My mother used to make this when money was tight...for some reason I remembered it this week:
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sliced almonds (optional)
1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
Combine the sugar, water, shortening, raisins, spices, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stir while cooking for 3 minutes. Cool.
Measure flour, soda, and baking powder, and sift together.
Gradually stir dry ingredients into raisin mixture. Beat well. If an almond cake is desired, stir in almond extract and almonds. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for about 1 hour.
Use vegan veg shortening.
I'd skip the almonds and almond extract and instead of water add one cup of leftover black coffee. I like dried cranberries instead of raisins.