Skip to main content

Spiced Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing

Ever since I read the raving review of this Spiced Prune Cake at The Pioneer Woman, I have been dying to make it. It lived up to all the hype. It is delicious, moist and with a sweet buttermilk icing, it tastes incredible.

If you can get over any initial, "Ew! Prunes?!" response, I urge you to try this one out. In fact, if you are worried at how it will be received by your family, just don't tell them about the prune part. The texture is light and moist, spicy and sweet. I thought this cake would go very well with just barely sweetened whipped cream to keep the texture nice and light.

The only tricky part, judging by comments at The Pioneer Woman site and other reprints, seems to be the boiled icing. It seems a lot of people are boiling the icing mixture at too high of a heat which causes the icing to harden to the point of not being able to cut through it. I erred on the side of caution for my icing, keeping it on a very low boil on a gently heat.

Notes; I poked some holes throughout the cake to get the icing to seep down into it. This is an optional step. I think next time I will just skip doing that.


Spiced Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing
Makes a 9 x 13" cake


  • For the cake:
  • 1 cup prunes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1-1/2 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
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon white corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 300-f degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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. Be careful not to overmix.
  4. Pour batter into buttered 9 x 13-inch baking dish and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to over bake.
  5. While cake has five minutes remaining, make the icing:
  6. 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.
  7. Remove cake from oven and pour on icing immediately. Allow to rest on the counter. Serve warm.

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman.


  1. Oh yummy. I too am a big PW fan and this cake looks yummmmmy! I have buttermilk, I have dates, no corn syrup though! Do you think I could skip the corn syrup? Thanks for your help. Sammie

  2. I have made prune bread before and loved it. Would like to try your Prune cake but we don't get Canola oil or white corn syrup in Ireland. Can I use Sunflower oil and golden syrup instead?
    Hope you and help. Thank you Deirdre


Post a Comment