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Thunder Cake Recipe

The thunder cake is one of the easiest cakes that can be made at home.

This simple cake has been around since the 1820s when it was first introduced as an Easter dessert by German bakers.

It’s also known as a “thunder cake” because its texture resembles lightning strikes on a dark night sky.

If you’re looking for something different than your usual chocolate or red velvet cake, then try making a thunder cake!

You’ll love how light and fluffy it tastes like, along with all the other flavors that go into it.

thunder cake recipe

What Is The Difference Between A Thunder Cake And A Regular Cake?

A thunder cake is not the same thing as a birthday cake.

A thunder cake is more similar to a pound cake, which is a dense, buttery cake made from flour, sugar, eggs, milk, baking powder, vanilla extract, and butter.

The only major difference between these two types of cakes is the type of leavening used.

A pound cake uses baking powder while a thunder cake uses yeast.

Because baking powder reacts faster than yeast, a pound cake will rise quicker but may have slightly less volume than a thunder cake.

If you’d rather have full control over your cake’s rising power, use a yeast-based batter instead.

What Makes A Thunder Cake So Special?

When we think about what makes a cake so special, we often think about the frosting, decorations, colors, and taste of the finished product.

But, if you ask someone who hasn’t had cake before, they might say “it just looks good.” That is exactly why the thunder cake is such a unique treat.

Its appearance is unlike any other cake that you’ve ever seen.

When cut, it seems almost liquid and melts in your mouth.

And it isn’t too sweet either!

What makes a thunder cake even better is that it tastes great!

thunder cake recipe

What Is The History Behind The Thunder Cake Recipe?

Thundereggs were originally created during World War I, where soldiers would eat them as a form of entertainment.

They were later brought back after the war ended and became a part of children’s Easter traditions.

Today, they are still enjoyed by families and friends alike across America every year.

How Do You Make A Thunder Cake?

To make a thunder cake, follow these steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 Celsius).

Line three 8 x 4 inch round pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides of the pan.

Set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine 1 cup granulated white sugar, 2 cups all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons instant coffee, and 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.

Whisk well until there aren’t any clumps left.

Add the egg whites and whisk again until smooth.

Then add the buttermilk, sour cream, oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract.

Mix thoroughly.

3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the melted butter on medium speed.

Once combined, turn up the speed to high and continue mixing until the mixture turns pale yellow in color.

Turn down the speed to low and slowly pour in the dry ingredients.

Continue beating on medium speed until incorporated.

Pour the batter evenly into each prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the pans from the oven and let cool completely before removing the cakes from their pans.

4. Now comes the fun part—decorating!

Use whatever method works best for you to decorate your cakes.

We recommend using edible gold dust or confectioners’ sugar mixed with food coloring for added sparkle.

After finishing your decoration, enjoy!

thunder cake recipe

What Are Some Of The Key Ingredients In A Thunder Cake?

There are several important ingredients found in a thunder cake.

First, you need to know that you should never substitute milk for buttermilk.

Buttermilk contains live cultures which gives the cake extra flavor and improves the overall quality.

Second, you need to remember that the batter needs to be room temperature or warmer.

Cold batters won’t work properly.

Third, you want to make sure that the butter and the shortening used in the cake are both solid.

Lastly, you must use a soft or firm hand when adding the wet ingredients to the dry ones.

Soft hands will incorporate the flour into the batter.

On the other side of things, hard hands will keep the flour particles separate.

How Long Does It Take To Make A Thunder Cake?

It takes roughly 30 minutes to prepare the batter and another hour to complete the baking process.

So, expect to spend nearly 40 minutes total preparing time for your thunder cake.

What Is The Best Way To Serve A Thunder Cake?

You can serve a thunder cake right away, but it is equally delicious served cold later.

To store it properly, wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.

Or, freeze it for 24 hours and enjoy it straight out of the freezer.

How Many People Does A Thunder Cake Serve?

One person usually eats half a cake.

However, if you want to serve multiple guests, simply multiply the number of servings needed by two.

What Are Some Of The Most Popular Thunder Cake Flavor Combinations?

Thunders were traditionally flavored with lemon juice, but nowadays they come in a variety of flavors including strawberry, orange, coconut, raspberry, and peach.

Some recipes call for additional spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, peppermint, coriander, and lime zest.

There are countless ways to customize a thunder cake, so feel free to experiment and create your own version!

What Are Some Of The Health Benefits Of Eating A Thunder Cake?

Like most cakes, eating a thunder cake can improve your mood.

Studies show that eating baked goods rich in fiber, protein, vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, copper, manganese, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, polyphenols, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, protect against diabetes, support heart health, and prevent obesity.

Plus, eating a thunder cake can reduce cholesterol levels and increase energy levels.

Finally, eating a thunder cake can boost your immune system and fight off viruses and bacteria.

All in all, you can see that a thunder cake recipe is truly beneficial to your health! This material is designed for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice.

If you have any questions about a medical condition or your health goals, always see a physician or other trained healthcare professional.

thunder cake recipe

Thunder Cake

This is the Thunder Cake recipe from Patricia Polacco’s picture book “Thunder Cake.”
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Thunder Cake
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 5482kcal


  • 1 Oven
  • 1 Mixing bowl


  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1⁄3 cup tomato puree
  • 2 1⁄2 cups cake flour
  • 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Heat the oven to 350°F.
  • Greased and floured 2 8 1/2 inch cake pans
  • Combine the shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and egg yolks.
  • Mix in the cold water and tomato puree.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then fold them into the egg/tomato mixture.
  • Sift together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients.
  • Fill cake pans evenly with batter.
  • 35 to 40 minutes in the oven
  • Allow cakes to cool on wire racks before icing with chocolate buttercream.
  • Optional garnish: fresh strawberries.



Calories: 5482kcal | Carbohydrates: 1303g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 10g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 2255mg | Potassium: 4093mg | Fiber: 61g | Sugar: 1057g | Vitamin A: 2265IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 295mg | Iron: 28mg
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