Most recipes for good boiled raisin cake call for 2-3 cups of raisins, 2-4 cups of flour (add baking powder and baking soda, not using self-rising flour), eggs, butter or vegetable oil, white and brown sugar, water and spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and salt. At least one variation adds coffee, currants and candied orange peel.
To make boiled raisin cake, first pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven is pre-heating, in a medium sauce pan, boil 2-3 cups of raisins in two cups of water for 10-15 minutes. Drain the raisins, and reserve one cup of the liquid or leave them in the pan, and stir in 2 eggs or a 1/2 stick butter or 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 cups of white sugar or equal parts white and brown sugar. If making the variation, add 2 cups coffee, 2 cups currants 2/3 cup candied orange peel now.
In a large bowl, combine 3-4 cups flour and 1-2 teaspoons each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. If you’re using general purpose flour, also add 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda or baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix with reserved liquid or 1-2 cups of water until well incorporated.
Stir in the raisin mixture until incorporated, and then pour into a greased baking or tube pan. Place on the center rack in the oven, and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the thickness and moisture of your batter. The boiled raisin cake is done when a wooden toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.