Old Fashioned Prune Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

This Old Fashioned Prune Cake is wonderful. The spices and moistness will make it one of your favorites. Even if you don’t like prunes, you will love this cake. Most people never even realize it has prunes in it and they love it. It’s a very popular cake for a reason. If you have never tried this classic.. you should!

Old Fashioned Prune Cake Ingredients Needed:

Pitted prunes


Oil (I used Canola)



All-purpose flour

Baking soda



Ground cloves



Vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients for Prune Cake


Dark corn syrup


Baking soda


Vanilla extract

I don’t use a mixer to make this cake which is another added plus! It’s that easy and all the spices makes this cake so good. Many people comment they have used prune baby food. I have never tried it, but I am sure it would work. You can easily make this cake a few days in advance and I always just store it in a cool place.

If you love spice cakes you will love this Southern Jam Cake! It’s  classic too!

“I’ve made this cake sooo many times. I don’t like cake very much but I absolutely love this cake. I tell everyone it’s an old fashioned spice cake so they don’t know it has prunes in it.” – Sheila

“I have been looking for this recipe for a long time! My Grandmother made this cake and we all loved it. I am now following your website, you have so many old fashioned recipes.” – Dana

“I just made this cake, and OMG!! It is absolutely decadent!! I only had white corn syrup for the glaze and it is light colored but delicious!!!! This is a real keeper!!” – Deb

Full printable recipe in recipe card below.

Old Fashioned Prune Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks


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Print Recipe
4.97 from 33 votes

Old Fashioned Prune Cake

This old fashioned prune cake is a cake your grandmother would make. It's definitely a classic and you must give it a try.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: American, southern
Keyword: Old Fashioned Prune Cake
Servings: 10 servings
Author: The Southern Lady Cooks


  • 1 cup pitted prunes chopped (I used 25 prunes cut in about six pieces each)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup oil I used Canola
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Topping for Prune Cake

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • I do not use a mixer with this cake. You will need 3 bowls, 1 large mixing bowl and 2 smaller bowls. Put your chopped prunes in one of the small bowls, cover with the cup of buttermilk and set aside. In the large bowl add together the oil, sugar, and eggs mixing well with a spoon. In the other bowl combine the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg and use a wire whisk to mix well.
  • Pour the prunes and milk into the large bowl with the sugar, eggs, and oil. Add the dry ingredients and mix well with a spoon. (I use a wooden spoon). Add vanilla extract and mix. Spray a 9 x 13 cake pan and add the batter. Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center of the cake is done. Add the topping recipe below while still warm.

Topping Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Poke holes in the cake and pour over the cake while it is still warm. Topping can also be made in microwave.

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