TODAY we put a spotlight on the raisin and spice bar.

While many may believe it is a modern invention, the origins of the tasty snack are found in ancient times.

Raisin spice bars are usually made with cinnamon, allspice, chopped pecans or walnuts, and raisins.

The English word raisin comes from the Latin “racemus” meaning a cluster of grapes or berries.

Raisin grapes were grown in Persia and Egypt as far back as 2 000BCE.

The Bible mentions dried grapes in Numbers 6:3 and David was presented with “a hundred clusters of raisins” in 1 Samuel 25:18.


- 250g raisins

- 250ml water

- 125g butter or margarine

- 250ml sugar

- 400ml flour

- ¼ teaspoon salt

- One egg, beaten

- One teaspoon ground cloves

- One teaspoon allspice

- One teaspoon cinnamon

- One teaspoon baking soda


  • Boil one cup raisins and two cups water for three minutes. Drain but save the raisin juice.
  • Cream 1/2 cup butter with one cup sugar. Add two cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon. Salt and mix well.
  • In a bowl, mix beaten egg, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add to the flour mix with one cup of raisin juice and mix well, then stir in raisins.
  • Spread dough to corners of greased 23cmX33cm cake pan or greased cookie sheet. Bake at 176°C for 25 minutes or until done.
  • White hot cover with powdered sugar or cream cheese icing.