Depression Raisin Cake



Some of my recipes are like on-going history lessons.  This recipe is actually from the Depression.  There are a couple of ways to tell.  There is no butter or eggs.  From the Depression, we went straight into the rationing of World War 2.  Women, yes almost always women, were the primary homemakers and they had to learn a balancing act of good taste, healthy food and making do with what was available.  My heroes!

I’ve been making this cake for decades, because Greg loves it.  You can backpack with it, pack it in a lunch, serve it with whipped cream, soak it with brandy, toast it with butter and honey.  I think we have all the meals covered.  Plus when making it, I boil everything in my Dutch oven and then mix all the dry ingredients in the same pan before pouring everything into a tube pan.  Two dirty dishes?  What a deal.

This is the kind of cake I like.  None of that wimpy Angel Food for me.  I want body, and lots of spice, and texture.  This cake has it all.  Plus, don’t forget the history lesson.

Depression Raisin Cake

In a 5 quart saucepan combine

2 cups raisins

2 cups sugar

3 heaping tablespoons Crisco

2 cups cold water

Bring to a boil and boil 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool.

Add:  3 cups flour

1 teaspoon soda

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice

1 cup chopped walnuts

Stir and pour into a greased tube pan.  Bake at 325 degrees approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.

From the Recipe Box:

This recipe is like an old friend.   It’s a very heavy, dense cake with tons of spice flavor.  It keeps well and stays moist.  This might be G’s favorite cake.

Never, ever, ever use a Bundt pan.  Ever!  You will have a devil of a time getting the cake out of the pan.

Instead of raisins, I also like dried blueberries, craisins, apricots or a combination of all.

And remember:  Some people try to turn back the odometer.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look like this.  I’ve traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren’t paved.  Big kiss, Lynn


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