Love It or Hate It

People Are Going Nuts Over Ketchup Cake: 5 Unexpected Ingredients Showing Up in Desserts

Next time you're baking, take another look at these random ingredients in your kitchen.

Who doesn't love a surprise ingredient that makes your food taste better? From beer-can chicken to chocolate-infused chili, secret ingredients can bring a dish to the next level and wow your guests. But sometimes, truth be told, those unexpected ingredients are unexpected for a reason—and you might want to steer clear.

On that note, a certain huge ketchup brand is offering a recipe for ketchup cake on bottles sold  in Canada. 

And because there’s always someone somewhere on the Internet ready to accept any challenge on earth—and YouTube it, obviously—one guy named Gregory Nuttle attempted to video the making of said cake. And needless to say, he's getting some abuse.

What's the deal with this ketchup-cake recipe? It's fairly straightforward in some ways, bizarre in others: Flour, “magic” baking powder (Nuttle didn’t know what that was, so he just wrote the word "magic" on regular non-magic baking powder), baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and brown sugar. But while the recipe called for ground nutmeg, Nuttle figured it was OK to just throw a whole nutmeg into the mix... along with the cream cheese, eggs, ketchup, and red food coloring (isn't that the ketchup's job?).

Nuttle doesn't try the cake himself in the video (he's a vegan) but his guests apparently found the cake to be moist, delicious and “carrot cake like,” without a super-prominent ketchup taste.

We're curious, but we're saving our ketchup until further evidence comes in. Meanwhile, these other unexpected, savory ingredients actually can make your baked goods taste awesome—so our advice? Try these tips first, before you go squeezing the red stuff into your cake batter.

1.  Avocados

Delicious #avocado brownies from scratch? Add it to this week's to-do list!

A photo posted by California Avocados (@ca_avocados) on

Avocados in brownies can help cut down on the amount of butter you use, if you're looking to shave the calories and give your fudgy dessert a healthier spin—without sacrificing too much of the rich, fatty flavor.

2.  Mayo

A burger-and-fries condiment that can actually make your cake better (instead of just weirder) is mayo. Yes, mayo. Don't knock it till you've tried it.

3.  Cola

While it may sound strange to add soda pop to your baked goods, Cola cake has been a thing for generations. The sweet carbonated soda can make the cake and the frosting taste even richer. Unexpected, but also delicious.

4.  Beets

This under-appreciated baking ingredient can make cakes moister and more intense-tasting, not to mention that it sneaks more nutrients into your dessert. In beet cake recipes, the beets are generally pureed, so you won’t see or taste them. But you’ll know they're in there. 


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