Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Prune and Almond Cake

"Sweet with a deep taste and a sticky chewy texture, prunes are not only fun to eat but they are also highly nutritious."  source: The world's healthiest foods.com
Now with a statement like that who am I to argue?  Prunes are making a comeback apparently and why not?  I never thought they went away myself...  Check out this Guardian article to read more about the current "prune boom".  

Prunes and almonds are a perfect combination in my opinion and have long been used together in the classic French prune and almond tart. However I was looking to combine the prunes and almonds in a lovely, buttery cake. Looking for a base recipe that was heavy on the almonds I came across Barney Desmazery's raspberry bakewell cake.  I adapted his recipe to include prunes and extra almond essence as I wanted to highlight the almondy flavour.  I also added some citrus zest for a bit of extra zing.  
For me almond is a flavour from childhood that I can always remember loving.  I remember it in Battenberg cake, and in marzipan covered fruitcakes.  I always thought the marzipan was the best bit.  Now I'm older I get my almond fix in more "sophisticated" ways - through occasional sups of amaretto liqueur and marzipan covered in bitter, dark chocolate - delicious!  

This recipe produces a buttery, moist, almondy cake with sticky sweet prunes. Perfect with a big cup of tea, but would also be good served straight from the oven with a scoop or two of ice cream as a pudding.  

The prunes I used were semi-dried so quite soft already, but if you are using dried prunes an extra soaking in either tea or a liqueur would do no harm; perhaps some kirsch or amaretto if you have some spare...

Thanks for stopping by, your thoughts and comments are always much appreciated.  Do give this recipe a try and let me know how you get on. I would love to know about your favourite childhood flavours and food memories.    

Prune and Almond Cake

recipe adapted from: Barney Desmazery's raspberry bakewell cake

preparation time:  less than 10 minutes

cooking time:  45-50 minutes


140g ground almonds
140g softened butter 
140g caster sugar
140g self-raising flour
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
zest of lemon/orange
pinch salt
250g prunes - sliced in half
icing sugar, to serve
  1. preheat your oven to 180C, grease and line a 20cm cake tin
  2. add all your ingredients (except the prunes) to a food processor and whizz for a few minutes until well combined.  You can also use an electric hand whisk or do it by hand - it will just take a bit longer.
  3. add half your mixture to your cake tin, followed by your prunes, and finish with the other half of the cake mix on top.
  4. bake for 45-50 minutes - the cake is done when it is golden, risen and a skewer comes out clean.
  5. leave for a few minutes before removing from the tin and either serve immediately with a few scoops of ice cream, or leave to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. 

If you would like to try another of my recipes using prunes check out my:

Gateau de Semoule with Caramel and Armagnac Prunes

I have entered this recipe into Javelin Warrior's Made with Love Mondays over at Cookin w/ Luv



  1. I've used pureed prunes before for baking (like in brownies), but I've never used whole prunes like this and I love the idea! Butter cakes (with or without almond flavor) are always delicious, but studding them with prunes sounds even tastier...

    1. Thanks so much. The butter and almonds make a delicious moist cake - and the prunes are a great addition - a perfect flavour match with almond :-)