1 cup raisins (dark or golden)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground cloves and ground allspice
2 cups peeled pear chunks (from about 3 pears)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the raisins in a bowl and toss them with 2 tablespoons of the flour until lightly coated (this will prevent them from sinking in the cake batter during baking).
To make the cake: Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or using a hand mixer) until fluffy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the vanilla and the oil. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and allspice. Mix into the egg mixture. Mix in the pears and nuts, then stir in the raisins by hand, distributing them evenly in the batter. Spoon into a 10-inch tube pan and bake about 45 to 60 minutes, until springy and dry in the center. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, then turn it out. Freeze until ready to use or just wrap and store for up to 2 days.
To make the glaze: Stir the maple syrup and sugar together in a bowl. Glaze the cooled cake by spooning the glaze around the top of the cake and letting it drip down the sides.
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