Vintage Recipe: Boiled Raisin Cake

Fruit Cake
James A. Guilliam
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 50 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
199 Calories
5g Fat
39g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 199
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 280mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 1g
Calcium 29mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This old-fashioned dessert made without milk or eggs was especially popular in the 1930s. Because of its economical ingredients, it's also sometimes referred to as Depression Era or War Cake. 


  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring raisins and 1 cup water to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 10 minutes longer.

  2. Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in cooked raisins, 1/2 cup water, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and baking soda dissolved in hot water. Beat in flour. Pour batter into greased and floured 9 x 13 x 2-inch pan.

  3. Bake at 350 F (175 C) for 25 minutes.

  4. If desired, frost with cream cheese frosting.

Recipe Tags: