Grandma’s Tea Party Favourites – Raisin Squares Recipe

One of the first play sets I had was a tea party set from my Grandma.  As I got older, she had me over often for tea. Grandma spent a lot of time baking for these special afternoons and I’m reminded of her when I see these beautiful hand-stitched tea towels. She loved handmade items and so do I!


My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.
My favourite tea towels help pull the baked square out of the oven.


Grandma served black tea and many, many different kids of dainties. She would serve mini cucumber sandwiches, cookies, squares and my very favourite, Raisin Squares. These are some of the best uniquely Canadian desserts. It’s a rich cookie base topped with a raisin brown sugar syrup mixture that’s been baked crisp in the over. These freeze well.


Raisin Squares

1 cup flour
 1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together 1 cup of flour, and the white sugar. Cut in the softened butter until the mixture is crumbly and mixed together.

Press into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper and bake the crust for 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins and pour the mixture over the base.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is brown and crispy. Cool completely and cut into squares.

Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!
Delicious Raisin Squares with my favourite Emma Coffee Cups!

These squares are delicious served with Kusmi Tea. Farminista has super cute tea cups in three different patterns that I’m in love with. I’ll be using them to serve tea at my next party!

Tangy Rhubarb Bundt Cake

Rhubarb Cake

I love prairie winters.  Maybe easy to say now that it is floating above zero but, really, the contrasts of the seasons are amazing and allows us to savour each bit.  One reason to love prairie winters is the excuse that it is too cold outside to do anything so you must stay home and bake.  You dig through your freezer and, jackpot!, frozen rhubarb.  Enjoy this lemony rhubarb cake with just enough sweet.  Serve with a cup of Kusmi tea for a perfect pairing.


2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 ¾ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup oil

½ lemon, zest and juice
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine rhubarb with 2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.   In a separate large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and 2 cups sugar.  Beat in eggs, then oil, then lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
Next, stir flour mixture into mixing bowl of wet ingredients in batches, alternate with milk.

Layer the cake and rhubarb into a prepared bundt pan like this: 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb mixture, 1/3 batter, ½ rhubarb, 1/3 batter

Bake 60 minutes.  Can add a glaze or dusting of powdered sugar for effect but the sweetness is not necessary.