Canada's Ketchup Cake Is A Juicy Red Velvet Lookalike

Somewhere between culinary curiosity and perhaps the most creative use of a condiment ever lies the ketchup cake. Don't let its appearances deceive you. On the outside, it may look unassuming, perhaps like that red velvet cake you passed up at the bakery. But its exterior hides the fact that it was indeed prepared by mixing together cake batter and ketchup

Many people are outraged and slightly shocked by the cake's existence. Take one look through the depths of social media platforms like Reddit, and you'll come across plenty of questions about it. For some, the tomato and vinegar in ketchup seem like a poor inclusion in the world of baked goods, with one person commenting, "A lot of tomato and vinegar. Not exactly classic cake ingredients." For others, the cake appears to be little more than a joke, as one person wrote, "Goes great with mustard custard!"

However, the ketchup cake is very real and available to try. However, for what it's worth, those who have made the cake seem to have good things to say about the combination. With that in mind, what exactly is a ketchup cake and how can you get one?

Origin of the ketchup cake

Who invented the ketchup cake that has the internet so enthralled? Well, ketchup lovers can actually thank one of the leading companies in the condiments industry for the recipe. That's right, Heinz itself is responsible for breathing the ketchup cake into the world. The marketing team at the company started printing the recipe for the cake on the back of Heinz ketchup bottles in 2009. So why haven't you heard about the ketchup cake before now?

Well, it would seem that this recipe was specifically printed on Heinz bottles available in Canada to celebrate the 100 years of the company's presence in the country.  This may mean the dessert originated in Canada. It does make a certain amount of sense as residents of the Great White North are very fond of the condiment. In fact, the country is home to ketchup-flavored chips, a snack that gained popularity in the 1980s. So it seems that the ketchup cake was only a stepping stone away. As far as Heinz is concerned, the company has not released a statement on whether the recipe was designed to be earnestly followed or if it was a bit of marketing tomfoolery. However, that hasn't stopped others from baking it themselves. Some have even created variations of the cake. 

How to make the ketchup cake

The original recipe calls for a laundry list of ingredients including ketchup, cream cheese, flour, eggs, red food ie, as well as both baking powder and baking soda. When mixed all together, you'll get something that resembles red velvet cake but should be slightly juicier. The trick with this one is to gently mix in the ketchup with the other baking ingredients to create a fine mixture that shouldn't be too thick. Sugar works double duty here to edge out the tart flavors of the ketchup and make your cake sweet rather than sour. You can also feel free to add some cinnamon in the mix, which should pair well with the ketchup undertones for a spicier take on the cake.

While the recipe calls for a cream cheese topping, you can always sub out the frosting for vanilla instead. There's actually another variant you could try as well, which trades the cream cheese for a jam spread instead. The fruit jam should pair well with the spongy cake. While the ketchup cake is a relatively new invention, tomato soup cake has been around for decades, proving that tomatoes and pastries have always been on someone's mind.