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Dissolve baking soda and cocoa in enough hot water (a couple of tablespoons or so) to make a thick paste.
Cream together sugar, shortening, applesauce, and baking soda/cocoa mixture.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon and cloves.
Combine creamed mixture and dry mixture with a wooden spoon; stir in raisins and nuts.
Grease and flour two 9 inch square cake pans and place half of the cake batter in each pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.