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Prune Cake: A Cake to Make in Secret
This recipe for prune cake came from my Aunt Madaline's collection of vintage recipes that I inherited when she died. Aunt Madaline had a sweet tooth; and, she must have been especially fond of prune cake, because she had saved several recipes for that particular cake.
This recipe is from a newspaper clipping. There is no name on the paper, but it was originally published by Cecily Brownstone, Associated Press Food Editor. It looks like it is from the early 1950's, judging from the women's fashions on the back of the clipping. The women wear fitted suits with narrow skirts falling below the knee, two-inch heels, and sport short hairstyles. One lady is wearing a smart, little hat and carrying a handbag.
Ms. Brownstone recommends making prune cake only when you are alone in the kitchen. I thought this would be due to the prunes being a secret ingredient, but I was wrong! She says the butterscotch glaze for this cake is so delicious that if anyone is around they are bound to steal the glaze by the spoonful before you have a chance to pour it over the cake!
Prune Cake Poll
Do you like prune cake?
- 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 1 cup corn oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely cut cooked & drained pitted prunes
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Butterscotch Glaze (recipe below)
- 1. Sift together on waxed paper the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
- 2. Beat together the oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
- 3. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk, about a third each time, mixing well after each addition.
- 4. Stir in the prunes and the nuts.
- 5. Pour batter into an ungreased 9-inch tube pan with a removable bottom.
- 6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- 7. About 15 minutes before the cake is done, prepare the Butterscotch Glaze.
- 8. Pour the hot glaze over the cake still in the pan, while cake is fresh from the oven.
- 9. When cake is cool, remove from the pan.
Sunsweet Pitted Prunes
Yes, this is the secret ingredient!
Butterscotch Glaze for Prune Cake
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine all ingredients in a 3-quart saucepan, and put over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Bring mixture to a full boil and boil 10 minutes.
- Pour over cake while sauce is hot, and allow to soak into the cake.
- Allow the cake to cool completely before removing from the pan.
Tube Pan With Removable Bottom - You will need this for making your prune cake.
You are going to need a tube pan with a removable bottom to make this cake. After baking turn the pan over, remove the bottom and pour the glaze over the cake.
This tube pan is most similar to those used in the 1950's for baking. This was before the era of non-stick coatings. The regular aluminum will bake this cake authentically and effectively. This pan has gotten rave reviews from most users.
Crystal Cake Stand
After going to the effort of baking a cake from scratch, you deserve a beautiful way to display it and keep it fresh. This gorgeous crystal cake stand is versatile. In addition to serving cake it can be a punch bowl or serve chips and dip at your next casual party!
A Prune on a Stick for Christmas - Hilarious Holiday Reading
Make your prune cake to eat on a Sunday evening before Christmas, perhaps the weekend after Thanksgiving. After your family has eaten, open this delightful book and begin to read aloud to them this hilarious story about one family's mysterious Christmas tradition of "prune-on-a-stick." Create a family tradition of your own with memories of oral reading that your loved ones will treasure through the years.
This hilarious tale begins on Christmas night when the grandchildren question the “prune-on-a-stick” holiday tradition held at their grandparents’ house every year. They correctly surmise they might be the only family in America (possibly the entire world) holding a Christmas prune ritual. Nana decides the pre-teens are probably old enough to hear the truth concerning the origins of this unusual family custom. She volunteers Grandpa’s skills at recounting family history, letting him explain how their custom began. So as the snow falls and the fireplace glows, he gathers them round to tell the story. (click to read more)
Do you like prune cake? Have any special prune cake memories? If you have never had prune cake, or do not like it, what is your favorite cake?