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Grandma's Poor Man's Cake

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake, Dairy Free, Easy Cake Recipe, Poor Man's Cake, Vintage Cake Recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Author Terri


For The Poor Man's Cake

  • 12 or 15 oz box raisins
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 2 Tbs shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 cups flour, divided
  • 2 tsp baking soda

For The Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350° and spray two 9 x 5 baking pans or a 13 x 9 baking dish with non stick spray. Set aside.

For The Poor Man's Cake

  1. In a medium sauce pan, cook raisins and shortening in 2 cups water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Do not drain the water.

  2. Once cooled, add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg. Stir until combined.
  3. Stir in 2 cups of flour until combined.
  4. Next add 1 cup of water and 2 more cups of flour. Stir.

  5. Sprinkle baking soda over mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  7. Cook at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. *might need more time, start checking at 40 minutes.

For The Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.

  2. Add vanilla, mix, then slowly add powdered sugar and beat until creamy.

  3. Frost cake once it has cooled completely.