Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup: Awake at the Whisk

By the Editors: This Turkey Day, we thought it would be fun to share recipes from our writers, as well as some of our favorite/local foodie blogs. Be sure to bookmark their sites, and check out the other fun recipes: stuffing from, Thanksgiving in a cake from Cake Grrl and an assortment of goodies from Lisa Page. Gobble gobble!!

Sacramento Green Tomato Cake

by Amber Stott, Awake at the Whisk

Warm cinnamon. Spice cake. Rum. These are the flavors I dream about as the holiday season approaches. Yet, as a locavore, I also turn an eye toward my garden for help directing my meals. This past weekend as I tore out my tomato plants, which had grown weary in the recent cold days, I harvested a whopping 30 pounds of tomatoes!—most of them green. I needed a creative—and festive—idea to use up my garden’s final crop of the year.

A quick Google search gave me the answer I was looking for: spice cake studded with green tomatoes. In Indian cuisine, tomatoes are often paired superbly with ginger or cinnamon in chutneys and sauces. I could see the rationale behind adding them to cake. Apparently, green tomato cake is one of Dolly Parton’s favorites, and Food Network’s Paula Deen has her own spin on this unique treat.

So, this year, I decided to add green tomato cake to my Thanksgiving menu. It feels so very Sacramento to serve tomatoes! In fact, if you don’t have a garden like me, I have seen several farmers at the market selling green tomatoes. ‘Tis the season!

I have enhanced this typically Southern cake recipe by adding freshly grated ginger root, a splash of rum, raisins soaked in hot chai tea, and a new spice being sold this year: roasted Saigon cinnamon. These flavors will fill your kitchen with the cheerful spices of the holidays.

As for the green tomatoes—they taste heavenly bathed inside this bold and delicious cake. Welcome to a new Sacramento classic!


  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 chai tea bag
  • 3 cups all-purpose organic unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon roasted Saigon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 ½ cups organic granulated cane sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon spiced rum
  • 2 ½ cups diced and cored green tomatoes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • Garden fresh ingredients: green tomatoes
  • Farmers market fare: raisins, eggs, walnuts
  • Supermarket ingredients: chai tea, flour, salt, baking powder, spices, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, rum, coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans.

Boil water and pour into a small bowl over raisins. Add the tea bag and steep with the raisins for about 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, sugar, and walnuts. Combine with a whisk.

Remove tea bag from raisins. Drain raisins through a sieve for use later.

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and rum with a whisk. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir just until combined. Stir in green tomatoes, raisins, and coconut.

Pour the cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. When the cake is done, remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then flip cake pan upside down to remove cake from pan and allow cake to cool on wire rack.

You can frost this cake with cream cheese frosting, but it tastes great by itself served as a brunch or breakfast cake. You could also sprinkle it with powdered sugar.

Yield: Two 9-inch round cakes

Amber K. Stott lives, gardens, and eats on the grid. She writes Awake at the Whisk, an online guide to conscious eating that’s healthy for you and healthy for the planet. She also works on the grid for the nonprofit WEAVE.

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