Nothing heralds the holidays for my taste buds quite like a slab of war cake next to my morning cup of coffee. This is a traditional recipe in our family, dating back to days of wartime rationing — this version an adaptation of my great aunt’s. It only gets better as it ages, so make two — one for eating and one for keeping!
The cake is dark and moist and reminiscent of a heavy gingerbread. It is wonderful warm with whipped cream and it only gets better as it ages. The exterior hardens slightly to create a sweet “crust”, while the inside becomes chewier and more moist. It’s typically baked in a bundt or tube pan, but I’ve also divided it between three loaf pans or baked it in muffin trays (adjusting the time accordingly).
It is very important to allow the raisin mixture to cool completely before combining with the dry ingredients or the recipe will not turn out.
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups golden raisins
2 cups water
2 tbsp butter
Combine in saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Allow to cool overnight. The mixture must be cooled to at least room temperature before proceeding with remainder of recipe.
3 cups flour
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground ginger
Sift together dry ingredients. Add to raisin mixture and combine. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake at 350F for 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes clean.