Caramel Prune Cake


I HATE prunes. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, when I saw this recipe from Pioneer Woman, I had to try it. Maybe it was morbid curiosity, maybe it was because the picture looked so good and moist and caramely, or maybe it was just out of the desire to see if I could get my Man and Munchkin to eat prunes without them knowing it. Whatever the reasons, I made it. And I LIKED it! It was caramely, it was tasty, and it was devoured by all members of my family in under 48 hours. You should try it. Give prunes another chance. The end.

Caramel Prune Cake (adapted slightly)
Serves 12

Cake:
1 cup Prunes
1 cup Sugar
3 whole Eggs
1 cup Canola Oil
1 ½ cups Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar and almost 1 cup milk, stirred together)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Icing:
1 cup Sugar
½ cup Buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar and almost 1 cup milk, stirred together)
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon White Corn Syrup (I used honey)
¼ cup Butter
½ teaspoon Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 300 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.
4. 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. DO NOT OVERMIX!
5. Pour batter into buttered baking dish (9 x 13 or so) and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
6. While cake has five 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 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.

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