Pillowy soft cake-like bars perfectly spiced with warm cinnamon. Full of plump raisins and chopped walnuts, this old-fashioned Iced Raisin Spice Bars recipe is sure to be a lifelong family favorite!
This spice cake with raisins recipe will make you feel nostalgic for a warm, cozy day in the kitchen with Grandma. If she always made baking seem easy then you will be delighted to know how simple this dessert really is. You will cherish the memories of making these raisin bar cookies with your loved ones.
Top these raisin spice bars with cream cheese frosting or even simple powdered sugar to customize the recipe to your liking. Pair these glazed raisin bars with a glass of cold milk for ultimate nostalgia.
In just 30 minutes, you will have moist raisin bars – filled with warmly blended flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, and walnuts.
Classic dessert bars recipes are the best! I love these Pumpkin Pie Bars baked on a Shortbread Crust and these Seven Layer Cookie Bars!
Iced Raisin Spice Bar Recipe
Before my daughter and son-in-law were ever married, they were at a family event on his side, and his Great Aunt handed them a box of recipes. My daughter knew I would enjoy them, and she passed them on to me. I have wanted to make these spice bars ever since the recipe card caught my eye, and I finally did!
This recipe is from December of 1968 and was typed out on a blue index card. It says “Metropolitan Utilities District,” the name of our gas company here in Omaha. I am guessing it was probably enclosed in one of her bills!
It was vaguely written, the only baking instructions said “bake in a GAS oven” – so I played around with them a bit. They are in a word, incredible, even my non-raisin-eating kiddos devoured them.
Soaking Raisins Before Baking
I truly think that one of the things that make these spice bars so delicious is the method of soaking the raisins before adding them to the batter. This recipe calls for a mixture of hot strong black coffee mixed with cinnamon. The raisins soak and plump up in the coffee while you combine the batter ingredients.
The cinnamon coffee is added alternately with the dry ingredients and the raisins are stirred into the batter right before baking. The bars do not taste like coffee though. The flavor of the cinnamon is what really comes through, the coffee just gives a nice flavor depth, without tasting like coffee.
Ingredients in Iced Raisin Bars
FOR THE BARS:
- Raisins: Raisins are the MVP of this bar recipe! They add sweetness and a depth of flavor. I had a raisin mixture the day I made these bars, dark raisins, and golden raisins. You can use either one or a mixture of both, your choice!
- Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a sweetly spicy flavor that gives these bars an extra kick. It’s also packed with nutrients and antioxidants!
- Hot Black Coffee: Robust flavor from strong black coffee balances out all of the sweetness and gives the raisins their plumpness!
- Shortening: The addition of shortening creates a smoother and more manageable consistency.
- Brown Sugar: Baked goods are almost always benefited by adding brown sugar. It helps impart more moisture into the baking process.
- Eggs: To give it a bit of a chewy and soft texture, eggs are mixed in.
- All-Purpose Flour: Provides cookies and bars with a wonderful, delicious texture.
- Baking Soda: Helps these bars rise as they bake.
- Nuts: This ingredient is optional but if you like a bit of a crunchy texture, I highly recommend using either walnuts or pecans.
The original recipe just said to “frost with a powdered sugar glaze.” I love the icing on my Old Fashioned Molasses Cookies, so I went with that!
FOR THE ICING:
- Powdered Sugar: Mixed with other ingredients to create frosting, icings, and glazes for cakes, cookies and sweet bars.
- Cream: Combined with the powdered sugar, this makes the creamy frosting. These topping ingredients are added to make this a classic dessert – without becoming overbearingly sugary.
HOW TO MAKE OLD FASHIONED SPICE BARS
Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card to read the full details of this easy raisin spice cake recipe!
PREHEAT THE OVEN
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a jelly roll pan (10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″) set aside.
Combine raisins and cinnamon in hot coffee. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
MIX INGREDIENTS TOGETHER
With a mixer, cream together shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs until the batter is fluffy.
ADDING IN THE COFFEE
Sift together flour and baking soda. Separate coffee liquid from the raisins.
Alternate adding the coffee and the flour mixture, mixing into the batter until it’s all combined.
Fold in raisins and nuts by hand. Spread into the prepared baking sheet.
BAKE THE RAISIN SPICED BARS
Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. While they are baking, prepare the icing.
Mix the cream and the powdered sugar together until smooth.
Let the bars cool for a couple of minutes and ice them while they are still warm.
Enjoy! They make a wonderful breakfast with a cup of coffee, a delicious dessert bar, or snack cake anytime!
LOVE THEM? PIN Them!
Don’t forget where you found the recipe for these Raisin Spiced Bars! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go, to find it easily!
HOW TO STORE SPICE BARS AND HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
If your family hasn’t eaten all of these deliciously sweet treats then these can be stored while covered in the fridge for up to one week.
HUNGRY FOR MORE SWEETS?
I have endless desserts, cookies, brownies, and bar recipes on my website! Here are a few of my favorites!
- Apple Bars Made with Canned Apples
- Chocolate Orange Fudge
- Graham Cracker Toffee
- S’Mores Cookie Bars
- Carrot Cake Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Lemon Brownies
- White Chocolate Cream Cheese Fudge
- Fresh Orange Bars
- Grandma Jane’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Let’s bake some old-fashioned iced raisin spice bars!
Raisin Spice Bars
Pillowy soft cake-like bars perfectly spiced with warm cinnamon. Full of plump raisins and chopped walnuts, this old-fashioned raisin bar recipe is sure to be a lifelong family favorite!
- FOR THE BARS:
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup hot black coffee
- 2/3 cup shortening
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional (I used walnuts - pecans are also delicious)
- FOR THE ICING:
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a jelly roll pan (10 1/2" x 15 1/2") set aside.
- Combine raisins and cinnamon in hot coffee. Set aside for about 10 minutes.
- With a mixer, cream together shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs until the batter is fluffy.
- Sift together flour and baking soda.
- Separate coffee liquid from the raisins.
- Alternate adding the coffee and the flour mixture, mixing into the batter until it's all combined.
- Fold in raisins and nuts by hand.
- Spread into the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While they are baking, prepare the icing. Mix the cream and the powdered sugar together until smooth.
- Let the bars cool for a couple of minutes and frost them while they are still warm.
Store covered in the fridge for up to one week.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 120Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 29mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g
Please note that nutrition is not guaranteed accurate.
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