Recipe Corner: Grandma Mary’s Delightful Cake (or Church Delight Cake)


This recipe is featured in the Collections from the Grapevine Cookbook, published by the Ladies Society of St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Fowler, California.

This is the late Mary Boyajian Mirigian’s Delightful Cake recipe she created for church events and banquets at St. Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Church in Fowler, California for many years.  Mary was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1902, and as a child moved to the small town of Fowler, California, known for its grape vineyards and expansive farm land. She was a devoted charter member of the Armenian-American Citizens’ League, active in the California Armenian Home Guild, American Legion Auxiliary, Fresno County Farm Bureau Women, and St. Gregory Senior Ladies Society.  She was married to Mesrob K. Mirigian of Fowler, and had three daughters and nine grandchildren. She passed away in 1981 at age 79, but, fortunately, passed along her love and creative skills for baking, cooking, and sewing to her beloved granddaughter Mary Ekmalian of Fresno, who contributed this recipe.


1 1/2 cup raisins

2 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

1 1/4 cubes margarine or butter, at room temperature (this equals 3/4 cup)

2 eggs, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 3/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon mace (or nutmeg)*

1 tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cups walnuts, chopped, to taste


1/4 cube margarine or butter

1/4 cup milk, heated

3/4 box powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

Juice of 1/2 lemon


Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Wash raisins.  In a medium pot, combine water and raisins and cook until the water has been reduced to 1 1/2 cups.  Reserve cooked raisins to add later.

Measure into a mixing bowl: the sugar, margarine or butter, eggs, and salt, and blend well together.  Measure into a flour sifter: flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and mace; sift together three times.  Gradually add sifted mixture into wet mixture.  Add the cooled raisin water to this mixture.  Add vanilla.  Blend well, and stir in walnuts and the 1 1/2 cups cooked raisins.  Pour into a large 12” X 17” greased and floured baking sheet.  Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes.

Frosting:  Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Spread on warm cake before cutting into squares.

Makes 54 (2”) squares 1/2” thick.

* Possible mace substitutes include nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger or pumpkin pie spice.


Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: