Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boiled cake (Spice cake)

This recipe isn't "clean" or healthy in any way (Crisco, anyone?). However, it was my grandmother's recipe, so I make it the way she did. Mark doesn't like sweets, so this is what I make for his birthday every year, and it was the top layer of our wedding cake (I just had to be careful to stay away from the frosting when I fed it to him!). It's in the oven right now, filling the house with its beautiful spicy aroma, and for once it's not insanely hot on July 31st. (Why couldn't Mark have been born in fall or winter?).

Boiled Cake

¾ c. raisins

½ c. shortening

2 c. + almost 1 c. water

2 c. sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp baking soda

About 3 c. flour

Chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine raisins, shortening and water in a small saucepan; simmer 15 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add the raisins in cooking liquid. Dissolve baking soda in ½ c. hot water, and fill cup with cold water to 1 c. mark. Add to sugar mixture. Add enough flour to make a batter. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour into greased Bundt pan. Bake 50-60 min. Wait about 10 minutes then turn out onto rack. Serve plain, with cream cheese frosting or sprinkled with powdered sugar.

I skip the nuts, but always add a little extra spice: maybe ground nutmeg, sometimes ground cardamom. This is a great cake for tea, a picnic, or hostess gift.

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