Spicy Prune Cake

Spicy Prune Cake

Spicy Prune Cake makes a wonderful potluck or family gathering dessert and what a great cake to take on a picnic. Prunes make this cake so moist and delicious!

I've said it more than once that prunes get a bad rap when it comes to dried fruits and really without any real cause.  Sweet, soft and delicious they make a great snack or pick-me-up when needed.  We really need to get over all this negativity about a dried plum.  

I've been making this Spicy Prune Cake for years. The cake, with it's sticky Caramel Glaze, is moist and delicious and makes a wonderful potluck or family gathering dessert. And what a great cake to take on a picnic.  Just make it in a break-proof or a disposable aluminum pan if you're afraid the dish will break when toting it to a picnic.  You could even bake the cake in two smaller 8 or 9-inch pans and have one for the picnic and one for home because everyone will be looking for another piece when they get home.  Don't tell the prune haters what's in the cake. Wait until they're smacking their lips looking for another piece. 

For this recipe you can buy bottled cooked prunes or you can cook them yourself from the dried fruit. Prunes are found in grocery stores with all the other dried fruits, usually in the baking aisle or sometimes in the snack aisle. A small package of prunes at a dollar store is only about two dollars or less.  

It only takes a few minutes to cook, cool and mash a few prunes. Do it early in the day or the night before, if you wish. The rest of the cake comes together quickly and while it is baking make the glaze so it is ready as soon as the cake is.  

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as we do!

Note: These days, most prunes come already pitted but if you happen to buy prunes with the stones still intact make sure you remove them before mashing!

Printable recipe at end of post.
Spicy Prune Cake
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 cup cooked and mashed prunes
  • 1 cup buttermilk or soured milk (1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • Caramel Glaze, recipe follows
How to make it:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or pan spray a 9x13-inch baking dish or pan.  As this cake is served from the pan it is not necessary to use parchment paper.  I like to use a glass pan.

Cream together the oil and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Beat in vanilla. Mix or sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and spices. Add flour mixture alternately to the creamed mixture with the prunes and buttermilk.  Stir in the pecans.  

Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and pour hot Caramel Glaze over cake. 

Caramel Glaze
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk or soured milk
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
How to make it:
Combine all ingredients in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Bring to a boil over low heat and boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  This will burn easily if too much heat is applied.  Pour over hot cake.

Alternate Topping: Sprinkle hot cake with chocolate chips.  


You can buy bottled cooked prunes or you can cook them yourself from the dried fruit (which is less expensive).  It only takes a few minutes to cook, cool and mash a few prunes. Do it early in the day or the night before, if you wish.

Cream together the oil and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. 

Beat in vanilla.

Mix or sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and spices. 

Add flour mixture alternately to the creamed mixture with the prunes and buttermilk.

Stir in the toasted pecans.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 

While the cake is baking prepare the Caramel Glaze. Place all ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan over low heat.

Bring to a low boil and cook 10 minutes.

Keep an eye on the glaze and stir frequently to keep from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Remove the baked cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack.  I managed to poke a hole in my cake trying to avoid burning my hand.  My hand was saved and the hole was eventually filled and eaten, ha, ha.

Spread the hot glaze on the hot cake. Try to spread it as evenly as you can. As you can see that hole filled nicely with glaze. (It was the best piece!)

Alternately, you can skip the glaze and sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot cake.  Use semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips.

Let the cake cool thoroughly before covering. But you can serve it warm as well as at room temperature.  This is a great cake to serve right from the baking dish.  (I divided the batter in two smaller dishes.)

Some of the family devoured the chocolate chip version. . . 

. . .but the glazed cake is my favourite!  Both are so moist and delicious.

Serve this with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Spicy Prune Cake
Whichever way you serve this delicious Spicy Prune Cake you'll please everyone.

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩          

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