Filled with spices, walnuts, and dried plums, this sugar plum cake recipe (also known as prune cake) is a delicious Southern version of fruit cake to bake this Christmas.
This sugar plum cake is one of my mother’s cherished recipes that her mother used to make her as a child, especially at Christmas time. I’ve heard her talk about it for years and it’s been decades since she had one so I decided to snatch the recipe and surprise her with it last week. Merry Christmas, Mama!
Sugar plum cake is an old-fashioned Southern recipe that basically resembles a traditional fruit cake. Besides the usual cake batter ingredients, your sugar plum cake is loaded with chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans), cinnamon and allspice, vanilla extract, and dried plums (also known as prunes, but people like seem to like dried plums more than prunes nowadays 😉).
It’s served with a deliciously sweet sauce, so you know each slice of this spiced prune cake is going to be scrumptiously dense, moist, and tender.
- All-purpose flour
- Chopped nuts (I used walnuts because they are cheaper than pecans)
- Baking soda
- Vanilla extract
- Dried plums (pitted prunes)
Chop prunes or dried plums up so they’re the size of raisins.
If you get any with the pits in them, remove them and discard them (that’s fancy talk for “throwaway”).
I buy the packets of .
Place the sliced plums in a large bowl and add your flour.
Toss this flour mixture up a bit. This will help keep the from sinking all the way down into the cake when it is baking.
Add oil to the .
Next, add eggs to the cake batter.
Then add the nuts (which you can leave out if your life is nutty enough).
Add vanilla extract.
Then the spices, baking soda, and salt.
Finally, add the sugar.
Mix that up with an electric or and then grease your cake pan.
I’m using a bundt cake pan, but Mama says her mother used to use a 9×13 cake pan, so go with whatever is easiest for you. If you’re going to use a 9×13 though, just spray it with a little cooking spray and you’ll be fine.
Us bundt users need to smear shortening in our pan.
Then sprinkle some flour into your bundt cake pan. Pat that around a bit to coat it and then discard the excess.
Here is our spice cake batter all mixed up.
Go ahead, you know you wanna lick the beater!
Pour that into your prepared pan…
and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Prepare the sauce
When that is getting ready to come out of the oven or shortly after, you need to assemble your sauce ingredients: vanilla, buttermilk, sugar, butter, and baking soda.
Add all of that together in a pot.
Bring it to a boil over , stirring constantly. It will foam up a little but that’s okay.
Keep stirring and cooking until it thickens a bit, about two minutes.
Poke holes all over the top of your hot prune cake.
Pour the hot sauce over the hot cake.
Let sit for about 10 minutes or so in the pan until it absorbs all of the sauce.
Then turn it out.
Serve warm or cold. It’s excellent with a dollop of homemade whipped cream or a scoop of
Now I see why Mama has missed this cake so much. It was WONDERFUL!
- Store cake leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- You can also store cooled cake leftovers in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before serving.
- Remember, you can use whichever nuts you like, including chopped pieces or slivered almonds for something different.
- Instead of the sauce, you can also serve your . Check out this for pumpkin praline for instructions. with with
Here are more old-fashioned Southern dessert recipes:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp allspice
- 2 tsp cinnamon* or 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried plums chopped
- 1 ½ cup chopped nuts I used walnuts
- 1 stick butter
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cups buttermilk
- Grease and flour a bundt or 9x13 cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all cake ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for one hour.2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ cups sugar, 3 eggs, 1 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp allspice, 2 tsp cinnamon*, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup dried plums, 1 ½ cup chopped nuts
- Just before the cake is done, place all the sauce ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and continue boiling gently until sauce is thickened, or about two minutes.1 stick butter, 1 ½ cups sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, ½ cups buttermilk, ½ tsp baking soda
- Remove the baked cake from the oven and poke holes all over the top with a fork. Pour the hot sauce over the hot cake. Allow the cake to sit in the pan until the sauce is absorbed.
The difference between an ordinary life and an extraordinary life
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