"This recipe has been handed down through the Westfall family for years. My grandfather, James Westfall, made this cake frequently, especially during the holidays. It is a great cake for family get-togethers."
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a fluted cake pan with cooking spray.
Beat sugar and shortening together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy; beat in eggs until incorporated.
Combine applesauce, water, and baking soda in a saucepan over medium heat; stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir applesauce mixture into shortening mixture; add vanilla extract.
Whisk flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and ground cloves together in a bowl. Gradually stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Pour into prepared cake pan.
Bake in the preheated oven until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and transfer cake to a plate.
For moister raisins and to keep them from over-browning, soak in water and/or vanilla extract for about 15 minutes before adding to cake batter. Also, my mother always lined the bottom of the Bundt® pan with wax paper to keep bottom from over-browning.