Copycat Spanish Bar

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
Spanish bar is a childhood memories spice cake that my father loved and was his favorite cake when mom came home with this one.

This cake is a scratch cake that's dense and full of cinnamon, spices, and raisins.

It's a very moist loaf cake with cream cheese frosting and a sweet treat that is perfect with coffee tea or milk.

Back in the 1960s, this copycat Spanish bar was sold at various New York State area supermarkets.

If you recall this cake you may have purchased it at an A&P Supermarket back then.

This is a copycat version of that delicious loaf spice bar that we still enjoy after all these years.

I now make it often and reminisce about Dad and those great memories we all shared.

If you a delicious spiced coffee cake, this is one to try.

It's definitely dense like banana bread but moister-like a blueberry bread with loads of flavor.

As you know copycat recipes are experimental and I have included two recipes below for you to judge your memory on.

Both the spice flavorings are spot on, one, however, has dark molasses in it where the other doesn't, similar textures and deeper in flavor.

Scroll down and take a look at the printable recipe card and hope you try these recipes.

We Have Two Cakes Versions

The first one is without the molasses in it.

The photo below is made with molasses.

Both cakes are equally moist and not too sweet until you add the frosting to it.

Spanish bar is pretty unique in flavor and it's hard to get the spices just right.

My experiment was successful to me, but you will have to be the judge.

Frosted or Plain and the Original

This cake is wonderful with just a dusting of powdered sugar, however, the original recipe has a thick layer of frosting, I used a cream cheese frosting on top but also added the buttercream recipe below.

When testing the taste of the cake, you will need to add more or less of the spices to taste.

I went bold on the fall flavors of this cake, and it was perfect for me.

If Dad was still with us, he would have gone crazy over this recipe he had a sweet tooth and adored this thick frosting on this cake

However, as a kid, I always scraped off the frosting, can you believe it, a kid not liking the frosting and I am still not a fan!.


  • Add more spices to taste
  • Do not overbake
  • If the middle springs up to high, slice off the top before frosting
  • For the less sweet flavored cake, cut sugar by 1/2 cup and omit the frosting
  • Sugar substitutes did not work for texture
  • Nuts are optional, and not part of the recipe
  • If you love raisins add more

sliced off the crown on the loaf cake that had a bubble and split the cake in half to fill with frosting

Adapt it to any way you like it.

There were no nuts in this loaf cake, however, you can surely add them if you like.

The more raisins for Dad the better he always said, they were his favorite part of this cake besides the frosting.

The original cake is a split loaf cake, frosting in between the layers then nothing on the sides and top is frosted.

If you love all the frosting and the original, that's how it should be done.

I have both versions of the cake recipes for you to try that are adapted to our taste with frosting.

this is a cake called Spanish Bar made from the A&P store back in the 1960s.


The batter is rich and thick fragrant with spices.

Adding the molasses makes it much darker and also seems to add a bit more flavor as well.

I have pros and cons on which one is closer to the copycat version.

Both cakes are super delicious, but again as I said an experiment to recreate that childhood memory.

Pin for later

this is a spice loaf cake copycat recipe with raisins and spices it's a dark brown cake that very moist and vintage recipe

Shopping for Ingredients List the exact measurements are below in the recipe card so scroll down:

  • flour
  • sugar
  • baking soda
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon
  • salt
  • nutmeg
  • allspice, ground
  • canola or vegetable oil
  • applesauce
  • medium eggs lightly are beaten
  • raisins plump them in warm water, then drain (add these last, after everything else is mixed)
  • Frosting
  • cream cheese softened
  • butter softened
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • lemon juice, fresh
  • Optional: (chopped raisins for garnish) see the second recipe for Dark Molasses

Tools You Will Need:

  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • bowl
  • spatula
  • loaf pan, bundt pan or any pan greased

Trying to Bake By Memory

I have two copycat versions of the A&P cake.

The first one is made without the dark molasses which in my opinion is a 7 in flavor on the scale.

The second one has dark molasses in it and with no cream cheese frosting, it's buttercream and to my memory, it's a 10 in flavor.

I was around 13 years old and going by my taste and memory so for you guys out there that have a vivid recollection of this cake, you will have to let me know what you think!

I will let you judge which one you think is the closest!

spice cake, spice bar, Spanish bar cake, Copycat spanish bar cake, copycake loaf cake, spice loaf cake
loaf cake, cake, copycat
Yield: 8
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Copycat Spanish Bar Cake

Copycat Spanish Bar Cake

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
This is a copycat cake called a Spanish bar. It was first introduced to a local supermarket in 1960 called the A and P supermarkets. The cake is dense and spice flavored with raisins and a cream cheese frosting. This was a favorite cake in our home back then and a close likeness of that cake we still love.


  • Copycat Spanish Bar #1 without molasses
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cup applesauce
  • 2 medium eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 cup raisins soaked in hot water, rum, bourbon or apple juice then drained and chopped
  • Copycat Spanish Bar Recipe (pictured) #2 with molasses
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup baking molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins soaked in warmed apple juice or bourbon, chopped (you can also microwave for around 1 minute to plump them quicker)
  • Original Style Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  •  2 tablespoons shortening
  •  3 cups powdered sugar
  •  3 tablespoons milk or cream
  •  1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Mix until smooth frost-cooled cake using a fork tine for effect.
  • Frosting for the modern version is with cream cheese 
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened omit for the second recipe
  • 4 tablespoon butter softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk for the second recipe add a little at a time until a very thick frosting
  • Optional: chopped raisins for garnish

  1. Use the method below for either recipe above ingredients just follow the changes:
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar(there is no brown sugar in the second recipe), and baking soda.
  3. Then add the cocoa, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Mix well.
  4. Add the vegetable oil, applesauce, and beaten eggs (if making the second recipe add molasses here.)
  5. When all of the above is mixed, add the plumped raisins.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9 x 5 loaf pans with parchment.
  7. Lower heat and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely.
  8. For the frosting: mix until smooth and set aside until cake is completed cooling.
  9. If the top crowns too high, slice off the top of the cake before you frost it flat.
  10. Split the loaf, spread on the middle center layer not the sides of the cake, and then frost the top of the cakes.
  11. You can make a comb on the top of this cake using fork tines for the design.


The second cake is the one in the photos.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Sugar (grams)

Created using The Recipes Generator

Pin for later

this is a spice loaf cake copycat recipe with raisins and spices it's a dark brown cake that very moist and vintage recipe

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this is a slice of Spanish bar cake on a pedestal with a cup of coffee spoon, fork and a piece of cake on the napkin

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2011. It was edited and re-published in 2019.