Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Iny's Prune Cake

When I first read the Pioneer Woman's post about this prune cake, I was dubious.  I mean, really.  Who in the world has ever heard of a prune cake?  ((her, apparently))
What could it possibly taste like? 
Not that I think prunes are gross or anything, I actually kind of like them (but not pure prune juice, blech), but I just would never have thought of making a cake out of them. 

Then I got her cookbook and saw the cake was in there too.  Okay, it had to be seriously good or she wouldn't have featured it in a cookbook. 

I finally buckled down and made it when my in-laws were here. 
Obviously not a fancy or beautiful cake, I was very excited to take that first bite and see if it was worth all the hype. 
And I have to say, I loved it. 
It's incredibly moist, sweet, gooey even.....
just delicious.  And you feel healthy because you're eating dried plums in every bite.  :)

Note:  I think this cake would be just fine with substituting some applesauce for part of the oil.  At least half of it, maybe even all of it.  That would make it a LOT lower in fat.

Recipe: from the Pioneer Woman (Iny was her great-grandmother)

1 cup prunes
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil (substitute applesauce if desired)
1-1/2 cups flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. allspice
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1 t. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 t. baking soda
1 T. white corn syrup
1/4 c. butter
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 300°.
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 with a fork.  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.  Add the mashed prunes and stir gently again. DO NOT OVERMIX!
Pour batter into a buttered baking dish (13 x 9") and bake for 35-40 minutes.  Do NOT overbake!
While cake has 5 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 5-7 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.
Pour icing on hot cake.  Allow to rest on the counter.  Serve warm.

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