• Hermit Bars

Old Fashion Soft and Spicy Hermit Bars

When I inherited my mother’s overstuffed accordion-style recipe organizer, I took some time to comb through all of the handwritten recipes.  Some were well loved with stains and tears more than others.  It’s funny how you can come across a recipe and you are transported back to sitting at the kitchen table in your childhood home.  One of the recipes I removed from the dessert section was this Soft and Spicy Hermit Bar.  The person credited for this recipe was named on the recipe card and was a mother of a family friend, so I venture to say this recipe is over 100 years old.

From my research this old fashioned dessert is deeply rooted in New England, which is probably why I have enjoyed a few over my lifetime.  The earliest recordings of this sweet, long lasting dessert is 1888 in Massachusetts. (Read the full back story here)  Since it has been a few years, I decided go on this culinary adventure with my kitchen helper.  He loves molasses based desserts so it was interesting to see him enjoy them so much. After making this batch of “hermits” we traveled to Cape Cod to share with grandpa.  This recipe passed the New Englander’s test and is also kid approved.

What recipes brings you back to your childhood? Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

Hermit Bars
Hermit Bars
Hermit Bars

Old Fashion Soft and Spicy Hermits

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Yields: 12


  • 1/2 Cup - Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup - Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups - All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon - Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon - Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Teaspoon - Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon - Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Cup - Milk
  • 1/4 Cup - Molasses
  • 1/4 + 1/8 Cup - Raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F degree. Spray a loaf pan with baking spray then line with a single sheet of parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda. Set aside
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix the sugar, oil, milk and molasses
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix and then fold in the raisins
  5. The batter will be a bit thick. Pour into the loaf pan and spread to each corner. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out almost clean. The edges will be a bit crisp, allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove the hermits from the loaf pan with the parchment and allow to cool on a wire rack

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