Vintage Spice Cake with Toffee Frosting |

Vintage Spice Cake with Toffee Frosting





Yield 9 portions

I am sharing a Vintage Spice Cake with Toffee Frosting from a treasured cookbook. The cake itself is unique in that it does not have eggs, butter, or milk, yet, it is very moist and flavourful due to the use of abundant spices and a mixture of raisins, sugar and boiling water. The fragrance of this cake when baking is unbelievable. It was originally called “The Economy Spice Cake” and you will learn about its history as you read further. 






For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (325°F if using convection setting).
  2. Prepare a 9” x 9” cake pan by greasing it and lining with parchment paper.
  3. In a small saucepan or low frying pan, boil the sugar, water, lard, and raisins together for about 3 minutes until the sugar is well dissolved. Add vanilla extract to the mixture. Put aside and leave to cool thoroughly.
  4. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and spices together. Add to the above-cooled mixture.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Bake in a moderate oven for 25 minutes or until a thin skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs remaining.
  6. Cool the cake on a rack and frost if desired with Toffee Frosting or alternatively, dust with icing sugar.

For the Toffee Frosting:

  1. In a shallow frying pan, combine sweetened condensed milk, salt, and lemon juice.
  2. Over medium heat, stir the sweetened condensed milk with a spatula or wooden spoon until it starts to thicken (about two minutes).   Add the vanilla extract and hot water. If the mixture is too thick, add a bit more hot water until the frosting is of spreadable consistency.
  3. Frost the cake and refrigerate until serving.



  1. Cut the cake into 9 snack size or 12 smaller portions. Enjoy with fresh fruit, if available.
  2. Cake can also be served without frosting if desired.   Dust with a little icing sugar.

For further details, including photographs, tips and techniques, please refer to my original post:

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