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War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man’s Cake

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.

War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man's Cake

War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man’s Cake

I had been getting requests for War Cake on our Facebook Page for the last couple of weeks. At first I replied that I had never heard of it.

But in fact, our family has been making it for decades.

It’s 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.

Spanish Bar Cake starts with boiled raisins, shown in saucepan.

This War Cake recipe starts with boiling the raisins. Be sure to allow cooling time when planning to bake this cake.

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.

You can also add some rum sauce for a terrific dessert especially now as the Holiday season approaches.

War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man's Cake

War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man’s Cake

Need more holiday baking ideas?

If you’re searching for special Holiday Cake ideas, be sure to check out this great collection of recipes.

Best Newfoundland Christmas Cake Recipes

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War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man’s Cake

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War Cake a.k.a. Poor Man's Cake
Yield: 16 servings

War Cake ...a.k.a. Poor Man's Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan combine the raisins and water. Bring to a rolling boil and continue to boil for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and butter.
  3. 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.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. 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.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

    Nutrition Information

    Yield

    16

    Serving Size

    1/16

    Amount Per Serving Calories 268Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 15mgSodium 160mgCarbohydrates 52gFiber 1gSugar 30gProtein 3g

    The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

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    10 Wartime Recipes From a Bygone Era - Insanely Good

    Thursday 9th of September 2021

    […] 9. War Cake […]

    Ian

    Monday 7th of June 2021

    Hi there,

    After boiling the raisins, do you drain them before adding the butter and sugar?

    Cheers, Ian

    Ada Lovelace

    Tuesday 15th of December 2020

    That should read 'war'☺

    Ada Lovelace

    Tuesday 15th of December 2020

    We knew it as ear cake as well. We lived in a rural community and most people had access to butter from cows raised in either our own or neighbours cows.

    Elaine Kitchel

    Thursday 26th of November 2020

    My family has enjoyed this Poor Man's/War cake every Thanksgiving and Christmas since 1945. That's a LOT of cakes! We love the moist, rich cake with it's fragrant spices. We like to add roasted pecans or walnuts and a few maraschino cherries to the mix.

    The original cake called for seeded muscat raisins instead of plain ones. It did make a richer cake. In recent years we have found seeded muscats to be so difficult to find that we now opt for the common raisin. It holds up well and packs a lot of moisture into the cake. If you are lucky enough to find seeded muscats, you'll appreciate their rich flavor and the beautiful pairing they make when you include walnuts in your cake. We like and use this recipe instead of traditional fruit cake. Who likes all that citron anyway?

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