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This old-fashioned recipe comes from a 1902 Terryville cookbook. Mary Spencer cuts the raisins in half to prevent them from sinking to the ‘bottom.

Yield: Makes 2 loaves


  • 1 compressed yeast cake (or 1 package active dry yeast)
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 1 cup butter (do not substitute margarine)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted and separated
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F if you are using glass pans). Mix the yeast in warm water. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour to make a thin mixture and let it stand in a warm place for around 30 minutes or until the mixture starts to get light and frothy. Cream the butter. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Set aside 1/8 cup of flour. Mix together the remaining flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Then add the yeast mixture. Dredge the raisins in 1/8 cup of the flour and stir them into the batter, which should be the consistency of thick whipped cream. If it is too thick, add a little milk. Spread the batter in 2 generously greased and floured 8-1/4x4-1/2x2-1/2-inch loaf pans. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans after 10 minutes; cool on racks. Frost with white frosting or leave plain.

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