Pat’s Boiled Raisin Cake

Cake Recipes | 2 comments

This is my Mom’s famous cake, which she made for many, many occasions. And we also used to have it at home for no occasion at all!

Pat's Boiled Raisin Cake

Joan Donogh
Raisins are boiled and the remaining raisin water is used to flavor this tasty spice cake.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12



  • 2 cups raisins
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Caramel Icing:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1 cup icing confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla



  • Boil raisins and water until there is one cup of juice remaining. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and spices. In mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Stir in vanilla.
  • Drain raisins and reserve juice. Add raisins to the creamed mixture. Add flour mixture and stir to combine. Add reserved raisin juice (1 cup) last.
  • Spread batter in a greased 11 by 7 inch oblong or 9 inch square pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until top of cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool.

Caramel Icing:

  • Melt butter. Add brown sugar. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk and stir until it comes to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add icing sugar. Beat until creamy. Stir in vanilla. Spread over top of cooled cake.



  1. Jennifer

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for sharing this! This was a family favorite decades ago when I was a kid. Both my mom and grandmother made this several times a year. We called them “spice bars,” so it took some fiddling with my search terms to find your recipe. Easy and delicious! Thank you thank you!

    • Joan

      Glad you found it! Maybe your comment will help someone else who might be looking for “spice bars” to find it.


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