Grandma’s Boiled Raisin Cake was my Dad’s favorite, so on Father’s Day, my mother always made this cake for him for dessert. It’s traditionally served plain – no frosting, topping, or other adornment – so once the cake is baked and cooled, no other work is necessary; it’s ready to serve. Of course, this old-fashioned cake isn’t just for Father’s Day; it’s delicious any time of year. In fact, with a few extra ingredients added it makes a perfect fruitcake for Christmas.
Grandma’s Boiled Raisin Cake is a dense cake, and contains no dairy products or eggs. The recipe, handed down for several generations in my family, is typical of the cakes made during wartime when butter, eggs, and dairy products were rationed. It stays moist for weeks when kept airtight, which explains why this cake was often sent to soldiers on the front lines during the war.
If you’re looking for something different to please Dad this Father’s Day, why not try this homemade cake; it will make dessert time extra special.
4 cups raisins
2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup shortening
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or other nuts
- Place the raisins, sugar, water, and shortening in a large saucepan.
- Cover the pan, bring the mixture to a boil, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, uncover, and let cool.
- When the mixture is cool, preheat the oven to 325°.
- Line a 13" x 9" dripper pan with parchment or grease and flour.
- In a large mixing bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- With the mixer running on low speed, pour in the raisin mixture.
- Mix well, scraping the sides.
- Stir in the nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- When cool, cut into squares.
- To make this cake into a holiday fruitcake: add 3 cups nuts – a good mixture is pecans, walnuts, filberts, and Brazil nuts, and 2 cups each candied cherries and pineapple. Candied peel or fruit cake mix can be added instead of or in addition to the candied cherries and pineapple. (If adding fruit cake mix or candied peel in addition to the candied cherries and pineapple, reduce the amounts of candied cherries and pineapple to 1 cup each and add 2 cups candied peel or fruit cake mix) and bake in standard loaf pans. Increase baking time about 15 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 315 Calories from Fat 76
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 24% Protein 3% Carb. 73%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 203 mg
Total Carbohydrate 57 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 25 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 3% Calcium 0% Iron 7%