Old-Fashioned Prune Cake with Hot Buttermilk Glaze
Some of the world's most delicious desserts contain prunes, and I don't mean the infamous prune whip! I mean those rustic prune tarts and ice creams of southwestern France, seasoned with the local Armagnac. A sturdy prune cake American style is also good, solid dessert fare; serve it up warm right from the pan. When I was a child, this was the sort of dessert my mother would make for a casual dinner party. The hot buttermilk glaze is memorable. I recall the magic of watching it bubble up on the stove and then be poured searing hot right onto the cake.
vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
1 package (18.25-ounces) yellow cake mix with pudding
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean, or sunflower
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup pitted prunes, chopped Hot Buttermilk Glaze
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.
Place the cake mix, buttermilk, oil, eggs, cinnamon, and allspice in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well blended. Fold in the chopped prunes. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 32 to 35 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the Hot Buttermilk Glaze.
Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick or wooden skewer and pour the hot glaze over the top, a little at a time, spreading the glaze out with a spoon to reach all edges of the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more before cutting it into squares and serving.
Store this cake, covered in aluminum foil, at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze it, wrapped in foil, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.
If you're not crazy about prunes, substitute chopped dried apricots or raisins.
As prepared, each serving contains 220 calories, 12g total fat, 30mg cholesterol, 200mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate and 3g protein.