Book of the Week: Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco

book cover


“While gathering the ingredients for her grandmother’s “thunder cake,” a young girl begins to overcome her fear of storms.”

Thunder Cake makes for a fantastic rainy day activity! This book is so interesting because it’s a true story written and illustrated by the author about her fear of storms growing up. It also includes the original Thunder Cake recipe (below). I love it because it feels so authentic. And, because the recipe calls for tomatoes (in chocolate cake?!) it’s a great practice in trying new foods.

Thunder Cake! thunder  cake top


Cream together one at a time:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs, separated (Blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes

Sift together:

  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt

Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8-inch pans at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting (recipe here, or you can give yourself a break and use the stuff from the can). Top with fresh strawberries!


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