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Vintage Prune Cake

A vintage recipe that took us by surprise!

Prune Cake 1-min

The name prune cake did not instantly draw me in when I came across this vintage recipe. Despite the fact that I actually do like prunes, it was hard to shake their less than popular reputation from my mind. But with how many readers had left comments talking about their mother’s prune cake and how moist and amazing it was, I felt I had to find out for myself.

Prune cake 9-min
Prune cake 2-min

In my research, I found many of the older recipes to be very similar. The main difference I came across was in preparing the prunes. Some recipes simply chopped them into small pieces while others boiled them down into more of a jam consistency before baking them into the cake. For simplicity sake, we went with the former option here. Another matter of preference was baking the cake in a 9×13 dish or a bundt pan. We find storing and serving out of a rectangle dish far easier so we almost always lean in that direction! If you’re going for extra style points this recipe could still be baked in a bundt!

Prune cake 4-min
Prune cake 8-min

The recipe is pretty straight forward, coming together in just a few minutes. While the cake bakes you’ll make up a simple glaze that will really ensure the moisture is locked in. I thought the cake was even better the next day once all the flavors really had time to meld. But that doesn’t mean I had enough self control to keep from sneaking a few slices on day one. All in all, I’d classify this vintage recipe as a delicious success!

Prune cake 7-min

Serves 12

15m prep time

50m cook time

Rated 4.9 out of 5
Rated by 7 reviewers
Prune Cake
  • 1 cup prunes, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Place the chopped prunes in a small bowl and add 1 cup buttermilk. Set aside to let soak.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
  4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Whisk until evenly mixed.
  5. Add the soaked prunes and buttermilk to the wet ingredients. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients and mix until even.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. As cake bakes, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
  8. Remove cake from oven and poke small holes in the top. Pour glaze over cake while it’s still warm.

Adapted from

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