An old-fashioned dessert that was especially popular in the 1930s and is sometimes known as Depression Cake. Try it with a cream cheese frosting.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
In a pan, combine brown sugar, hot water, salt, shortening, raisins, and spices. Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
In a bowl, combine flour and dissolved baking soda, add to the batter, and mix well. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan. Frost, if desired.