prune cake

Prune Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

Thanks To Prunes, The Wait Is Over

If you’ve made it this far into the recipe then you’re obviously open to prunes. I mean hey, they have a bad rap for being associated with senior folks… and for giving the gift of, ahem, “regularity.”

Regardless of prunes’ affiliation with the trots at least 4 generations of my family have loved knocks at bathroom humor even before it was vogue. So I’m not sure why it took me 8 years after recovering Mom’s cookbook to dive into this recipe just because of the word “prune;” I should have been drawn to it!

So in 2000 even though the FDA changed the name of prunes to “dried plums” which boosted sales I say bring on the prunes! They taste great no matter what they’re called and who doesn’t like a little regularity? Plus, it seems that California may have returned to their prune-y roots, making me want to just call this “prune-plumb cake” just to ensure I have all “loose ends” covered (pun intended).

A Prune By Any Other Name…

I smiled when I saw this came from the Fredericksburg cookbook of our family friend “Lela.” Fredericksburg, Texas holds a special place in the hearts of Texans and it’s where Texas-German charm and heritage runs as thick as our state’s love for silky queso. I had a gut instinct this cake had historical origins to our European roots and I was right! Whether it goes by spice cake, election cake or muster cake, this is a delightfully decadent and dense cake that tastes like a warm slice of sweet Christmas drizzled with butter.

What’s different about this cake is the twist of incorporating Texas pecans and vanilla, and commingling them with the fruity smash-up taste of prunes in both the cake and the icing! I think you’ll agree this cake will disappear in a jiffy!

I saw in a recent McCormick video (below): “It’s the recipes we pass on to the next generation that are the reason there’s really no flavor like home.” And I hope this recipe becomes a, ahem, “regular favorite” that hails from Fredericksburg, to Lela, to my Mom, to me, and now to you!

Foodie Tips

❤  You can enjoy prune cake tabletop warm or cold from the fridge… but my favorite is when it’s just a bit warmed from the toaster oven or the microwave.

❤  9″ x 13″ loaf pan? This threw me because I thought loaf pans were almost as tall as they were wide. A 9″ x 13″ pan is what I call a sheet cake pan. I’m wondering if I could make a couple of 5″ x 9″ loaf pan cakes out of this!

❤  Prunes’ super power? Fiber, sorbitol, and polyphenols. They act as antioxidants and help keep a clean house.

i. Time

Total prep: 1-2 hours (includes cooling the cake)

Prune Cake Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

ii. Ingredients

for the cake:
3 | cage free eggs, well beaten
1 ½ cups | sugar
1 cup | salad oil
1 teaspoon | soda
1 cup | buttermilk
1 teaspoon | cinnamon
1 teaspoon | ground cloves
1 teaspoon | allspice
1 teaspoon | nutmeg
1 cup | mashed prunes, cooked
1 cup | pecans, chopped
2 cups | flour
1 teaspoon | baking power

for the icing:
2 tablespoons | butter (my Grandmother insisted on “Falfurrias” brand butter)
1 cup | sugar
2 | cage free eggs
½ cup | sour cream
1 cup | chopped prunes
1 cup | more chopped pecans
1 teaspoon | vanilla
a pinch | salt

iii. What to do

1. In a medium bowl beat the eggs and add the sugar. Beat everything together.

Prune Cake Recipe

Now Forming: A Blowout

2. In a measuring cup add the soda into the buttermilk, making sure to leave plenty of room as the soda will cause carbon dioxide bubbles to form, so use a larger measuring cup to prevent a “blowout,” (shown).

3. Add the salad oil, the buttermilk mixture and the the rest of the cake ingredients and mix well.

4. Bake everything in your choice of a greased 9″ x 13″ cake pan or three greased 8-inch cake pans at 350°F for about 25 minutes. When done remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a cooling rack, if you have one.

Prune Cake Icing

5. After the cake has cooled a bit you can jumpstart your icing! Cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs. Mix with the remaining icing ingredients, transfer into a medium pan and cook over medium-low or medium heat until thick. Spread on cooled cake.

Serves: About 20 (sheet cake style)

~ Patrick

Betty’s Son
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook

A Scan Of Mom's Prune Cake Recipe

A Scan Of Mom’s Prune Cake Recipe

 

Who is Lela?

When I was growing up Lela Swinny lived at 3006 Northridge in San Antonio just 2 doors around the corner from my family’s home at 2927 Trailend.

The Swinny family was a delightful bunch of folks and my family spent almost as much time at their house as our own so naturally “fooding” was a part of the times our two families shared.

American Revolution Bicentennial LogoMom’s dear friend “Lela” taught me many things ~ the joy of laughing, how to swim in their awesome pool, and how to cook a memorable breakfast treat called “Egg In A Nest,” which is also posted here at Betty’s Cook Nook.

True family fact: Back in the 1970s Lela was throwing out an old desk that caught my Mom’s eye. A coat of red paint later and it was a cornerstone in my brother Tim’s red white and blue bedroom (it was around the time of our Country’s Bicentennial celebration so red white and blue was hot). In the 1990s I painted the desk black and it’s the desk where I author this blog to this day, proving that Lela is still with us, heart and soul!

You’ll find a picture of Lela and me in the “old family photos” tab and you can search for her by name to connect with more of her spirited recipes.

Cheers to two great friends – Mom and Lela!



swedish meatballs

swedish meatballs : in the bowl and ready to rollA Swedish Dish

“A piece of bread in your pocket is better than a feather in your hat.”

~ Swedish proverb

I’ll need larger pockets, as I’m a foodie through and through. And I do love my bread! Feathers aside, this dish is one of my Top 10 “mom favorites.”

One of my earliest experiences with international food came in the form of these meatballs and the Swedish Chef making special appearances on The Muppet Show (no kidding).

Thanks goodness mom was able to bring a bit of international tastebud travel to our tummies, compliments of this recipe and some of the Tex Mex favorites you’ll find here on “The Nook.” I can remember well mom’s electric skillet bursting with steam carrying the sensational and savory smells of swedish meatballs; where hearty meets happy. No wonder I wore Husky jeans growing up!

Yeah, I know… “more to love.”

Let’s Make a’ Meatballs
(said with an Italian-Swedish accent)

i. ingredients

| cage free eggs, slightly beatenswedish meatballs ~ browned and ready for the sauce
1 cup | milk
½ cup | dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons | falfurrias brand butter (per Nanny)
½ cup | finely chopped onion
1 pound | ground chuck
¼ pound | ground pork
1-¾ teaspoons | salt
¾ teaspoon | dill weed
¼ teaspoon | allspice
⅛ teaspoon | nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon | cardamom
3 tablespoons | flour
⅛ teaspoon | freshly ground black pepper
10-½ ounce can | beef broth
½ cup | light cream

ii. what to do

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk and dry bread crumbs.

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Lift the onions out of the skillet with a slotted spoon; add to the bread crumb mixture, the ground chuck, ground pork, 1-½ teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon dill weed, the allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom.

3. With a wooden spoon or your hands, mix well to combine.

4. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

5. Preheat oven to 325°F.

6. Take the meat mixture from the fridge and shape it into meatballs, each about 1″ in diameter.

7. In remaining hot butter, divide the meatballs into groups of 2 or 3 and sauté them until they are browned all over.

swedish meatballs ~ hot outta the oven8. Transfer the meatballs into a 2-quart casserole, after they are browned.

9. Remove the skillet from heat. Pour off the drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons (add more butter if necessary).

10. Pour the dripping back into the skillet and add flour, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and the pepper, stirring together to make a smooth slurry over medium heat.

11. Gradually stir-in the beef broth, bringing the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Add the cream and remaining ½ teaspoon dill weed. Pour sauce over meatballs in casserole dish.

12. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Garnish top of meatballs with fresh dill sprigs, if desired.

Makes: 6 servings.

Foodie Tips ~

 Serve the meatballs atop some wide, wavy egg noodles.

 I love the sauce and will double it on my next “go” of this recipe.

While a salt lover, I found this recipe a little salty for me so I’ll decrease the sodium shakes on my next Swedish adventure.

a scan of mom's original swedish meatball recipe