Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Prune Cake. And Yes, it's Fabulous.

Prune cake.

So unexpected. So grandma-sounding-ish. So old fashioned. So habitually rejected.

SO so SO sO So good. Is that clear enough?

Really. Prune cake. And the minute I saw this recipe, I was instantly grabbed with curiosity and optimistic skepticism. That little immature, untamed culinary voice inside of me told me this would be a surprisingly lovely cake.....and ohh... how it was so luscious!

Your house will smell like warm fall days and your tummy will be the happiest it's been in a while. Your kids will not even know what they just took a bite of and will consequently wish for seconds and thirds until you must coerce them into eating something else for fear of the near-future diaper disasters... if you get my drift. No pun intended.

The actual prune-taste and prune-texture are nearly absconds during the oven love time, and what you have is again, a cake moister than a sponge with happy combinations of spices. The glaze is important to facilitating such a moist texture, so I recommend you do the work for procuring it. I must say, I think I removed my glaze mixture from the stove top a minute too early, so read the instructions carefully and go to the link I have for Pioneer Woman's step-by-step if it seems too intimidating. She has an excellent, visual, might I add, tutorial on it.

Otherwise, delish! Easy! Kinda/sorta/maybe-I'm-just-convincing-myself, healthy.

Prune Cake with Glaze

{The Pioneer Woman Cooks}

1 cup prunes

1 cup sugar

3 whole eggs

1 cup canola oil (Kate note: used half applesauce, half oil)

1-1/2 cup flour, sifted (Kate note: I used whole wheat)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1 cup sugar

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon white corn syrup

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation Instructions

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. (kate note: Who wants an overcooked cake? A prune one at that? No thanks).

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. (Kate note: Watch it vanish into thin air!)