I’m sorry, ketchup and…what?

I experienced a (minor) flood of interest in my offhand reference to “ketchup pistachio cake” in the post just below. Are you pulling our legs, Joe? Actually no, though I’ve never actually seen a recipe for it, just a picture in a book called The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks. It looks to me like a combination of Heinz ketchup cake (oh yes, that still exists and it looks eerily like this week’s project, no?) and a green-tinted pistachio frosting (almost certainly something like this right here, made with instant pudding mix and Cool Whip). Ye who may be interested, knock yourselves out. I’ll look the other way.

18 thoughts on “I’m sorry, ketchup and…what?”

    1. Rick, while I’m pretty sanguine when it comes to some of the weirder aspects of American cuisine and culture, ya gotta draw the line somewhere. Maybe if I somehow combined it with opera cake or marjolaine…that might elevate the whole thing a little. Hmm….

    2. I made a “kitty litter cake” for my son’s 14th birthday party. I served it up with a pooper scooper (bought new of course)…not one single teen could manage a bite of it…too realistic (Bronwyn I used warmed chocolate eclair lollies for the poop)…

      1. I considered not posting this because I nearly threw up myself.

        I need to lie down…

        – Joe

    1. Whoa! Get back to me on that one James. I may have to draw the line with these as well, however. Yowza.

      – Joe

      1. The deed is done. First impression is that I can feel the sugar in my sinuses from two feet away. I did actually taste them and, after my insulin shock calmed down, they are not too bad. Out of self preservation I packed most of them off with my 14 year old to school where the target audience deemed them “Awesome!”. So, I may retry with an improved cookie base and a less rich brownie layer for contrast. I will likely go with regular Oreos ™ rather than double stuffed. Fancy it ain’t but it seems to get the job done.

  1. Kitty Litter Cake is good only for April Fool’s Day (fooled a lot of people) and Halloween. Otherwise it is pretty disgusting. I even elevated the original recipe by making ganache…uh…droppings. One guy said though he KNEW those were tasty he had to shut his eyes to eat them. HAHA

    Never heard of ketchup cake but tomato soup cake used to be a favorite one to make in the South. Though it sounds disgusting it was a pretty decent spice cake. Red cake and green frosting sound even more disgusting. I’m with Joe…you guys have at it with those wild recipes and colors. I’ll stick to the more appetizing fare (as my coach likes to say “you eat with your eyes first”).

    1. Honestly Linda I’m a little queasy myself now after the litter cake story.

      – Joe

  2. Once upon a time my stepmother made a batch of raspberry tomato jam. I think the recipe came from the war or something – some time when there was rationing or no money anyway. I wasn’t very old, but from memory the bulk of it was tomatoes and sugar, and the raspberry was a bottle of unsweetened raspberry cordial concentrate. Sounds disgusting, but actually it wasn’t too bad – not a patch on proper raspberry jam of course.
    I’m open to the idea of ketchup cake, depending on the ketchup. One that was heavy on onions and garlic would be a no-no.

    1. In fact there’s a recipe for tomato jam on the site, Bronwyn! I love the stuff, and so does my youngest daughter. Off for a five-year-old, but I’m not going to argue!

      – Joe

    1. Booger cake! There’s another one I’ve never heard of but probably ought to try. My girls would probably love it!

      Thanks Rebecca!

      – Joe

  3. For an intriguing read of what home cooks were making in the last century, see if you can find a copy of Ceil Dyer’s “Best Recipes From the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars” (McGraw-Hill, 1979), which is a collection of…um…well, the title says it all. You’ll find the Mayonnaise Cake; Tomato Soup cake (which really is very good with cream cheese frosting; Mom made it all the time when we were growing up); 3 versions of the Bacardi Rum Cake (but no flavoured rums: makes the cake nasty); other deserts and cookies, also mains, salads and sides. Oh, look: there’s Seven Minute Frosting. It occasionally shows up in used book stores.

    1. I have a copy and you’re right, it’s a ball. I love those kinds of things.

      Thanks Ted!

      – Joe

  4. Well, I made the Heinz ketchup cake today at work (our office has a toaster oven and we keep a stocked pantry for just this kind of thing) and everyone loved it. It’s very close to a spice/carrot cake, but with a really cool umami kick from the ketchup. Slathered in cream cheese frosting (no pistachio) it was a great conversation cake. I’d like to try using ketchup in a sweet breakfast quickbread next – maybe just redo the cake recipe in muffin ratios? Any suggestions?

    1. You can use that basic formula for muffins, no question. As for other quick breads I’ll have to think on that. I’ve never really considered baking with ketchup before…

      Thanks Anzioj!

      – Joe

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