Step Up Your Baking Game with These Savory Tomato Cupcakes

Tomato Cupcake

Neurotic Baker

When I saw this recipe for tomato cupcakes with balsamic frosting on How to Philosophize with Cake’s blog, it took me a few minutes to comprehend what I read. Savory dessert is so in right now, and when I saw this recipe in particular, it struck a chord in me.

I had such a problem trying to imagine what these would taste like that the only way to find out would be to make them. I printed out the recipe and headed to the market. The recipe didn’t specify what type of tomato to buy, so I bought two containers of vine ripe tomatoes.

I can’t believe how nervous I was over tasting the cupcakes! I kept imagining them tasting like spaghetti sauce, but they were delicious. The flavor was similar to a zucchini bread in the sense that it wasn’t overly savory or sweet. It was like eating a delicious caramelized tomato in cupcake form.

The balsamic frosting was very good, too. The balsamic provided a nice tang to the sweetness of the frosting and the cupcake.

I brought one to work to share with a friend, who looked at it as if it was going to attack her. But after the first bite, she asked if I would make a dozen to bring the next week! There’s been a parsley cake recipe I’ve had my eye on for a while now. Maybe it’s time to dig out that recipe….

Tomato Cupcake

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, roughly blended, or 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the balsamic frosting

½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Up to 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions 

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 15 to 16 cupcake tins with paper wrappers and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together tomatoes, olive oil, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. In a large bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients under “tomato cupcakes.” Fold wet ingredients into dry, and stir until just combined and few lumps remain.

3. Divide batter between cupcake tins and bake for 17 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached. After 10 minutes, remove from tins and let cool completely on a wire rack.

4. To make frosting, start by placing coconut oil in the bowl of an electric stand mixer; beat until smooth. With mixer on low speed, spoon in powdered sugar and mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients and whip on medium-high until light and fluffy.

Tomato Cupcake

Neurotic Baker

Cheryl Vivian is a neurotic baker who came to D.C. via Detroit, Chicago, and New York City. She likes to get nerdy about baking, and there are at least two dozen eggs, four pounds of butter, and a quart of buttermilk in her fridge at all times. She doesn’t cry over burnt cookies, sunken cakes, or tough pie dough, but she will try (and try) until it’s just right. Cheryl loves to blend new trends with traditional recipes and believes that everything is better with a pinch of salt. Follow along on Instagram at @cherylvivian.

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