Jesus Cake (Syble H. Ruppe)
This was my mom’s recipe. She made it throughout the year, but always at Christmas when she also made fruitcake and all sorts of cookies and candies. I loved it as a kid and it remains one of my favorite desserts. I don’t know the origin of the name, but I always thought of it as Jesus’ birthday cake.
This recipe is simple and easy and provides a good opportunity for practicing mindfulness while cooking — especially if you do all the mixing and beating by hand. Light a scented candle, play some quiet holiday music, and, while you’re waiting for the raisins to cool, sip a cup of herbal tea.
I’ve left the directions and ingredients just as Mom wrote them out. Keep in mind that this recipe originated in the 1950’s, when Crisco was a cooking staple. So, if you’re loathe to use solid vegetable shortening, feel free to substitute butter.
The images are photos my sister, Robin Ruppe Rose provided (made from mom’s handwritten recipe files).
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup Crisco Vegetable Shortening (or butter)
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1. Grease an 8″ square pan. Start the oven at 350. Combine raisins, shortening and 1 cup of water. Heat to boiling point, reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat egg in medium size bowl. Beat in remaining 1/2 cup water and cooled liquid (from raisins.) Mix in dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Stir in cooled raisin mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes.
Yield: 1 8″x8″ pan
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Serving size: 1/8 of a recipe (5.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.
Recipe Type: Cakes, Pastries, and Desserts