How to Bake Thunder Cake

There was a story my mother would read to me when it was storming out. I never did like thunder, but the book Thunder Cake always helped me through it. The baking of Thunder Cake just depends on where you find your recipe. One of the more popular recipes is by Patricia Polacco, the author of Thunder Cake.


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup dry cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 1
    Preheat oven to 350˚
  2. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 2
    In a large bowl going one ingredient at a time, cream together the shortening, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, water and tomato puree. Beat egg whites until they are stiff, then fold in.
  3. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 3
    In a separate bowl: sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. Stir well.
  4. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 4
    Combine the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the creamy mixture. Stir together.
  5. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 5
    Pour batter into a 8 1/2 inch pan (about 22 cm) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
  6. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 6
    Remove from oven and test if it's cooked all the way through with a toothpick. If it's finished, allow it to cool on the counter or a wire rack. Otherwise, continue the baking in short, 3-5 minute intervals.
  7. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 7
    Frost with chocolate butter cream frosting, chocolate ganache frosting, or about any other kind of chocolate frosting out there! The richer the better!
  8. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 8
    Strawberries are a MUST. Decorate the cake with tons of strawberries wherever and however you please; whole, halved, sliced, mushed up into a pulp! Just make sure it looks gorgeous! (Or at least have fun decorating?)
  9. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Step 9
    Slice it up and serve! It's a fantastic cake to bake and eat!
  10. Image titled Bake Thunder Cake Final


  • Search some videos on how to stiffen up egg whites, it can wind up being pretty important in the end.
  • Make sure you gradually mix the ingredients together, otherwise they m


  • Some people would get disgusted at the thought of tomatoes being in a cake. Have them try a bite first, but know they might not be super pleased when you tell them later what's in it.
  • Be doubly sure no one has any kind of weird allergy to tomatoes who might want to have a slice. You'd be surprised what odd allergies are out there.

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Categories: Cakes