a slice of prune cake with whipped cream on top

Granny Tag’s Prune Cake

Have you ever tasted a vintage prune cake? It might sound strange, but when I was a little girl, Granny Tag’s Prune Cake was the best thing I’d ever tasted in my life. I kinda think it still is.

Why You’ll Love This Cake

If you love carrot cake, you’ll be crazy about Granny Tag’s Prune Cake. It’s moist, sweet, and has the perfect touch of spicy goodness. It’s also topped with a yummy caramel glaze!

Watching Granny make this dessert is one of my favorite memories. Making it again after all this time brought tears to my eyes, especially when I baked it in the exact same pan she used over 50 years ago.

Meet Granny Tag

If you’ve read some of my other stories, you know that Granny Tag was a sassy character. She grew up in Pennsylvania, and somehow landed in the Blue Ridge mountains as a young girl.

Embracing southern life had to be a shock, but she faced it head on. Making this cake was one of her first attempts at southern cuisine.

There are several prune cake recipes out there, but this one was written in Granny Tag’s own handwriting. It’s been passed down through our family for ages, so it’s very special to me.

When Granny would ask me to poke the prune cake with a fork before she poured on the hot icing, I would get so excited I could hardly stand myself.

How to Make It

I remember going into the pantry and helping Granny choose the ingredients she needed to bring this recipe to life. She always found ways to include me in the cooking process, which planted seeds forever.

To make Granny Tag’s Prune Cake, simply combine the dry ingredients together, then add buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir in prunes and pecans, and bake the whole she-bang in a 13 X 9 inch pan for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

While the cake is cooking, boil the glaze on the stove in a large pot. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke it with a fork, then pour the hot glaze on top. Woo…Whee! Now, we’re talking!

What’s The Secret Ingredient?

The addition of buttermilk in both the cake and glaze makes this dessert moist and delicious. A little bit of allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg creates a spicy blend that’s perfect for autumn. It also goes great with a hot cup of coffee in the morning!

I hope you’ll share this recipe with your children and pass on the love. Even though it’s a vintage cake, it’s still one of the most flavorful desserts you’ll ever enjoy.

More Vintage Recipes to Love

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a slice of prune cake with whipped cream on top

Granny Tag’s Prune Cake

  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 12 1x


Granny Tag’s Prune Cake is moist, sweet, and perfectly spicy.  It tastes like a carrot cake with a little extra punch.




  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup prunes, chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. white corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend well.
  3. Add buttermilk, vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  4. Fold in prunes and pecans.
  5. Mix well and pour into a 13 X 9 inch sheet cake pan which has been greased and dusted with flour.
  6. Bake at 45 minutes at 350 degrees until set.
  7. Take out of oven and poke holes in cake with fork.
  8. Pour hot glaze over cake immediately before serving.


  1. Pour all ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  2. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  3. While glaze is still hot, pour over warm cake, covering it completely.
  4. Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes, then cut into squares.
  5. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Mixer
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: prune cake, desserts, vintage desserts, granny tag’s prune cake, pecans, prunes, spices

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I’d love to hear what you think about this recipe. Please leave a comment and *STAR* rating below…

ONE MORE THING! This recipe is part of a collection of my Best Ever Desserts! Check it out!


  1. Melanie L Haney

    Amazing! My grandmother also made a prune cake and it was a special treat! Thank you Debbie (and Granny Tag) for a wonderful afternoon treat with coffee. Taste testing is my favorite occupation! Love the pecans in this recipe and also the glaze.

  2. What size pan?

    • Hi Margy. Thanks for pointing that out! I used the same 13 X 9 inch pan that Granny Tag used when she made her prune cake. I think I got so excited about cooking with her pan…I forgot to mention the size! 🙂 I went back and added the info. Thanks again!

  3. Could this be made with dates or raisins instead of prunes?

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