The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Grandma Iny’s Prune Cake

4.94 Mitt(s) 17 Rating(s)17 votes, average: 4.94 out of 517 votes, average: 4.94 out of 517 votes, average: 4.94 out of 517 votes, average: 4.94 out of 517 votes, average: 4.94 out of 5

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Level: Easy

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Description

I was fortunate enough to happen upon this recipe for my great-grandmother Iny’s Prune Cake a few years ago. Written by her frail, small hands, the recipe’s simplicity appealed to me. It’s probably in my Top Five Recipes of all time.

And it would make Grandma Iny so, so happy I’m sharing it with you.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CAKE:
  • 1 cup Prunes
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 whole Eggs
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • 1-½ cup Flour, Sifted
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon Allspice
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • _____
  • FOR THE ICING:
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon White Corn Syrup
  • ¼ cups Butter
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla

Preparation

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cover prunes with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft and mashable, about eight minutes. Remove from heat, drain water, and mash on a plate. Set aside.

Mix together oil, sugar, and eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients, add buttermilk and vanilla and stir gently until just combined. Throw in the mashed prunes and stir gently to combine. DO NOT OVERMIX!

Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE OR INY WILL PADDLE YOUR BOTTOM.

While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
Combine all icing ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Boil without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes, or until icing starts to turn dark. Do NOT allow icing to reach soft ball stage; icing should be caramel in color, but not sticky like caramel. Icing should be easily pourable.

Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately.
Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.

NOTE: There is absolutely zero “prune effect” associated with this cake. The end.

15 Comments

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Carol Weaver on 8.19.2014

My mother used to make a wonderful prune cake with prune icing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the recipe before she died. The cake is easy – it’s just like the one you make. The icing was cooked and contained powdered sugar, light karo syrup and prunes. She wouldn’t have used buttermilk and I know it didn’t have regular sugar. Any ideas?

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talitha on 1.23.2013

I would like to know if prune cake freezes well?

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 10.19.2012

We love prunes – snack on them every single day. I’ll be making this yummy cake for a church luncheon this weekend. Can’t wait!!

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singingforsupper on 10.6.2011

My second time making it I needed to use up a Williams Sonoma yellow cake mix. Don’t flip. The ingredients are just like homemade. Its a feature of theirs. It turned out great because, Williams Sonoma uses buttermilk in their mix directions.

Next, why does my icing froth so? I mean froth. I felt like Ethel and Lucy. I let it slow boil but, maybe that organic aluminum free baking soda has too much kick to it.

My dear old boss loves this cake. He is a famous scientist, travels 5 star all year and flipped for this the first time I brought him a huge square.

I shared it with a professional cook and she went nuts over it. She was trained by a 5 star French chef for many years.

I love that we’re not supposed to share the secret ingredient. Reminds me of that hilarious scene in The Help. ;D

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Melanie C. on 1.3.2011

Is in the process of making this, thanks to PW cookbook a friend got me. Cannot wait to pull it out of the oven! My toes are curled in excitement. It smells awesome in the house!

17 Reviews

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moxie mama on 3.18.2014

I love sneaking prunes into my husband’s diet. Everyone loves this cake in this house!

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elenagraziela on 12.7.2013

What a lovely cake — really moist and delicious! I only detected the prune tastes when I ate a chunk of prune — it tastes more like a mild spice cake glazed with a light, buttery caramel. I did make a couple of changes — I didn’t have allspice so I substituted an equal amount of Trader Joe’s pumpkin pie spice … and because I was wary of all the sweetness I added a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt to the cake and a 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt to the icing. Please note — the icing recipe is a lot like a buttermilk syrup recipe. Because of the baking soda, it can almost double in volume as it boils, so use a deep saucepan to make the icing. According to my tasters (some who couldn’t wait to try it), the sweetness is more pronounced when it’s hot/very warm, but mellows out as it sits. Easy, different, and really yummy!

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treehouse chef on 1.12.2013

This cake is delicious and moist! It reminded me of southern Jam Cake. I used my stick blender instead of a fork to mash the prunes and liked the consistency. I think next time I will add a tad bit more spice. This recipe is a keeper!

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 11.18.2012

Wow – yummers! A friend highly recommended this recipe so I made it for a church lunch. Can’t tell you how many people commented on how good it was. The allspice and cinnamon pair so well with the prunes, and the frosting, don’t get me started on the frosting…. oh my!

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vtunell on 7.1.2012

So delicious and flavorful, I substituted sour cream for the oil, we loved it. Yum!!!

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