I’ve never been a fan of spice cake. Now, I say that I’m not a fan, but that does NOT mean that if you put a piece in front of me, I wouldn’t eat it. Quite the contrary, I would eat it, and I would most likely enjoy it. I know. It’s crazy. But it’s cake, and I love cake! Just not spice cake.
Having said all that nonsense, there are times that I’ll get a craving for Spanish Bar Cake. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…. Spanish Bar Cake is basically a spice cake with raisins. But it’s so dense and moist at the same time, and with all of those plump little raisins in every bite, how can I resist?
I’m spice cake fickle.
Add cream cheese frosting to the insanity, and I’m over the edge. Throw some walnuts on top, there’s no going back, and you’ll find me heading for that second piece.
Now ask me about spice cake.
And I’ll tell you I’m in love.
Spanish Bar Cake
Just a quick note: I had to call my mom for this recipe, as she is the keeper of all things good. While she was reading her ingredient list to me, she said that it calls for two cups of granulated sugar. But then she said that there was a hand written note that said you could use one cup of granulated sugar, and one cup of brown sugar.
After thinking about it for about one-fifth of a second, she said: “I think that’s what you should do. The molasses in the brown sugar will bring such a great flavor to this cake”.
Mom was right. I love her.
Things to do first:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Grease and flour a 9” x 13” pan
3 cups water
2 cups dark raisins
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar (~or~ one cup granulated sugar plus one cup brown sugar)
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
4 cups flour
In a large saucepan, bring the water to boil over high heat. Add the raisins, vegetable shortening, cinnamon, cloves, and coffee to the boiling water. Remove from heat, and let cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar(s), and salt until well blended. Add the cooled raisin mixture and beat until well blended, about three minutes.
Pour into prepared 9” x 13” pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely.
NOTE: Baking time will most likely vary. While this recipe called for 1-hour baking time, it only took 45 minutes in my oven. Keep an eye on the cake while it’s baking.
Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
½ cup softened butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Spread over cake, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts if desired.