Prune Espresso Spice Cake

What can I say about this cake?

This is one of those cakes that is great with coffee or tea in the a.m.
It is a comforting cake and great for company.
It is sort of old fashioned.
yet a bit modern and complex.
People, young and old like this cake.
It tastes best on a grey, winter day.

I don't know what else to say, except I just had a piece, and this is what came to mind.

Why are you afraid of prunes?
They are just dried plums.
They get a bad rap here in the States, yet are heroes and the stars of so many desserts in France.
I love them.

The original recipe wants you to soak the prunes in espresso, then grind them up in a food processor with the coffee to make a puree. I decided to keep them in tact, using the hot espresso that they were soaked in.

I am also a lazy baker, as you know, and dumped everything into one big bowl, instead of the proper separation of dry and wet.
Bad girl.

I also made a delicious orange glaze and added sliced almonds to the top, because it looked kind of plain. But the taste is anything but plain!

This is a top 10 cake.

Prune Espresso Cake (adapted from Food52)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried prunes, quartered
1/3 cup hot espresso or strong coffee
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cups whole milk
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Butter and flour a 10" spring form pan.

In a small bowl, plump up the prunes with the hot espresso or coffee for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Mix the flour and spices and baking powder in a large bowl.

Add in the espresso and the soaked prunes.
Next add in the melted butter, sugar and egg. Mix to combine.

Add in the maple syrup, vanilla (which I forgot to add!) and milk to the batter. Beat with a rubber spatula until the batter is light and fluffy.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

After about 20 minutes, remove the cake ring from the pan and cool completely on a rack.

While the cake is still warm you can glaze it with a cup of powdered sugar and a few teaspoons of orange juice (whisk to make a glaze) and add some sliced almonds to the top, or just dust w/ powdered sugar when the cake has cooled.

Great warm, and even better the next day.


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Ciao Chow Linda said…
I'm not afraid of prunes. They're great in desserts or with meats too and I will be making this cake for sure.
Gigi said…
I love prunes, this cake looks fantastic!
Anonymous said…
I just love the combination of prunes and expresso you've used, the cake looks SO delicious. happy to sign up to follow
Mary x
Debby in Seattle said…
Looks great. I have the tail end of a bag of almonds and a small tub of prunes that are always being moved to find the ingredient that I'm looking for in the pantry. Sounds perfect for dank Seattle.
Joanne said…
Yay for the prune love! I've never heard of soaking them in espresso and am certainly intrigued.
Marie said…
Looks and sounds delicious...I think this may be a weekend attempt.
Melbourne Girl said…
I love prunes, straight from the pack and did my own little prune cake recipe a while back;postID=8915271455324762433

Love 'em ands am going to try this recipe too!!

Anonymous said…
Hi Stacey,

I'm going to give this a try this weekend - I just won't tell anyone that they're prunes! Looks fabulous. Beth
Michael in Phoenix said…
Hi, Stacey! I have a big problem and I know you can help me out. My wife has recently discovered your blog and is making our daily meal the recipe you post.

Unfortunately, raisins, currants, daes, almonds, pistachios, beets and quinoa are not on my list of favorite foods!

Perhaps you could post something that includes shrimp, pork or any other animal protein! Bacon is always welcome and, just to be healthy, broccoli and asparagus are my two favorite veg.

You've got to help me as I am rapidly fading away!

If you could give me a break, I would be forever grateful! Thanks for anything you can do!
Stacey Snacks said…
Michael in Phx,
You made my night! ha!

Hang in there. It took my husband 20 plus years to eat Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli, so you are way ahead of the game!

Yum. Love your photography and the dishes. That looks like a good cake for the weekend.

Webster had all of the leftover noodles yesterday.
Marie said…
Well, it didn't happen over the weekend, but I'm now stocked with prunes. Unfortunately, I have no butter. Or eggs. Idiot. Tomorrow I'll have butter. And eggs. And we'll have your cake.
Oui Chef said…
You are my kind of bad girl, Stacey. Thanks for sharing this one!
Ahhhh.....just made. Lovely. Was very hungry so skipped the powdered sugar and glaze....I'm sure I sliced it too soon, but no one in my kitchen will tattle. Love this one too! Can't wait til the am for coffee and this cake. The prunes are wonderful in this.
Kelly said…
Holy Crap! This cake is the bomb!
Who knew prunes could be so good!
shhhh, I didn't tell anyone what they were, and they didn't ask.