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Raisin Cake

A vintage recipe, derived likely from 'War Cake' or 'Depression Cake' recipes. A delicious, basic cake to enjoy with a cup of tea on a chilly night.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Keyword: boiled raisins, depression cake, mfk fisher, raisin, war cake
Servings: 10
Author: Nicole Coudal


  • 1 c. Raisins
  • 1 1/2 c. Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 3 c. All-purpose flour
  • 2 c. Granulated sugar
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 c. Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 c. Chopped walnuts (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter & flour a Bundt pan or a large loaf pan.
  • In small saucepan, add raisins and water. Bring to boil and simmer 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat and add baking soda. Cool to room temperature (about 20 minutes).
  • In a large bowl, sift flour and sugar.
  • If using nuts, add them to a small bowl and sprinkle a little of the flour mixture into them (this will prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the batter while cooking); set aside.
  • To the bowl of flour/sugar, add beaten eggs, oil and vanilla and mix well with a wooden spoon. Add raisins and water; stir to combine. Toss in nuts (if using) and stir to combine.
  • Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean at the center. Remove from oven, cool thoroughly, then transfer to a serving platter.