This delightful vegan spice cake was shared with us in 2006 by a reader, but in reality, the recipe is many decades old. It’s an eggless, butterless, milkless cake born out of the depression times, when fresh ingredients were harder to come by. These days, it’s a great option for special diet needs, and for when you need to rely on pantry ingredients! It’s a light, sweet dessert that’s perfect with afternoon tea or a glass of dairy-free milk beverage. If you’d prefer more of a snack cake, see my suggestions below.
Vegan Spice Cake that’s an Eggless, Butterless, and Surprisingly Light
If you prefer a richer cake, you can increase the non-hydrogenated shortening (or oil or buttery sticks). But we like the classic taste of this war-era, pantry-style cake.
If you aren’t a fan of raisins, you can substitute dried cranberries, blueberries, or even cherries. But don’t be tempted to omit the dried fruit. It absorbs some of the liquid as this vegan spice cake bakes.
And keep in mind that the pan you bake it in may affect the baking time. a 9-inch pan will produce a noticeably shorter cake than an 8-inch pan.
You can also adapt this cake based on your nutritional wishes or needs. Feel free to substitute wheat flour (preferably white-wheat or whole wheat pastry) for more of a snack cake. You can use coconut sugar in place of the regular sugar, it will just be a little less sweet. Other granulated sweeteners might work well, but we haven’t tested them.
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Spice Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 1½ cups water
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening (like Spectrum or Nutiva; can sub oil or dairy-free buttery sticks)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square cake pan.
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, combine the water, raisins, sugar, shortening, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add the flour mixture to the cooled raisin mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and even it out.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.