Fireflies: Recipe: Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake         

Mar 13, 2012

Recipe: Patricia Polacco's Thunder Cake

  • Posted on
  • "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  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!)"              Dwynnie

  • 1 c shortening
    1 3/4 c sugar
    1 t. vanilla
    3 eggs - separated
        (blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)
    1 c cold water
    1/3 c tomato puree (you are reading this correctly!)
    2 1/2 c cake flour
    1/2 c cocoa powder
    1 1/2 t. baking soda
    1 t. salt
  • Ganache optional
    (from Sugar Plum - Click for full recipe)

    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon corn syrup
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  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 or ganache.

    To make the ganache, heat cream in s small saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and whisk in chocolate until melted; whisk in butter, corn syrup and vanilla until combined. Pour and spread ganache over cooled cake layers.
  12. 12
    Optional: Top with fresh strawberries.

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