Grandma’s Husband Cake -a vintage recipe from the 1960s – is a spice Bundt cake with nuts, raisins and the most amazing cream cheese fondant icing drizzled on top.
The story behind this recipe
Let’s talk about the most unusual ingredient I’ve ever seen in a cake recipe – tomato soup! Have you ever heard of Husband Cake? I found the recipe in my grandmother’s collection of handwritten recipe cards and just had to make it because of the name. And also because it calls for tomato soup as one of the ingredients. Sounds strange but the cake is very tasty! Especially the icing. My grandmother called it a “cheese fondant icing” which I thought was so interesting. She included an egg yolk along with the cream cheese and sugar which gives it a silky smooth texture and compliments the spice cake just beautifully.
Ingredients You Need for This Cake
Shortening – I used Crisco
Baking Soda, Baking Powder & Salt
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves & Ginger
Chopped Nuts – I used Pecans & Walnuts
How to Make Husband Cake (aka Spice Bundt Cake)
- Start by greasing your Bundt pan extremely well to prevent the cake from sticking.
- Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
- Cream the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
- Stir together the tomato soup, water and baking soda, then alternate adding it with the flour mixture.
- Fold in the nuts and raisins, pour into prepared pan and bake at 350°F. for about an hour.
How to Make Grandma’s Cheese Fondant Icing
- Beat the cream cheese and egg yolk, then gradually add the powdered sugar.
- Stir in the salt, vanilla and whipping cream until smooth.
- It’s ready for drizzling onto the cake.
Note: If you’re concerned about the raw egg, you can heat it for 90 seconds while stirring constantly before adding to the cream cheese.
How to Make Sure Your Cake Doesn’t Stick
- Grease the Bundt pan really well with shortening.
- Use a generous amount and cover entire inside of the pan.
- Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of flour over the shortening.
- Roll it all around to cover the shortening.
- Pour out any excess flour.
- Now your pan is ready for the cake batter and it will definitely not stick once it’s baked!
I’m pretty sure this recipe dates back to the 1960s but I happened to have one of my grandmother’s old dish towels, so I thought it would look cute in the photo even though it says 1984. She passed away in 1987, so this little towel is special to me and so are her recipes. Making her recipes is a wonderful way to remember my grandmother and still feel connected.
What’s your favorite recipe from your grandmother? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you. And please let me know if you have ever heard of Husband Cake. I’m so curious.
I hope you enjoy Grandma’s Husband Cake – Spice Bundt Recipe.
Tools for success
Note: The above items are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Want even more? Subscribe to Mom Loves Baking to get new recipes and a newsletter delivered to your inbox. And stay in touch on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates. If you make this recipe, share a photo on social media tagging @momlovesbaking and using the hashtag #momlovesbaking.
Grandma's Husband Cake Spice Bundt Cake
For the cake
- 3/4 cup shortening (grandmother used Crisco)
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup tomato soup
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups cake flour
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (or 2 teaspoons, if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon ginger (powdered, not fresh)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
- 1 1/2 cups raisins
For the cheese fondant icing
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan generously with shortening. Really put on a thick-ish layer, getting into all the nooks and crannies. Dust with about 2 tablespoons of flour, rolling all around the pan to make sure every bit of shortening is covered with the flour. This is an important step as you don't want your cake to stick. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Set aside.
- Measure shortening and sugar. Blend together (I used an electric mixer). Add eggs and mix well. Combine soup with water and baking soda in a separate bowl or large measuring cup. Add alternately with the flour mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool. Turn out onto cake plate and drizzle with cheese fondant icing. Garnish with chopped nuts.
For the cheese fondant icing
- In a large bowl, blend cream cheese with egg yolk with an electric mixer. With mixer on low, gradually add sugar, then salt and vanilla. Turn up to medium and beat for 30 seconds. Stir in cream until completely combined (don't beat the cream because you want an icing you can drizzle).
Note: This recipe is featured on Meal Plan Monday over at The Southern Plate.
You might also like these vintage recipes – this one is from my grandmother, Alabama Lane Cake
Another one of her favorites was this Watergate Cake
You might like Classic Southern Red Velvet Cake
Check out these awesome Bundt cake recipes from some of my favorite bloggers …
Easy 7UP Pound Cake from The Best Cake Recipes
Best Ever Lemon Raspberry Bundt Cake from The Busy Baker
Butterfinger Bundt Cake from Mighty Mrs.
German Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Gold Lining Girl
The famous Tunnel of Fudge Cake from Pillsbury Bake-Off
All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.