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This is a spicy cake, well suited for Fall baking and the holidays. For an extra festive version, add up to 1 cup of sweetened dried cranberries.

3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans or slivered almonds, chopped
2 cups raisins
1 cup raisin water*
1 tsp. vanilla or 1 tbsp. dark rum or cognac
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten

Sift flour, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in raisin water (below). Gradually add flour mixture. Beat for 45 seconds and stir in nuts.

Transfer batter to a greased 9x12-inch pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly touched in center.

*Raisin Water: Boil raisins in 2 cups water until tender. Remove raisins from water and reduce water by boiling until 1 cup remains (or discard extra). Measure out 1 cup water and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in vanilla, dark rum or cognac.

Servings: 12

Nutrition (per serving): 441 calories, 18.7g total fat, 6.2g saturated fat, 7.5g polyunsaturated fat, 324.9mg potassium, 65.2g carbohydrates, 33.6g sugar, 3.2g fiber, 7.5g protein, 55.6mg Cholesterol, 228.1mg Sodium, 47.5mg Calcium, 283.9IU Vitamin A, 1.1mg Vitamin C, 2.9IU Vitamin D, 2.6mg iron.
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