banner

Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cake Review

| November 8, 2020 | 58 Comments

Spanish Bar Cake Review

We take a look at the return of the Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cake. This cake was made popular by the A&P Food Stores many years back. It disappeared for a while, but now, it’s back.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, enjoy!
Jane Parker, a name well known for it’s fruitcakes, now brings back the very popular Spanish Bar Cake. We test it out and share our results with you. Let’s take a look.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, slider.

If names like the A&P, Jane Parker, or Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company do not ring any bells for you, then you’re a youngster. Just too young to remember. Smile.

I’m not a youngster, and I grew up in the era when all of these were household names. A&P Grocery stores were pretty much everywhere in my area back then, and they were very innovative stores in changing the way people shopped for groceries.

If you’ve never heard of the Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cake, allow me a minute or two to share a bit of background on the cake and then we’ll share a bit about how this cake has just recently returned to production using the original recipe from years back. I’ll try to be brief, but as you may know, that’s not easy for me.

A&P Grocery stores began as the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company back around 1859 up in New York City. By the 1930’s, they had changed the name to just A&P, and had some 16,000 stores across the United States. They began to lose their footing in the grocery business to newer stores around the years of 1973-1974 and lots of stores were closing. In 1979, they were sold.

Jane Parker was an in-house brand of the A&P stores during their heyday. The company had it’s own group of bakeries that baked the famous Jane Parker Fruitcakes, the Spanish Bar Cakes, doughnuts, bread, and other baked goods. This was a first for grocery stores back in the day and A&P ruled the market for many years.

As more modern stores came along, A&P didn’t keep up and eventually went out of business.

My older brother worked with our local A&P store for many years, going from shelf stocker to eventually being a store manager. Later, he ended up owning about 4 grocery stores of his own (not A&P stores) and spent about 50 years in the grocery business.

My brother often talked about the Spanish Bar Cakes, telling me that when he would be stocking shelves in his younger days, he would often grab a Spanish Bar Cake at his break time and said he could eat about half of one of those cakes during his breaks. Obviously, he liked them.

The subject of these cakes came up many times, and back in November of 2014, I attempted to make one of the spice cakes for him just to see if I could come close. You can see my version of it here:  Spanish Bar Cake Recipe.

He was kind and told me the cake was good, and brought back some memories of the Jane Parker version, but my cake just wasn’t the same. Oh well, at least I’d tried. Smile. And, if you search the Internet, you’ll see that many other folks have tried to re-create the cake as well. Some even claimed to have the original recipe for it.

As it would turn out, a couple of brothers up in New York ended up purchasing the Jane Parker brand name and some of their recipes a few years back when some of the assets of the A&P chain were being auctioned off.

Chris Ronacher and his brother Alex had been selling the Jane Parker Fruitcakes online for several years through a candy business they owned at the time. While the return of the Jane Parker Fruitcakes did well for them, many folks kept asking if they would ever again sell the Spanish Bar Cakes.

In 2017, Chris reached out to me via Taste of Southern to tell me about the return of the fruitcakes. He had found me through my attempt to make the Spanish Bar Cake. I thought that was pretty cool.

Chris sent me a couple of the fruitcakes, and we even gave a couple of them away here on Taste of Southern. I did a review for those back in 2017.

Chris informed me back then that they were working on bringing the Original Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cakes back using the original recipes. I shared the info with my brother and he was excited to hear about the possibility.

Fast forward to today. The original recipe Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cakes – ARE BACK.

Chris sent my brother and me some small samples of the cake many months back. Then, just a week or so ago, he sent us both one of the Spanish Bar Cakes to enjoy and for me to review here on Taste of Southern.

There’s a lot more to the story, but I’ve already typed a bunch of information, so let’s proceed with the review, okay/

My brother told me that as soon as he saw the cake Chris had sent him, that they had “nailed it” as he put it.

He said the cake tasted just the way he remembered it and that it sure did bring back lots of great memories for him of his days with A&P groceries. He very much liked the cake.

I don’t have those memories of the cake like he does, because I was much younger at the time. Still, a good cake is a good cake, and I think you’re going to like the Original Recipe Spanish Bar Cake.

The cake is available for order NOW on the JaneParker.com website. They take orders for the cakes and are currently running about 5 to 8 weeks on delivery. Chris and his brother are just beginning to produce this cake once again and their goal is to eventually get it into lots of grocery stores across the country. Currently, the Jane Parker Fruitcakes are being made available in about 250 stores across America with hopes to continue to expand that as well.

So, ready to take a look at this Spanish Bar Cake? Alright then, let’s head to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Slicing!

 

Spanish Bar Cake, clamshell.
Your 18oz Spanish Bar Cake will arrive in a plastic clamshell container.

Hopefully, one day you’ll be able to purchase these directly in your local grocery store. That’s the plan at least. But, for now, you’ll have to order the cake online from JaneParker.com.

Orders are being taken and delivery will follow a few weeks later as production of the cake is currently on a limited basis. But, rest assured, you’ll get a very fresh Spanish Bar Cake when you order it.

Each cake is being shipped in a corrugated cardboard box that has a Styrofoam lining inside. You’ll also find a frozen re-useable gel pack in the bottom of the box, with the cake inside the clamshell container on top, then another frozen gel pack on top of that.

The gel packs keep the cake fresh during it’s shipping to your home. Shipping is included in the price of the cake on the Jane Parker website.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, aroma.
You may catch a whiff of the spice cake before you open the clamshell, but you’ll certainly notice it when you first open the clamshell with your cake. I loved the aroma of this cake. There is something about the spices used in making this cake that remind me of being at my Grandpa’s house. Ms. Maddie, as everyone called my Grandmother, was on up in years when I was a youngster and didn’t do any baking that I recall. But the aroma of this cake just reminded me of being in their house for some reason. Smile.

It contains some nutmeg, cinnamon, and a hint of clove along with some other spices. And raisins, it has raisins.

This Spanish Bar Cake is the exact same size as the original was – 18 ounces. They’ve even spread the frosting in between the layers and on top the same way, including the stripes in the icing.  How cool is that?

 

Spanish Bar Cake, full platter.
The cake will serve 6.

I told Chris when I talked with him, that as a Gordon, the cake would serve TWO. Smile. Doesn’t it look good?

My brother and I agreed that spice cake in general may be sort of an acquired taste. But, if you like it, you’ll love this moist two layer spice cake with lots of plump raisins in the layers.

Have I mentioned that it’s baked right here in the good old USA? Sweet.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, closeup.
The combination of the spice cake and the icing is amazing. It’s not just a bunch of sugar, but a nice balance of the spices in the cake and the sweetness of the icing.

The cakes have about a 10 day shelf life once they arrive. Or, you can freeze it for 6-10 months if desired. I didn’t test the 10 day shelf life theory out so I’ll take their word for it. The cake was too good and just kept disappearing within a day or two. Don’t judge me. Smile.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, sliced
The cake was very moist and I liked the thick layer of frosting between the layers.

So, how did it taste?  AWESOME.

That’s the best way for me to describe it. As I mentioned, it wasn’t overly sweet but had a really great combination of spices and icing that went together very well. I’m not a coffee drinker, but I can see where folks that are would like it with a cup of coffee. It also went very well with my glass of cold milk. Gotta love it.

 

Spanish Bar Cake, enjoy.
Enjoy!

Disclaimer: Chris and Alex sent me a Spanish Bar Cake to enjoy and review. I am not an affiliate with their company and even though I’ve included links to their products, I do not receive any commissions on their sales. All comments in my review of the cake are my own.

Here’s the links you will need to purchase the cake:  Spanish Bar Cake

Jane Parker Fruitcakes are also available at JaneParker.com

Tell them you heard about them on Taste of Southern and I’ll be most appreciative. Smile.

We’ve Got a Winner!!! Giveaway has ended.

Thank you to everyone that entered our Giveaway. I really enjoyed reading your comments and memories of the A&P Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cake. I’m glad so many of you remember it.

Congratulations to Jennifer. She said…

winner

I wish we could send a cake to everyone that entered, but I hope you understand that we can’t. Smile.

Here’s how the Giveaway took place.

WANT TO WIN A SPANISH BAR CAKE?

Thanks to Chris and Alex at JaneParker.com, we’re giving away one of the Original Recipe Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cakes to one of our lucky readers of this post.

The cakes are on back order, so it may take 5 to 8 weeks or so for delivery, but we promise you’ll get one if you win.

Here’s how to participate. Just answer the question below in the Comment section at the end of this post. There is no right or wrong answer. One winner will be chosen at random to receive a Spanish Bar Cake using random.org.

Question: Do you have any memories of the original Jane Parker Spanish Bar Cake?  Would you like to win one?

That’s all there is to it. I hope if you do remember the cake that you will share those memories with us in the Comment section below. We’d love to read them. But, if you’ve never heard of it, don’t be afraid to say so but that you’d like to win one to try it. Either way, you’re entered. Again, there is no right or wrong answer.

Rules. Rules. Rules.

Only one entry per person and you must be over 18 to enter.
Open to the lower 48 states only, with apologies to all our other visitors.
Winner will be selected at random, via Random.org. There is no right or wrong answer.
Contest ends at midnight Eastern time, Saturday – November 21, 2020.
Winner will be posted on Monday, November 23, 2020.
Check back at the end of the giveaway to see if you’ve won and to claim your prize.
Winner will be asked to submit your full name and address to us should you win.

PS: Your Comment will not appear immediately, but be assured you’ll be entered if you leave a comment before the deadline. I’ll approve and post the replies just as quickly as possible. Thanks.

Good Luck, and thanks for entering.

.

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Giveaways, Life at TOS, Reviews-News

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (58)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Elaine says:

    Yes I do remember the Spanish Bar Cake and the A&P stores from my childhood in the 1940s and 1950s. It was a real treat to get a store bought cake as Mom usually made cakes for our family of 6. This was not a large cake so it didn’t last long. Everyone loved it so by the time we all got a piece it was gone. Would love to share the cake with my siblings one more time. We are all in our 70s and are on no special diets.

  2. oh my. laughed out loud. all it took to get my mouth watering was the picture. My southern Mother would buy one as a treat whenever she found one. which was sometimes hard depending where Dad was posted with AirForce. Will be watching for them in stores. They are great!

  3. Cindy Chambers says:

    I remember A&P grocery stores but my Mother didn’t shop there so I have never had the pleasure of tasting a Spanish Bar Cake. I would love to win one to rectify the situation .

  4. Vicki Phillips says:

    We frequented A&P a good bit, and a lot of their store brands were good. I can still remember those cakes on our kitchen table. I really liked them on Sunday morning for breakfast–well, any morning would be fine. Oh, mercy! My favorite store-bought cake back then! Making me miss my mama.

  5. Janna Perkins says:

    Alas, I have never heard of nor tasted the cake…
    Spice cake is my fave, thought! Never heard of the store, either.
    I would absolutely love to win this cake!!

  6. Shelia Bett says:

    Yes…I remember them well . We always shopped at A&P on Summit Ave. in Greensboro. I remember the fruit cakes too. Good Memories of a much simpler life.
    Thank you for the great recipes and memories.

  7. Jean Green says:

    I remember my mother purchasing the Spanish Bar cake along with her tea bags. Would love to savor the taste of this decadent cake with a cup of tea right about now!

  8. Joan G says:

    I remember A&P stores and associate Jane Parker cakes with fruit cakes. I might have tasted a Spanish Bar Cake if my mom bought one, but there is also the possibility being a youngin’ back then, that I turned my nose up when it was offered. I sure would enjoy one now, though!

  9. Thelma Cox says:

    Ok, I am not terribly old but I do remember the sale of this cake and the Jane Parker Fruit cakes being sold at a grocer we had in NC called Byrd’s Food Store. I along with some of my family worked at this store for 10 years, so I very well remember the spanish bar cake. My mom liked the fruit cake better but I would take my daddy one every year around Thanksgiving of Christmas. It is delicious. Better than carrot cake anyday.
    Thanks for posting Steve. Hugs and God Bless!

  10. Margaret Lynn says:

    After reading in your newsletter that the Spanish Bar Cake was back – Oh my goodness. . . memories of that JP Spanish Bar Cake flooded my mind & I immediately thought I could smell my Mama’s coffee in the kitchen. Both my parents loved that cake with a fresh pot of hot coffee. When I was younger, I got a small taste of it with my milk. When I became old enough I got a slightly bigger but still small “rationed” portion. I loved that cake so much that I would sneak into the kitchen where Mama had hidden the cake from us kids. When the coast was clear (& working quickly) I made note of how much Bar Cake was left so when I cut me a piece of it, I wanted to make sure Mama wouldn’t notice that the Bar Cake was shorter in length. Then I would use a paper towel to put my cake on so there was not any evidence left behind because I didn’t want Mama figure out what I did. Reading your article certainly brought back so many memories. Whew! YES I sure would like to win one.

  11. libby rouse says:

    Oh my goodness! I just loved this cake and it brings back happy memories of going with my Mama to the A&P weekly for groceries. She would always buy this cake, and it is just so delicious! So many memories, and yes I would love to taste again!

  12. jeanne engley says:

    My mouth was watering while reading about the Spanish Bar and seeing the picture! I grew up with the A&P. We had 2 stores that we shopped at, the other was the First National where we collected Green Stamps to redeem for merchandise from a catalog. The Spanish Bar was a family favorite!! I would love to win one!! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  13. Marilyn Allison says:

    I love the Spanish Bar Cake. Bought them all the time and the Jane Parker Fruit Cakes too. The very Best tasting cakes around. I was very sorry when the last A&P closed down in our area. Knew there would never be any more of those delicious cakes. So happy they are being made again. We would love to taste it again.

  14. Angela says:

    Hi Steve,

    I do remember my mother shopping at A&P but I don’t remember the cake. It looks delicious, would love to win one. Thanks so much for offering such a great giveaway. 🙂

  15. Mary says:

    I don’t remember if I have ever tasted the Spanish bar cake but it sounds and looks yummy. I would love to win one. Thanks

  16. Lori Dom says:

    This was my favorite cake as a child. My mother would get me one everytime we went to the A&P in Hancock, MD,back in the 70’s. I never thought I would see this cake again. I would love to taste this again.

  17. Karen Miller says:

    I remember the weekly trip to the A&P when I was a child. Excited to go for this farm girl. I don’t remember the cake but hoping I win.

  18. David Williams says:

    I do not recall ever tasting the Spanish Bar Cake, but ig is possible I did at a young age. I would like to try it now since you make it sound so good.

  19. Alicia Day says:

    I have never heard of a Spanish Bar Cake but they sound delicious. Would love to win one!

  20. I’ve never had a Spanish Bar Cake but would love to taste it. Only thing i’ve came close to this is a spice carrot cake.

  21. Karen says:

    My family did not shop at A & P so I am not familiar with the Spanish Bar Cake but I would LOVE to win one!
    It looks and sounds AWESOME!

  22. Loli says:

    Hi steve. I never even heard of A&P stores and I never had a taste of Jane Parker Spanish Bar cake. Hope I win. Hubby loves Spice cake. Thanks. Bless you.

  23. David Utz says:

    I have never had the pleasure of tasting Jane Parker’s Spanish bar cake but I look forward to possibly winning and trying it for the first time.

  24. Walt says:

    I remember Jane Parker cakes from my childhood. My family was from the piedmont of North Carolina and my grandmother would always have a fresh cake from the A&P when she wasn’t baking herself. I’d love a chance to experience a Spanish Bar Cake.

  25. Betty Goodman says:

    I have never eaten one but sure would love to. I do remember the [email protected] stores but I’m sure my parents never “bought” a ready made cake. Smile

  26. Donna says:

    Oh the wonderful Spanish Bar Cake!!! I am thrilled to the moon and back it’s reappeared, as it brings back the warmest of childhood memories. Growing up in a strictly diabetic home, my sister and I were not allowed to eat sweets, mainly graham crackers, peanut butter and ice milk, not ice cream. However, when we’d go visit our grandmother, she took pity on us and “spirited” us away to the local A&P, there we were allowed a choice, either a Heath Toffee bar OR the Spanish Bar Cake. I always chose the cake, it was incredible, not real sweet, warmly spicy and full of raisins. The cream cheese frosting was an extra bonus.
    I had to immediately try Mr. Gordon’s recipe, even adding homemade mountain applesauce and was told “You came really close” but all us old folks said “it’s just not the same”.(I’m closing in on 70 yrs. old) Nope, it wasn’t but a grand substitute though! I can’t wait to order one and relive those early days again while eating a piece of Spanish Bar Cake.!!! Yay!

  27. CakeAnd CoffeeLover says:

    I remember the A&P stores and going there with my mother when young, and later shopping for flavored coffees.

    I do not remember the Spanish bar cake. I would sure like to share one with someone here and also hopefully have a little taste myself.

  28. Paula Scollard says:

    I certainly remember A&P stores! But I’m not so sure about the Jane Parker Spanish bar cake. What I remember is a “snack” cake that looked like a mini version of the Spanish bar except it was only one layer. It was delicious!

  29. Ruth Horton says:

    Good Morning Steve,
    I don’t remember the Jane Parker cake but I sure remember shopping at the A&P with my mom when I was a kid.Lots of good memories!

  30. Janet Dunn says:

    No I’ve never had one of these cakes. I have fond memories of a spice cake my aunt made. I would love to try out.

  31. Lisa Brewer says:

    I have never heard of this cake,but I love spice cake and would definitely love to try it!

  32. Kathy Wolfe says:

    My mother would buy one and then would ration the pieces so it would last longer. It was considered a luxury. I would love to be able to win one.

  33. Kelly says:

    I’ve never had a Spanish Bar Cake, but would like to win one. Sounds delicious.

  34. Deb Menzie says:

    Unfortunately I have never had a Spanish Bar Cake but it looks divine! I guess I’m of the “older” crowd as I remember shopping at the A&P for many years!

  35. Jennifer says:

    Yes I remember these cakes – my mom bought them. A&P was about the only the grocery in town for a while in late 50s early 60s. But didn’t Jane Parker also make a Lane Cake? Loved those cakes – mom would buy one once in awhile and they had to come from A&P. Living in Florida all cakes were kept in the refrigerator
    most of the time. Thanks for the memory – glad to know a new generation appreciates these!

  36. Betty Normandin says:

    Hi, I remember those cakes! My mom would pick one up at the old A&P in Sanford and it didn’t last long. I’m not a raisin person, but I loved those cakes! Thanks for triggering a nice memory!

  37. Mary says:

    I’d love to win this cake.

  38. Dora says:

    I haven’t grown up with a A&P store so would like to win a cake and make new memories with it.

  39. Have lived out west most of my life and never heard of the Spanish Bar Cake. But it sounds yummy and would love to win one.

  40. Samuel W. Baugh says:

    Yes I have memories of the Spanish Bar Cake. I would occasionally get a slice on getting home from grade school back in the early 50’s.
    Yes I would like to receive an Original Spanish Bar Cake.

  41. Joyce says:

    Looks Delish! I’ve never had this cake but I do remember the A&P stores where it originated. This cake looks and sounds similar to Raisin Cake. And yes, definitely a glass of milk over ice or a cup of coffee. There are few things that I don’t like and I have no diet restrictions. Be blessed in abundance Steve.

  42. Joyce Moore says:

    I do not remember the cake. We lived out in the country and shopped at A&P only every now and then.
    I would love to try it.

  43. Kathryn Ransom says:

    Jane Parker (JP) Cakes !! Wowzer !! As a little girl, my Grandmother Voovie ( whose name was really Luella.. she didn’t want to be called Grandmother ..she wanted to be called Luella but my Older Brother Gerald (may he RIP) .. couldn’t pronounce Luella and ended up calling her “Voovie”… ) … used to buy all of the JP products including the fruit cake and the Spanish Bar cakes.. MAN O MAN do the tastes bring back memories. KUDOS to them for recreating these fabulous products… LOVE ME SOME JP CAKES!! Tasty Galore !!

  44. Bushrod says:

    I don’t remember the Spanish Bar Cake. Winning one would be nice.

  45. Stephen Greenfield says:

    I remember the cake from growing up in 1950s Nashville where I’d go with my Mom every Thursday to the East Nashville A&P. It was a treat to get a store-bought cake as Mom was an excellent cook and rarely bought cakes and pies that she could make at home.

    I also remember Jane Parker Pumpernickel bread as the best pumpernickel bread I’ve ever eaten. Every Wednesday evening was spaghetti and meatballs for supper and a loaf of A&P sliced pumpernickel was always present. I’m still looking for pumpernickel that tastes as good.

  46. Beverly Jenkins says:

    My mother is 94 years old and we used to shop at the A&P store in Burlington, NC. Once in a while she would purchase the Spanish Bar Cake. It was a rare item for us as we did not have a lot of desserts but I remember it being so good. We grew up on a farm in the country and raised our vegetables, fruit and meat. Lots of canning and preserving food. Going to A&P in the city was fun in itself. I miss those simple days as a child.

  47. Julie Crnovich says:

    I am not familiar with Jane Parker Cakes, but their Spanish Bar Cake looks delicious!

  48. Elsa Nystrom says:

    I certainly remember the A&P stores and I remember seeing the Spanish Bar Cake, but don’t think I ever bought one. In those years, with my children at home, I baked almost every day, and didn’t buy cakes in the store.
    I would love to win one and try one.
    Elsa Nystrom

  49. ARNOLD MILLSAPS says:

    I remember the SMELL and aroma of the Spice Cake and the icing. I LOVED that cake…have missed it over the years. Brings back memories of being at home because my mom and dad always had the Jane Parker Fruitcake and this Spanish Bar during the holidays. HAIL TO THE SPANISH BAR CAKE!!!

  50. Betsy Whitehead says:

    I don’t remember this cake but I remember A&P stores. I’m glad to see some old favorites brought back.

  51. Autumn Arthur says:

    I’m too young for Jane Parker cakes but this one sounds delicious! I’d love to win one and give it a try. It’s so neat that they are bringing back the old recipes.

  52. I remember A&P stores very well, it was one of my Mothers favorite stores. However, I don’t recall ever having one of these cakes. I would very much like to win one so I could agree or disagree with Steve.

  53. Robin R. says:

    Hi. I don’t personally have any memory of the Spanish Bar Cake, but I do remember the A&P and Jane Parker brand. I have always lived near an A&P and was so sad when the last one near me closed. I would love to win this cake, but I wouldn’t mind finding a fruitcake near me. I am one of those “crazy” people who really likes fruitcake.

  54. I would love to win a Spanish Bar Cake!! Memories of this cake are many, every Saturday my Daddy would go to the A&P and get our groceries and come home with a Spanish Bar Cake. We had to wait until Sunday Dinner after church was over before we could open the cake and have some. Daddy just loved this cake and we did too. Just tearing up remembering all this. Our cake never lasted till Monday, the four of us gobbling it up all Sunday afternoon. Tried making them, but just not the same. Thank you Jane Parker for bringing them back.

  55. Kathryn says:

    I do remember the A and P stores but not the cake. Would love to try it!

  56. Jim Hall says:

    Spanish Bar cakes sound delicious & glad they are returning to market!

  57. Terry A Haas says:

    A blast from past! Loved from the A&P when Mom’s homemade spice cake wasn’t on the weekend menu. Plus eight o’clock coffee ground in the store. Yum, yum

  58. Kathy Gautier says:

    Spanish Bar Cake was my dad’s favorite and I loved it too. We would always pick one up at the A&P in our neighborhood and share a piece as soon as we got home! We lost Daddy in August 2018, but he would have loved to see this delicacy come back.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *