Old-Fashioned Prune Cake

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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.

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
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 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
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. (I have just heated this in the microwave instead of doing it on top of the stove).
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If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipe for Old-Fashioned Carrot Cake.
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  1. Carol Gilmore says:

    Made this cake today for the first time and a first having Prune Cake. I absolutely love this cake and I know my husband will also like it, I will definetly make this again.

  2. I have a prune cake recipe passed down from my mother’s side of the family. It is my all time favorite cake..period!! My mom used to “bribe” me & my friends when we were teenagers with this cake!! She actually got us to shovel her car out if the snow with the promise of a prune cake waiting for us!! And true to her promise, when we were done,the prune cake was there for us! My best friend’s brother would “float” through the front door as she was taking one out of the oven saying “prune cake”! He always could smell it a “mile away”!

    My husband hates it…he calls it s*** cake.. I told him you would have to eat the “entire cake in one sitting” for that to happen but…oh well…MORE FOR ME!! LOL

  3. Janice Jarvis says:

    I have made this cake for years, but I use a cream cheese frosting with cinnamon and lemon juice in it and it really makes the cake taste great, yum.

  4. My mom used to make this all the time, but she used Baby Food prunes.

  5. I’m an avid fan of author Carla Neggers, and in one of her books one of the main characters bakes a Prune Cake from recipe passed down from her grandmother. I am pleased to have found your recipe and look forward to baking this delicious sounding cake soon.

  6. Yummy …..

  7. Linda Griepp says:

    I made prune cake when I was a kid but also added chopped black walnuts to it. My dad loved this cake. After I got married I would make it using chopped pecans. Thanks for printing the recipe. I have lost the recipe after moving.

  8. Made a prune cake many, many years ago that was similar – no icing tho’. Will have to try this one!

  9. My mother always made this cake for special occasions. Her frosting was chocolate with coffee in it. I’m making it now for my bridge club.

  10. Is it possible to cut back on the oil and up the buttermilk to replace it? I shy away from any recipe that starts with a cup of oil.

  11. I make this cake all the time. but I use a Bundt Pan, and I just sprinkle Powered Sugar on top. This cake is rich enough without all that corn syrup in my opinion.

  12. My mom use to make this cake for every special occasion. Now that my mom has passed on I still make the cake now for my family members. This cake is a tradition for our family. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe.

  13. This cake is so good! It doesn’t taste like prunes much,more like a spice cake.I first tried this cake,because my mother in-law made it every year for my ex on his birthday…is his favorite cake.My mother in-law used to live in California,and was well known for baking awesome cakes for celebrities.I even saw her photo album.She even was requested several times to make cakes for Bob Hope!Oh man…all of her cakes were awesome!But my ex,choose this prune cake over all of them!!!You gotta try this cake!

  14. My mother used to make this cake when I was a child. It was wonderful. The only difference was she would make a homemade cream cheese frosting and decorate it with pecan halves.

  15. I made this many years ago and it is fabulous!

  16. I have got to try this!!

  17. Deb Henderson says:

    I just made this cake, and OMG!! It is asolutely decadant!! I only had white corn syrup for the glaze and it is light colored but delicious!!!! This is a real keeper!!

  18. Wow….looks delicious

  19. Sounds like a good old fashion cake that goes down the generations. I plan to try it soon. Thank you Southern Lady.

  20. Deb Henderson says:

    I’ve been looking for a recipe for Prune Cake that would be like the cake Ms. Mattie Todd from Versailles made for the old Rand McNally cafeteria.. I’m going to give this one a try.

  21. My Momma used to make this delicious cake!!Thank You for this wonderful recipe & all of the fabulous memories this has brought to mind!! I appreciate YOU so much!!

  22. I have been baking this cake for over 55years and it is always a big hit. Charlotte

  23. I was just talking about this cake today, while I was making your Lazy Day Oatmeal Cake. I’m thinking of using the glaze from this prune cake recipe for the oatmeal cake. Prune cake is my favorite ‘scratch’ cake and I hope folks will look beyond the word ‘prune’ and give this a try. It’s just a deliciously moist spice cake that does not disappoint in the taste department. If you are making this for the first time, please don’t despair if it looks awful after you’ve baked it. In my experience, it’s just not a pretty cake–it may cave in or just generally look unattractive. Don’t throw it away if it looks strange! Poke it and glaze it and ENJOY it–it’s just delicious!

  24. My Grandmother made this cake .. It’s so Delish the Icing is the Best Part … Thank You for Sharing

  25. My mama used to make this cake quite often, and I loved it. I will be making this cake very soon. One question, can you substitute light corn syrup for the dark in the topping? Thanks for sharing!

  26. I love this cake! My mom use to make it and I’ve thought about making it myself, but have to dig out the recipe somewhere. =) It’s YUMMMY for sure.

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