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Spicy Spanish Bar Cake

There is no better time of year to enjoy cakes than winter and fall. The best part is when the cakes have spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, whose aroma already transports us to the holidays and Christmas times.

One of the cakes that have this characteristic, and is also very simple to make, is the Spanish bar cake. 

The part of the cake is soft, the nuts and raisins add some extra texture, and everything gets paired with a silky smooth buttercream frosting.

Spicy Spanish Bar Cake
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If you are looking for an afternoon snack, dessert, or a mesmerizing dessert, then start preheating your oven and get ready to make the Spanish cake.

Background of the Dish

a&p spanish bar cake

Unlike other Spanish bar cake recipes, this one became more popular in other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

This is because it came to those countries under the name of a&p Spanish bar cake, and was sold by the A&P.

The cake became popular in the early ’40s, just as the world was facing the consequences of World War II. 

Of course, the economy was devastated, but an advantage of this cake bar was that it did not require many eggs, something that was very expensive at that time. 

In addition, the large number of spices helped make it a festive dish, without being as expensive as others that are usually sold at Christmas. 

Originally it didn’t have nuts, just raisins as they were cheaper. But as time went by people started customizing it. 

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Are you looking for a Spicy Spanish Bar Cake recipe? The a&p Spanish bar cake is the perfect Spanish cake to start off the cold season. This raisin cake is full of flavor thanks to the spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and the raisins give it a fruity flavor. The Spanish bar cake recipe is also easy to make and in under 1 hour you will have a delicious and consistent raisin spice cake. Try out our bar cake and spoil yourself with this tasty cake! #spanishbarcake #barcake #spanishcake #dessert
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Things You’ll Need for Spanish Bar Cake

To make this Spanish cakes recipe you’ll only need a saucepan and a cake pan.

Now when it comes to the ingredients, for this bar cake you just need the basic ones like egg, butter, flour, and water. 

Of course, the list is longer because there are a lot of spices involved, but you can use as many of them as you like. 

raisin cake recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480ml) water
  • 1 cup (145g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter
  • 1 cup granulated (200g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (100g) chopped walnuts or pecans

            For the Frosting

  • 2 1/4 cups (290g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (more if needed)

How to Make Spanish Bar Cake – Step by Step Guide

spanish cake
  1. To start with this Spanish bar cake recipe, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In the meantime grease a 9×13 baking pan, you can also line it with parchment paper.
  1. Then add the water and raisins to a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  1. Add the butter to the boiled mixture. Let it cool at room temperature.
  1. In a separate bowl sift the sugar, baking soda, flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
  1. After that, add the sifted ingredients to the cooled raisin mixture, along with the beaten egg and the nuts.
  1. For the next step, fold gently until the flour is incorporated into the batter. Don’t over mix or the cake will come out too dense, but still, make sure that every lump is dissolved.
  1. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and Bake for 30-35 minutes at 180°C or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  1. In the meantime prepare the frosting. Beat together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla, and a tablespoon of milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk until the frosting is a good spreadable consistency.
  1. Cool completely and ice with frosting. For that, cut the cake in half, frost the first layer then top with the second layer, and frost again. You can serve it right away or let it cool for some extra time in your fridge and that’s it, your Spanish bar cake is ready.

Substitution of Ingredients

whipped buttercream frosting

For this raisin cake recipe, you can make all sorts of changes, and you’ll still have a delicious Spanish bar cake. 

The easiest changes are those related to the spices, like adding more cinnamon and nutmeg or using some pumpkin spice.

You can also use any type of nuts and raisins, and if you don’t like them then you can just completely remove them. 

But keep in mind that alongside the spices they are the protagonist of this Spanish cake, so they are a big part of the recipe. 

Now when it comes to the frosting, this is a pretty sweet buttercream, and it goes well with the spices of the cake, but you can use other types of frosting. 

For example, cream cheese frosting and whipped buttercream frosting are the most common ones. 

If you liked this recipe, then you should try other traditional Spanish desserts, such as the Spanish almond cake, the Spanish Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, and the Leche frita Recipe.

Tips on Serving Spanish Bar Cake

spanish desserts

This Spanish bar cake is the perfect dish for you if you are looking for a dessert, or an afternoon snack to impress everyone. 

However, you can eat it at any time of day, even for breakfast. 

Serve it right away from the fridge so the frosting is cold, and as well as other traditional Spanish desserts, you can enjoy it with a warm cup of tea or Spanish hot chocolate. 

How to Store Spanish Bar Cake

How to Store Spanish Bar Cake

This is one of the easiest Spanish desserts to make, mostly because if you have some leftovers or you want to make the raisin spice cake ahead and enjoy it later, then there are different things that you can do. 

For example, you can place it in a container with a lid on your fridge for up to 4 days, and if you make it without the frosting then you can store it at room temperature. 

Besides that, you can carefully cover it with plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 30 days. 

You could store it for longer if you remove the frosting, in that case, it would last up to 3 months. Then when you are ready to eat the Spanish bar cake, just let it thaw overnight in the fridge. 

Recipe Card: Spanish Bar Cake

Yield: 8

Spanish Bar Cake Recipe

bar cake

There is no better time of year to enjoy cakes than winter and fall.

The best part is when the cakes have spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, whose aroma already transports us to the holidays and Christmas times.

One of the cakes that have this characteristic, and is also very simple to make, is the Spanish bar cake. 

The part of the cake is soft, the nuts and raisins add some extra texture, and everything gets paired with a silky smooth buttercream frosting.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (480ml) water
  • 1 cup (145g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter
  • 1 cup granulated (200g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (100g) chopped walnuts or pecans

For the Frosting

  • 2 1/4 cups (290g) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (more if needed)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In the meantime grease a 9x13 baking pan, you can also line it with parchment paper.
  2. Then add the water and raisins to a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the butter to the boiled mixture. Let it cool at room temperature.
  4. In a separate bowl sift the sugar, baking soda, flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.
  5. After that, add the sifted ingredients to the cooled raisin mixture, along with the beaten egg and the nuts.
  6. Fold gently until the flour is incorporated into the batter. Don't over mix or the cake will come out too dense.
  7. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pan and Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. In the meantime prepare the frosting. Beat together the icing sugar, butter, vanilla, and a tablespoon of milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk until the frosting is a good spreadable consistency.
  9. Cool completely and ice with frosting. For that, cut the cake in half, frost the first layer then top with the second layer, and frost again.

Notes

In case you are allergic to nuts, or you simply do not like them, you can remove them without any problem from this recipe. 

The same goes for raisins, although remember that these ingredients add extra texture, and after all, it is a raisin cake. 

You can also use white chocolate chips, another type of dried fruit, and even some small chunks of peppermint candy cane for an ideal Christmas treat.

Nutrition Information

Yield

8

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 346Total Fat 2gCholesterol 13mgSodium 201mgCarbohydrates 64gFiber 1gSugar 38gProtein 2g

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