna said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 4:13 am

    Hmmm. I love carrot & red velvet cake but don’t really like ketchup. It’s really cute, though.

  15. Dana McCauley said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 6:02 am

    Y – thanks for making my crazy ketchup cake! Glad it passed the taste police at your workplace’s inspection.

    And, although is seems like it should almost go without saying, I send smacky kisses back your way.

  16. erin@dessert girl said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 6:06 am

    Ketchup cake?? It’s totally crazy, so, of course, I love it! Definitely want to try this one.

  17. Valisa said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 9:03 pm

    Bravo!!! wow this is gorgeous! I can’t wait to try it.

  18. Indigo said,

    July 11, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

    Haha, this is insane! But if you say it’s good, I’ll trust you. Not to mention that is the most perfectly cut slice of cake I’ve ever seen (poorly cut cake is the bane of my life!)…

  19. Thip said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 4:12 am


  20. Thip said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 4:13 am


  21. betty said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 8:48 am

    Wow. This looks awesome! Really interesting… I wonder what it tastes like… wish you were one of my workmates! lol πŸ˜‰

  22. Holly said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

    You know, my nieces made a cake like this in their home ec class last year and were trying to describe it to me. Good to know it was a hit with ‘the boys’!

  23. The Purple Foodie said,

    July 12, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

    OMG this is so so interesting. I have never heard of adding tomato ketchup to cakes. I must admit, I’m a little scared to try this one.

  24. Aparna said,

    July 13, 2009 @ 3:47 am

    This looks so good its hard to believe it’s ketchup! But then I remember a friennd making a cake out of tomato soup (yes! a sweet cake) when we were in college and it wasn’t so bad.
    I think I shall be giving this one a try.

  25. Julia @ MΓ©langer said,

    July 13, 2009 @ 7:25 am

    When I saw the first photo, I thought, “Y has made red velvet cake – oh, and look how beautifully neat and perfect her frosting is!” And was shaking my head as I was tossing up myself between red velvet cake and the devil’s food cupcakes I just made. But then I read on and discovered the little secret. Ketchup? Outrageous. I wonder how Masterchef contestants would go in a taste challenge to guess that flavour?

  26. Lorna said,

    July 14, 2009 @ 10:35 am

    Years ago, I read about a type of southern cake that used canned tomato soup. This cake reminds me of that cake! What a gorgeous photo–I can never get my cakes to slice that perfectly.

  27. Arwen from Hoglet K said,

    July 14, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

    A treat every day? I need to work with you! They’re very lucky boys, and it’s great that they’re adventurous when you want to try something new.

  28. Sophie said,

    July 15, 2009 @ 1:17 am

    Wow! I loved putting ketchup on everything when I was little; sometimes that was the only way I’d eat my veggies :). I have missed out on so much! I need to add you to my feed! πŸ™‚

  29. s. stockwell said,

    July 30, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

    Curious? maybe even weird? but intriguing …we will do it just for the thrill of it? best, s

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment