Thunder cake is a recipe that originated in a children’s book by Patricia Polacco with the same name. It is a chocolate cake, often topped with strawberries, and a secret ingredient that gives it a very moist consistency. There are lots of delicious toppings and icings you can adorn this cake with, such as melted chocolate or vanilla frosting.
In this article, we will cover 15 thunder cake recipes that you can bake next time you are stuck at home during a storm.
Taken straight from the recipe in the back of the children’s book, this is the definitive Thunder Cake recipe. It is made from cocoa powder, vanilla, shortening and the secret ingredient; a third of a cup of tomato purée. Yes you read that right, this cake, and many of the other cakes on this list, contains tomatoes which adds a lovely sweet edge that complements the chocolate beautifully
Just like in the book, this cake can be garnished with lots of strawberries placed in a circle on the top. You can use whole strawberries or cut them in half if you prefer, and they taste absolutely delightful on top of the buttercream icing.
With an entire cup of shortening in the recipe, this tomato and chocolate cake is extremely decadent and the perfect dessert to make while you are riding out a thunderstorm.
Any dessert tastes better with extra chocolate, and this thunder cake is no different. This recipe takes only one hour to make, and is worth every minute for the delicious combination of cocoa and tomato.
The best part is the topping though, and the two layers of this cake are stacked with melted chocolate between them. More melted chocolate is poured over the top, and you can finish everything off with a sprinkling of chocolate chips for a truly delectable dessert.
Store bought icings are convenient, and they taste alright, but you just can’t beat a fully homemade dessert. This recipe teaches you how to make a thunder cake as well as a delicious buttercream frosting to put over the top.
The vanilla icing goes beautifully with the chocolate and really works to take this cake to the next level. You can also add some fresh strawberries on the top to complete the cake and make it look just like the one from the book.
This recipe teaches you how to make a simple chocolate frosting for your cake that goes great with a few strawberries placed on top. It also has some helpful tips for getting your cake just right, such as properly sifting the ingredients to get the right consistency for your mix.
Since thunder cake is a very moist dessert, it is vital to leave it for a few minutes before you take it out of the tin to prevent it breaking.
With more cocoa and another delicious icing for going over the top, this cake has more of everything you love, but sadly leaves out the tomato. Instead, sour cream is used to add moisture and give a deeper flavor to the finished product.
The entire cake is covered in a chocolate cream cheese frosting that goes perfectly with chopped strawberries. This recipe takes just under an hour to cook, including prep, and serves 8 – 10 people.
If you are looking for a more exotic thunder cake, then look no further than this recipe, which uses whole tomatoes and bananas alongside the cocoa powder. This makes the batter extra moist for a super soft cake that has a beautifully smooth texture. You will need to peel and purée the tomatoes yourself, but this is easy to do and will give the cake a much sweeter flavor.
The recipe also teaches you how to make a delicious frosting for your cake from Greek yogurt and vanilla.
For this cake you won’t have to do much prep at all since the solid portion of the mixture is made from a German brand of chocolate cake mix. Simply add condensed milk to the store bought mix and then stir it to form a batter. Once your cake is done cooking, you can cover it in a topping of whipped cream and smashed up Heath chocolate bars to make it extra decadent.
This is another thunder cake that uses a store bought chocolate cake mix, which makes it very quick and easy to throw together. Instead of whipped cream, it is covered it hot fudge sauce for a full chocolate extravaganza. You can finish it off by sprinkling chocolate chips over the top to create a cake that absolutely no chocoholic will be able to turn down.
Although they aren’t technically cakes, these thunder cake drop scones are the perfect breakfast treat. They are made from rolled oats, shredded coconut, and buttermilk, which makes them one of the healthiest options on this list.
Since these scones only take 40 minutes to make, they are a great impromptu dessert for those days when you want something sweet that doesn’t require much effort to cook. The best way to enjoy these scones is hot out of the frying pan with a sprinkling of fresh berries at the side.
Back to the book that started it all, this cake is made straight from the recipe in Patricia Polacco’s book but with one simple substitution. Instead of shortening, this cake is made with sunflower oil, which makes it extra moist. It is finished off with an olive oil and chocolate glazing, topped with strawberries to look just like the illustration from the book.
Give this thunder cake a try if you like the sound of chocolate and tomato but don’t have any shortening close to hand.
These chocolate and tomato cupcakes use a similar recipe to the book, but with gluten-free tapioca and quinoa flour instead of the all-purpose variety. Xanthan gum and three eggs are used to hold everything together and give this cake a beautifully soft texture that melts in your mouth. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes, which you can decorate or frost with any gluten-free icing of your choice
This recipe uses an American brand of egg replacement called Egg Beaters that has lower calories than eggs from the shell. If you want to make this recipe vegan, then you can replace this with a flax-seed egg.
You will need to peel whole tomatoes for this recipe again, which can be done by dipping them in boiling water to loosen the skins off. After this, they can be puréed and mixed into the rest of the batter for a sumptuous chocolate cake.
Another cupcake recipe, but this one is vegan instead of gluten-free, although you can easily make it both with the right type of flour. They may not be called thunder cakes, but with both cocoa and tomato present in the recipe, they certainly tick all the right boxes for one.
These cupcakes have almond butter in them and can be garnished with pecans or strawberries on top of the icing for a beautiful nutty chocolate treat.
This thunder cake is finished off with a beautiful, rich chocolate ganache, which is a special type of glaze that tastes amazing. To make it you will need whipping cream, coarsely chopped chocolate, and corn syrup.
The recipe has enough ingredients to make two cake layers, which can be placed on top of each other and smothered in the ganache. Sprinkle a few strawberries, and you have a thunder cake that looks just like the one from Patricia Polacco’s book.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Thunder Cake?
Thunder cake is a type of chocolate cake made in a children’s book of the same name written by Patricia Polacco. It is a cake made from cocoa powder and shortening, with the secret ingredient of tomato purée added into the mix to make it extra moist. In the book, this cake is covered in chocolate frosting and topped with whole strawberries.
What Can I Use to Replace Eggs for a Vegan Thunder Cake?
If you want to make a vegan thunder cake, you may struggle to find recipes online that don’t contain egg. You could use the vegan thunder cupcake recipe we mentioned in this list and simply add it to a bigger tin. Alternatively, you can use flax seed eggs, or bananas to replace the eggs in the original recipe.
What is the Best Flour for Thunder Cake?
Thunder cake works best with all-purpose flour, as this makes it sufficiently light and fluffy. It is important to add the eggs last to make sure you get the right texture and consistency in the end product.
Thunder cake came from a children’s book, and as such it is a wonderfully simple recipe that you can make with your own children in just under an hour. The tomato goes surprisingly well with the chocolate and makes the cake more moist for a better consistency. Next time you are stuck inside during a thunderstorm, why not try out one of these recipes and make your own delicious thunder cake.