When we married back in the 1960's, our first apartment was in an old Victorian house in a little town along the Delaware River in New Jersey.
We had the ground floor apartment and it was perfectly charming with stone floors in the dining room and kitchen, wide pine plank floors in the other rooms, deep window sills, a fireplace and a cozy little garden off the kitchen and a front porch.
The kitchen was tiny and I had a special "work bench" built that fit perfectly around the corner and extended along the narrow hallway and we put peg board above this area and I was in my glory! Now I had my own place to cook and all the tools of the trade in easy reach!
Our neighbors upstairs ended up buying the old house and I just recently was surprised to hear from her.
I knew Sharyn and Jim from school... I think they were about a year ahead of me.
When she contacted me I immediately thought of the time she invited me for cake and coffee in the afternoon.
I remember it vividly! She made a prune cake that was so good, but I never got the recipe for it.
I have thought of that cake off and on through the years.
I can remember sitting in her cozy kitchen looking at all her beautiful antiques, crocks, pots, etc.
She always had a knack for decorating and it was never ostentatious, but rather very homey, welcoming and comfortable.
And now... more than 40 years later... I have the recipe!
She immediately knew the one that I was referring to and says it is also one of her favorites.
Now I know that a lot of people do not like prunes, but I dare say that this cake is more like a very moist spice cake as the prunes tend to "disappear" into the cake.
Thank you Sharyn for getting in touch with me and for sharing this recipe.
It brings back fond memories of sitting in your kitchen having cake and coffee.
Sometimes the simplest memories are the best!
SPICY PRUNE CAKE
1 c. boiling WATER
1 c. cut-up PRUNES (pitted)
2 c. all-purpose FLOUR
1 1/2 c. SUGAR
1 1/4 tsp. BAKING SODA
1 tsp. SALT
1 tsp. CINNAMON
1 tsp. NUTMEG
1 tsp. ground CLOVES
1/2 c. OIL
1 tsp. VANILLA
1 c. chopped, WALNUTS or PECANS
Pour boiling water over the prunes in a large bowl; let stand 2 hours.
Grease and flour oblong pan, 13x9x2 inches.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure remaining ingredients into mixer bowl with prunes.
Blend 1 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.
Beat 2 minutes on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Pour batter into pan and bake until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean... about 45 minutes.
Let cool in the pan.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1/2 c. BUTTER
3 ounces CREAM CHEESE, softened
1 pound POWDERED SUGAR
2 tsp. VANILLA
Cream together butter and cream cheese. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.
Frost cooled cake. Decorate with additional nuts if desired.