Ok, here's an unusual one for you. It was recently my son's girlfriend's birthday and I wanted to bake a cake in her honour. It so happens she is a ketchup addict and she puts the sauce on almost everything she eats. Last year I gave her a gift bag of every brand of ketchup chips I could find (there must have been six or seven) and I knew I had to top that this year.
I don't know what made me think of it but I searched for 'ketchup cake' and THIS RECIPE from the Heinz company popped up. The interesting ingredient list didn't seem too far out there and there is only 1/2 cup of ketchup in the batter. We all know how much sugar there is in ketchup, tomatoes are technically a fruit, and sometimes vinegar is added to cake recipes to sour milk or act as a leavening agent in combination with baking soda, so I wasn't too worried that my birthday cake would taste like something you'd dip your fries in.
Ketchup Cake is like a hybrid between a carrot cake and a red velvet cake, with a little bit of pumpkin pie or Christmas cake thrown in. There is cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in the dry ingredients and a scrumptious cream cheese frosting on top. The recipe follows a standard butter cake method (warning: there is a lot of butter in this cake and another 3/4 cup in the icing!) and mine baked up perfectly in 30 minutes. It smelled wonderfully fragrant in the oven!
I didn't tell the kids what was special about the cake but they all guessed as we gave them clues. Nobody could taste ketchup specifically and agreed it was a very delicious and fitting dessert. As we indulged I read ketchup trivia questions and the family guessed how many bottles of Heinz ketchup are sold worldwide (650 million), how many tomatoes are used, and what the secret is for getting the ketchup out of the iconic glass bottle faster than the .028 miles per hour it usually takes!
I would absolutely make this cake again for a special occasion and it's definitely a perfect novelty cake to make for the ketchup fiend in your house! I gave you the link for the recipe above but as we ate breakfast the day after the celebration, and girlfriend was putting ketchup on her hash browns, son pointed out that the link for the recipe is right on the bottle!