Spanish Bar Cake

I really wanted to make something different for dessert the other night.  I had seen various recipes for the bar cake online and in some of my old recipes and knew it was something I hadn’t made in ages…. and ages. 

I remember this cake being called “Spanish Bar Cake” at grocery stores around where I grew up. I have an uncle who used to be a baker at the A&P/Dominion grocery stores and this cake was always around because of it.  This is my version of the bar cake, modified to take advantage of the microwave… making it even easier to make.  I hope everyone enjoys it!

Let me say before I get too far… because this cake is baked as a 9 x 13 slab cake and then cut to form the bar shape of the final cake…. it makes a rather large cake… so be prepared to share or as I am going to do…. freeze half of it for a last minute dessert when needed!


These are the ingredients to make the cake…. don’t be put off by the number, it is still easy to make!

To begin, I put the raisins in a large, microwave safe bowl with 2 cups of water and let it cook on high heat in the microwave for about 7 – 10 minutes, allowing the raisins to be boiled.

While the raisins were boiling, I placed the flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and salt in the bowl of my stand mixer and whisked it together.

Once the raisins were done boiling, I added the butter/ margarine to the bowl and stirred until it melted.

I allowed the mixture to cool a little bit before adding it to the flour mixture in the bowl of my stand mixer.

I mixed until it was fully combined and then added the slightly beaten egg.

I mixed this until fully combined and then poured the batter into my prepared 9 x 13 parchment paper lined baking pan.

I baked it at 350 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes, until it was cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the centre came out clean.

To make the icing, I put the butter/ margarine, icing sugar, vanilla and milk in  large bowl and using my hand mixer, blended until smooth.

I cut the cake in half once it had cooled and spread icing on the bottom layer.

I added the second half of the cut cake on top of the bottom and iced the top to finish off the cake.

I let it chill in the fridge until I was ready to cut it into slices to serve.  It is a very dense cake so we ended up cutting the slices in half when serving.

Spanish Bar Cake


  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup butter/margarine
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter/ margarine
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tbsp. milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In large microwave safe bowl, add raisins and water.
  3. Microwave on high heat for about 7 – 10 minutes, allowing the water is boil the raisins.
  4. When the raisins are done boiling, add the first amount of butter/ margarine and stir until melted.
  5. In bowl of stand mixer, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg.
  6. Pour the raisin mixture into the flour mixture in the bowl of the stand mixer and mix until well combined.
  7. Add slightly beaten egg and mix until well blended.
  8. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
  10. To make icing, add icing sugar, butter/ margarine, vanilla and milk to large bowl.
  11. Using hand mixer, mix until smooth.
  12. Cut cooled cake in half lengthwise.
  13. Ice bottom layer of cake.
  14. Add second layer of cake and ice the top.
  15. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
  16. Slice and enjoy.

6 thoughts on “Spanish Bar Cake

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