Chef Tracy Obolsky's Prune Cake

Tracy Obolsky's Prune Cake Photo by: Danielle Rehfeld
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Tracy Obolsky, pastry chef and owner of Rockaway Beach Bakery shares her grandmother's old fashioned prune cake.  Tracy often uses her grandma Helen's heirloom handwritten recipes as inspiration when developing plated desserts, ice creams and all sorts of confections and cakes.  Here, Tracy updates this retro cake by enhancing it with a puree of prunes that have soaked overnight in boiled water and sugar.  She then folds in additional fruit to create a perfectly moist cake with delicate crumbs and dotted prunes throughout.

Tracy first served this when she was pastry chef at Danny Meyer's North End Grill.  At the time they called it a plum cake, but we all know plums have a shell life and end up prunes.  And prunes are delicious, especially in this perfectly moist cake.  I recently served this with creamy vanilla and cardamom ice cream(mind blown).  Thanks for sharing Tracy!  Your guests will go nuts for this cake.  I love this because its great for brunch, breakfast, tea or as a proper holiday dessert showered with loads of confectioner's sugar.

Prunes Photo by: Danielle Rehfeld
Serving Size: Serves 10-12


For the Cake: 

3 sticks of unsalted butter (337g)

1 ½ cups sugar (315 g)

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 ¾ cups all purpose flour (420 g)

3 large eggs

3 cups (800g) puréed soaked prune mixture

2 cups quartered prunes (350 g)


For the Prune Mash:

1 cup sugar (200 g)

2 cups prunes, quartered (350 g)

4 cups water


Just Baked Prune Cake Photo: Danielle Rehfeld

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Using an electric hand mixer or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, scraping the bowl between each addition.
Add the puréed prune mixture and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
Sift the dry ingredients together and add to the wet.  Mix until just combined. Fold in the quartered prunes.

Put batter in a buttered pan with a piece of parchment on the bottom or in a well greased bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes- 1 hour 25 minutes rotating halfway through the cooking. The cake is done when a skewer or pairing knife comes out clean.


For the prune mash:

Bring the water and sugar to a boil and pour over prunes. Allow to cool, cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Purée mix together in a blender or food processor to make prune "mash".  You will only need 3 cups of this for the above recipe.  Freeze any remaining mash to incorporate into muffins, cakes, etc…


Cook's Notes

Cook’s Notes: I used a traditional heavy-duty bundt pan made by Nordicware Anniversary Pan from Williams Sonoma. 

Photo By: Danielle Rehfeld