Graham Cake

This might be the oldest family recipe in our family, coming from my great-grandma Mellie Kinghorn Hutchings’ family. I haven’t made it for several years, but we’d occasionally make it when we were learning about pioneers or discussing family history. Haha, this recipe might not be as old as the pioneers in the 1800s, but it’s as close as we could get. And I remember my mom always pronounced it “gremm cake”, and she said that’s how her whole family pronounced it. Note that it makes a GIANT batch in a roaster pan, but it does freeze well. And as an older recipe, it’s not as overly sweet as the cakes we usually eat today.

I haven’t tried making this gluten free, but I think I probably would just find a different recipe. Unless I find a gluten free substitute for whole wheat flour (I imagine there’s one somewhere).

Graham Cake

  • Servings: Haha, a LOT
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Old-fashioned and gigantic.


  • 2 c. Raisins
  • 4 c. Water
  • 4 c. Whole Wheat (Graham) Flour
  • 1 c. White Flour
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Salt
  • 1 rounded Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • About 1/3 c. Cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp. Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1 c. finely grated Carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 c. Apple Sauce
  • 2 c. Walnuts, chopped
  • 3 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 c. melted Shortening, cooled
  • 1/2 c, melted Butter, cooled

Butter Icing

  • ¾ c. Butter
  • ½ c. Milk
  • 2 lb. Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla


Simmer raisins in water with lid on for 30 minutes. Cool. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (from flour to cloves). Then add carrots, applesauce, and walnuts, and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Then add cooled raisins and liquid to mixture. Mix thoroughly. Mixture should be “sloppy”—not too dry. Add water if necessary. Pour mixture into greased roaster pan. Cover and bake at 350° for 45-60 minutes. Cool with lid on.

For butter icing, mix all ingredients until smooth and spread over cooled cake. Cake freezes well. 



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