War Cake …a.k.a. Poor Man’s Cake – an easy to make, simple raisin spice cake using common ingredients to create a moist and delicious version of this timeless classic.
I had been getting requests for War Cake on our Facebook Page for the last couple of weeks and although at first I replied that I had never heard of it, in fact, our family has been making it for decades. Said to be a recipe adapted to the limited available ingredients such as eggs and dairy products due to rationing during World War II, we know this cake in our family as Poor Man’s Cake and my Mom’s recipe for it is absolutely delicious. By either name this is one delicious, moist raisin spice cake and although it is made without eggs or milk, you would never know it. It stays moist for days in a covered container but you may want to try it warm out of the oven with some rum sauce for a terrific dessert especially now as the Holiday season approaches.
- 2 cups raisins
- 3 cups water
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ cup butter
- 3 cups flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In a small saucepan combine the raisins and water. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and butter.
- Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. This step can be done a day in advance if you prefer. Let this mixture cool for at least a couple of hours until it reaches room temperature.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
- Pour the raisin mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended but do not over mix the batter. Pour the batter into a well greased and floured bundt pan or tube pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container or cake tin.