There are certain savory items that are easily adaptable for a sweeter dish. Miso, balsamic vinegar… the list goes on. But I think it’s safe to say that ketchup has never been thought to be one of those foods. The condiment is great on burgers and hot dogs but mixed into cake? Please excuse us while we hold back our gag reflex. But much to our dismay, ketchup cake was actually a dessert that started trending online last week.


All the controversy started brewing after Redditor Big_Black_Cat Greg Nuttle shared the recipe suggestion which he found on the back of Heinz ketchup bottles in Canada. The recipe was created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Heinz in the country. And much to our surprise, the recipe for the cake on All Recipes gets a shocking four and a half star review. So naturally, after seeing that we had to give it a test in the B+C kitchen.


Here’s the full cake recipe:

— 2 cups all-purpose flour

— 2 teaspoons baking powder

— 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

— 1 teaspoon baking soda

— 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

— 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

— 1/2 cup Heinz Tomato Ketchup

— 3/4 cup butter, softened

— 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar

— 2 eggs

We’re not going to lie, we were kind of expecting it to include like a tablespoon of ketchup but half a cup was making us extra skeptical. That’s a hefty serving of ketchup, y’all. We whipped up the cake according to the recipe and popped it in the oven. While I’m usually a sucker for licking the bowl when baking cakes, I decided against this one as it had a very distinct, ketchup-like smell.

While the smell was quite astringent in raw form, it started to sweeten up while in the oven. Those fall spices started to come out more in the heat. After it was cooked, I covered it in cream cheese frosting and some red sprinkles. Then it was time to recruit the B+C staff for a taste test.


The general consensus: It’s actually not bad. Really, it’s not. I have no idea how this flavor profile happened, but it was kind of like eating carrot cake’s smoother, slightly tackier cousin.

The B+C office agreed with my comparison, with multiple people also telling me it tastes like carrot cake. Some even took a bite, shrugged and simply said, “Huh. It just tastes like cake.” Which isn’t exactly a glowing review but hey, it’s better than you might expect for this wacky creation.


Am I going to start whipping this up every chance I get? Probably not. Would I bring it to a party purely for the sake of it being a conversation starter? For sure. Would I also make this if someone requested carrot cake and I was feeling lazy? Guilty.

Would you ever try ketchup cake? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.