Revel in the heartwarming flavors of this old-fashioned Prune Cake. This moist cake is delicately textured with crunchy walnuts and infused with the comforting warmth of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Each slice captures the essence of Southern charm and timeless tradition. A perfect homemade dessert for those who treasure the classics.
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What Makes This Vintage Prune Cake Recipe the One You Want to Try?
Shhh, if you want your kids (and picky adults) to try this cake, don't tell them it has prunes in it. But seriously, they won't care after just one bite because it tastes that good!
This old-school recipe isn't too shy when it comes to ingredients, and the cake is strongly spiced and incredibly moist thanks to the prunes, applesauce, and vegetable shortening. You won't find a more authentic or tasty Prune Cake recipe anywhere.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
Prunes may have fallen out of fashion, but this vintage Prune Cake recipe remains a favorite because it's deliciously rich, moist, and simple to make. Although you can bake an old fashioned Prune Cake any time of the year, the combination of dark fruit flavors and the festive spices lend a distinctive Christmas-y vibe.
And since you are not using any fresh fruit in the recipe, you can keep all the ingredients at home to make when the weather prevents you from getting to the store.
Vintage Prune Cake Ingredients
To bake this cake, you'll need:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground cloves
- Ground nutmeg
- Vegetable shortening
- White sugar
- Walnut pieces, optional
You can use ground spices from the store, but since they add so much flavor to this cake, it's best to ground them fresh.
How to Make Old Fashioned Prune Cake
To prepare the prune cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Dice prunes into small pieces and set aside.
- Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan and sprinkle a little flour into the pan to prevent the cake from sticking. To make it easier, you can use a baking spray that contains flour.
- To remove any lumps and evenly distribute the spices, sift the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and ground nutmeg. Set the flour mixture aside for later.
- Put the vegetable shortening and the white sugar into a mixing bowl. Cream together on medium speed using a stand or electric mixer fitted with paddle attachments. Continue mixing until the color lightens and the volume increases in size.
- Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium-low and add the egg. Continue mixing until the batter is smooth.
- Mix the applesauce thoroughly into the cake batter.
- Mix in the diced prunes.
- While the mixer is running, add the flour and spice mixture to the cake batter in three additions. Mix each addition until there aren't any dry patches of flour before adding the next one. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl's sides and incorporate all the ingredients into the batter.
- Add the nuts, if using.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared loaf pan. Tap the loaf pan gently on the counter to break any bubbles and flatten the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes. Turn the loaf pan halfway through the cooking time to ensure an even bake.
- Remove the pan from the oven. Test to make sure that the cake is fully cooked by sticking a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Cool the cake in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
What to Serve With Prune Cake
A cup of coffee or tea adds a touch of bitterness that works well with this moist Prune Cake recipe. But if you want to get even more decadent, you can try these add-ons:
- Whipped cream
- Vanilla ice cream
- Caramel sauce drizzle
- Powdered sugar
If you don't want to add nuts to the entire cake, feel free to sprinkle some nuts on each individual slice for those who want them.
Can You Freeze Prune Cake?
Yes! This cake freezes wonderfully. After the cake is at room temperature, wrap it tightly in plastic and place it in a freezer-safe bag before freezing.
How Long Does It Last?
Plastic-wrapped old fashioned Prune Cake will stay fresh for about three days on the counter or about a month in the freezer.
More Dessert Recipes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cloves
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 cup thick applesauce
- 1 cup finely diced prunes
- 1 cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9x4x3-inch baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
- In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar, adding the sugar gradually and mixing until light and fluffy. Add the egg, applesauce, and prunes, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir to combine. Then mix in the walnuts, if desired.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.