Old Fashioned Prune Cake: Don't Click Out!

I know by the title of this post, you are ready to click out.
Well please don't.
I know what you are thinking, 2 prune recipes in one week?

Prunes get a bad rap.
You think of an old granny drinking prune juice to keep her "regular". Well, forget about that, after all, prunes are our friend. They are just dried plums, nothing more, nothing less.
Think big raisin.

I happen to love them (but I am also a big fan of liver too). They are high in fiber, which in the end, does keep you regular (no pun intended).

Let's get on to cake.

In Paris whenever you go into a bistro or cafe, pretty much the ONLY dessert offerings are a Tarte aux Pruneaux (prune tart), perhaps a Tarte aux Abricot (apricot tart) and if you are lucky, a Far Breton (a fantastic eggy cake from Brittany w/ PRUNES and Armagnac!). That's it. Love it or leave it. I love it.

I saw this recipe for an Old Fashioned Prune Cake on Pioneer Woman's site, as well as on Garden Web. I combined the both recipes and the first time made it with the icing and the second time I skipped the icing and used only powdered sugar. I found the cake to be sweet enough without the glaze, but it's your call.

Old Fashioned Prune Cake:

1 cup prunes
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 whole eggs
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla Extract
1 cup of chopped walnuts

For the icing (optional):

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan, simmer the prunes with water to cover for about 8 minutes until most of the liquid is gone and the prunes are soft.
Drain the liquid and mash the prunes with a fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar and oil.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and walnuts. Combine the wet & dry ingredients and add the buttermilk and mashed prunes.

Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
Bake at 325F for 30-35 minutes.

If you are going to make the icing, combine the ingredients 5 minutes before the cake is done. Simmer the icing ingredients for 5 minutes in a saucepan, and pour over the cake as soon as the cake comes out of the oven and let cool.

This was simple to put together and was really terrific, it is one of Ree Drummond's top 5 recipes, so you can be certain it's a winner.

And I promise, there were no "prune effects" from this cake (and you know what I mean).


Joanne said…
I often wonder why prunes got the bad rep instead of other dried fruits since they all have tons of fiber. Weird. I love them.

I've seen this cake on PW's site before and have really wanted to make it! Yours looks fabulous.
Anonymous said…
Love your blog! I respect your passion for cooking and am impressed that you not only cook main meals but dessert as well. How do you find the time?
Ciao Chow Linda said…
I'm with you on the prunes-and the liver too, and have been wanting to make this cake for a long tome. How similar our tastes are - and today we both posted something purported to have purgative effects!
Carole said…
I like prunes and liver, too.

At the holidays, I make a cookie (old-world Slovakian recipe)filled with lekvar, which is a prune butter (more viscous than a fruit butter). If I just tell my friends that it's "lekvar", they eat the cookies. If I tell them it's a prune filling, they won't touch them.
Claudia said…
I had been eyeing a recipe in Chocolate and Zucchini for a prune cake - to serve for a dinner. Yours looks delicious and one can always tell company that it is "Dried Plum Cake." And making your cod on peas tonight.
Foodiewife said…
When I catch up with backlogged recipes, I'll post the marsala-prune sauce that I learned how to make, with sweet potato gnocchi. I wonder how many folks will crinkle their nose at that one! I've made PW's Prune Cake, and it's delicious. I love your adaptations, of course. I'll pass on liver, though weird as I am, I do like liverwurst. Go figure. I'll have to revisit making that prune cake again. It kind of reminded me of sticky toffee pudding--one of my faves.
I hear you - no need to hate on the prunes! They can be so good and this prune cake looks delicious:) I love the prune stuffed gnocchi at No. 9 Park in Boston - it's one of their signature dishes and it is phenomenal. Thanks!
Melbourne Girl said…
Love prunes! Love 'em. I have a prune cake as well that I posted about but will also try yours Stacey. Always good to have variations on a theme, especially a theme that you really like
Anonymous said…
So your photograph is WITHOUT the glaze? It looks so delectably sticky on top that I thought you had poured something over the cake, but I guess, looking closer at the recipe, THAT glaze would come out white, right?
Stacey Snacks said…
Photo is WITH the glaze.
The 2nd time I made it I dusted w/ powdered sugar.
Go for the glaze. My husband says the pictures look like meatloaf.
Lori Lynn said…
Hi Stace - No, no - the title did not scare me off. Seems to me that more cakes should be made with prunes, or the pc name dried plums. Silly, huh? Maybe it was the big bottle of brown juice with the yellow label that scared everyone off in the early 70's? I do remember the football team holding some sort of contest where they all drank a full bottle and waited to see what happened next...
Prunes do get a bad wrap. In my market they've renamed them dried plums. I had a devil of a time finding them with their new name.
Dana said…
My neighbor made stewed prunes with mascarpone (spelled it right!) ice cream for dessert for a dinner party and I thought she was crazy. Then I tasted, now I understand. This looks great!
Anonymous said…
my kids never seem to want to eat much besides starch and cheese: this one i will make - thanks
Oui, Chef said…
Think big raisin.....I like the way you think! I love prunes despite their reputation, and will definitely be giving this dish a try. - S
Stacey I am all over this. Weather and bees willing I should have a reasonable crop of Italian prunes this year, much to be dried and destined to be cake worthy.
The JR said…
I must be weird, I like prunes.
Anonymous said…
I stopped calling them prunes and refer to the tasty fruit as "Italian Plums" with the modifier of fresh or dried. My guests think they are exotic now.
The Food Hunter said…
I love prunes too. I made a similar cake not to long ago...once everyone got past the prune idea they loved the cake.