Vintage Boiled Raisin Cake

Vintage Boiled Raisin Cake

I have always credited my father’s mom for our family’s boiled raisin cake recipe. My mother’s handwritten recipe book, dated 1947, features her auntie’s boiled raisin cake recipe on the first page. Looking further, I see a star beside a similar cake, credited to a Mrs. Hardy.

Mrs. Hardy always slathered her raisin cake with chocolate buttercream icing. My mother tried it, loved it, and that’s how we ate it, ever after. My older daughter didn’t like the combination of chocolate and spice and suggested we top this recipe with cream cheese icing. Lately, I prefer this cake topped with Vintage Caramel Fudge Frosting. Sigh!

I assure you that any boiled raisin cake is a thing to savour. I encourage you to make one soon. Even my husband Gord, who has Crohn’s, is able to digest this cake because the raisins are twice cooked. On occasion, I have replaced the all-purpose flour with oat flour to accommodate my gluten sensitive daughter. It’s a pioneer recipe, after all, and you can’t ruin it.

As for the icing controversy, I look forward to hearing your opinions.

Vintage Boiled Raisin Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Step one:

Place 1 cup of raisins in a medium size saucepan and cover with water. Bring the raisins to a boil; boil gently for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step two:

Select a pan; 7 by 11 inches or 9 by 9 inches will work.

Butter the pan and line it with parchment paper.

Step three:

¾ of a cup of white sugar

½ cup of butter

1 egg

Cream white sugar, butter, and egg in medium size bowl

Step four:

½ a teaspoon of cinnamon

½ a teaspoon of allspice

1½ cups of all-purpose flour

½ a teaspoon of baking powder

A pinch of salt

Mix dry ingredients in another medium size bowl.

Step Five:

Drain the raisins, retaining ½ a cup of the raisin juice

Add 1 teaspoon of soda to the juice.

Step Six: Put it all together

Add the flour mixture, in two parts, to the butter and egg mixture, alternating with raisin juice, ending with flour. 

Add the cooled raisins

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for about half an hour.

Cool the cake and ice with your favourite icing. Try my Caramel Fudge Frosting, HERE. Lately, I prefer to make this amazing icing with dark brown sugar.  


Comments (7)

  • Constance Muir October 23, 2019 at 09:45 am

    I have been looking high and low for this recipe ever since my sister-in-law made one for me after I had my daughter.Now I have finally discovered your
    Recipe and can't wait to try it 😊. Thank you!!

  • Cindy Kell March 25, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful vintage raisin cake recipe. This is a cake my mother used to make when I was a kid back in the 60's and 70's. I have made this cake twice so far this month, once with the caramel icing and once with cream cheese icing I had leftover from a carrot cake. It really makes no difference the cake is super yummy with either kind of icing, in fact this cake is even better than mom's.

  • sakina madini June 25, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Your cake looks delicious and tasty and I love raisins. I will make it soon.

  • Marion Murawsky June 19, 2017 at 04:24 pm

    This bring backs such memories from my childhood as well. My mom often made a similar cake. Another fav is crumb cake !!
    So much fun to read your blogs maureen

  • Patty Watt June 16, 2017 at 08:51 am

    My grandma used to make something like this. Loved it. I'm making this! And definitely with the caramel fudge icing! Thanks!!

  • The Boy June 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm


  • Carol Senger June 15, 2017 at 10:33 am

    This cake looks good. I love old family recipes, I'll have to try it.
    Love your blog Maureen.
    Carol Senger

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