So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tabernacle that David had erected for it. Then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins – 1 Chronicles 16:1-3
The other day, my son and I read this scripture, which is almost identical to 2 Samuel 6:18, 19, and when I came to the part about the raisin cakes, my culinary interest was peaked. My family and I love raisins. Everything (well, almost everything) we bake has raisins in them. So, a raisin cake would definitely be a treat.
The raisin cake is typically prepared using standard cake ingredients and raisins as a primary ingredient. Whole or chopped raisins can be used. Additional various ingredients are also sometimes used, such as rum, chocolate, and others. The use of rum can serve to plump-up the raisins via the added moisture, and the raisins can be marinated in rum before the cake is prepared. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and pumpkin spice are sometimes used – Wikipedia
This reminds me of the fruit cake we bake at Christmas time. The different fruits are soaked in non-alcoholic Jewish wine to marinate them for weeks, sometimes longer. It gives the cake a nice flavor. We are more partial to nutmeg because we think that cinnamon is too strong. Cloves and pumpkin spice would definitely give bit to the cake. The jury is out on that one, though, because I’m not sure if my husband and son would like those ingredients to be included. And I have always associated cloves with meat. In the past when I used to eat ham, we used to put cloves in it, to give it a nice flavor.
By the sound of it, the raisin cakes were used to celebrate the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and placing it in the Tabernacle. The people went home and enjoyed the cakes with thanksgiving. The city of Jerusalem had much to celebrate. The Ark of the Covenant which had been captured by the Philistines after defeating the Israelites. Besieged by tumors or hemorrhoids and plagues, the Philistines were desperate to get rid of the Ark. They put it on a cart drawn by two milch cows, who headed straight and without wavering for Israel. The cart stopped at Beth Shemesh before finding a more permanent home at Kiriath-Jearim. The Philistines were happy to be rid of the Ark which had been with them for seven months but the Israelites were rejoicing because it was in their midst again.
From the looks of the image below, the cake can be baked in a loaf pan and cut into slices. I wonder how a slice would taste with a bit of margarine or a slice or two of cheese. My mouth is watering just a the mere thought. It it’s anything like raisin bread, then adding margarine or cheese would taste just as tasty.
Interested in baking a raisin cake? Here’s a simple recipe from All Recipes. One of these days I will try to make it and do a follow up post.
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Add all ingredients to list
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 10 x 10 inch baking pan.
- In a large saucepan boil the raising with the water for 10 minutes. Add the butter or margarine and let cool.
- In the same pan add the flour, soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped nuts (optional), mix well and pour batter into a lightly greased 10×10 inch baking pan
- Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Serves 8 to 12.