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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake Recipe
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    Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake

    Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake. Photo by fluffernutter

    1/1 Photo of Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    1 hr 5 mins

    25 mins

    40 mins

    Dwynnie's Note:

    This is the Thunder Cake recipe from Patricia Polacco's "Thunder Cake" picture book. It is a wonderful chocolate cake with a hint of fruit flavor from the secret ingredient! It is perfect frosted with Chocolate Buttercream Icing and topped with fresh sliced strawberries! (The strawberries and tomato match wonderfully and I promise that no one will know it is tomato, they will only ask what you did to make it so wonderful!)

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    Units: US | Metric


    1. 1
      Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. 2
      Grease and flour two 8 1/2 inch cake pans.
    3. 3
      Cream together the shortening and sugar.
    4. 4
      Beat in the vanilla and egg yolks.
    5. 5
      Mix in the cold water and pureed tomatoes.
    6. 6
      Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and fold into egg/tomato mixture.
    7. 7
      Sift the cake flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
    8. 8
      Mix dry mixture into wet.
    9. 9
      Pour batter evenly into cake pans.
    10. 10
      Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
    11. 11
      Let cakes cool on wire racks before frosting with chocolate buttercream icing.
    12. 12
      Optional: Top with fresh strawberries.

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    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on October 14, 2012


      I am so glad you posted this recipe! My son brought home a hand-written recipe for this after reading the story at school and wanted to make it. However, after starting, I realized there was no flour listed in his version, as he missed it when writing. Thanks to you, we didn't waste a ton of ingredients, and he's happy, having helped make it. Baked in a 9x13 for a bit more time, frosted with milk chocolate icing and topped with strawberries. Thanks so much!

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    • on April 25, 2010


      My girls loved the book, and it's my younger daughter's favorite cake. We use a GF flour cake for a GF/CF version and frost with or favorite GF/CF chocolate frosting. I bake as 2 8" rounds with frosting between layers and on the outside. Put strawberries on top. I used to put sliced berries between the layers, but the girls didn't like oft-requested birthday cake in our house.

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No
    • on March 24, 2009


      This cake is good and it is great to read the story with your child, then have cake - great mom child activity. My son, 12, still likes making this cake since this is one of our memories. Plus this is the only cake I know of with tomatoes! Its fun to suprise people!

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No

    Read All Reviews (6)


    Nutritional Facts for Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake

    Serving Size: 1 (178 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 8

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 595.3
    Calories from Fat 256
    Total Fat 28.5 g
    Saturated Fat 7.4 g
    Cholesterol 69.7 mg
    Sodium 559.5 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 81.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
    Sugars 44.5 g
    Protein 7.0 g

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