Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great Depression Cake

Found this little gem in the 75th Anniversary Edition of my Sun-Maid Raisin Cookbook.  Initially, the name caught my attention.  It's a moist, spicy cake that does not use milk, eggs or butter (hence its popularity during the Depression).  But also, my dad loved raisins and the running joke in our house growing up was his eye-roll inducing comment to Mom about how any given dish would "taste better with raisins."  Secretly I think Mom hated it, but being the good wife she put raisins in chocolate cake, homemade chocolate pudding, mince meat pie, red cabbage and her famous, from-scratch raisin bread.  So you see, there's no getting away from it for me.  And more than once has Hank stopped mid-chew to come to the quick realization that, yes, I put raisins in this too!

Great Depression Cake

1 c sugar
1 c coffee
1 c raisins
1/4 c shortening
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon, allspice, cloves and nutmeg
1/2 c chopped walnuts

In small saucepan, combine sugar, coffee, raisins, shortening and apple.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Cool.  In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Add cooked raisin mixture.  Pour batter into greased 9x9 pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar.  May substitute water for coffee.

It was a hit with the family.  I added whipped cream as garnish instead of the powdered sugar.  And any dried fruit could be added or substituted if you're not a lover of raisins.  Having a piece for you, Dad!


  1. Sounds delicious! One raisin combo I'm not a fan of is cooked spinach with raisins and onions...ever tried that?!

  2. I'm thinking this is BREWED COFFEE?
    ...and I'm thinking my Granny used to make something like this. For the very reason...we were poor and didn't have the ingredients you mentioned.

    I might also recall it being quite satisfying. I personally, like raisins, as an adult; as a child I picked them out!
    I pinned it.


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