Sticky Prune Cake- vegan, no added sugar

Sticky prune cake- a much less naughty tea-time treat! ;)

The place: Down to Earth wholefood shop, Princes Street, Dorchester, Dorset, UK. The time: A sleepy Summer afternoon in 1979. I am twelve years old, and me and my mum have just discovered wholefoods. Mum and Dad eat meat, but I am hovering on the brink of vegetarianism (I finally take the plunge in 1981). I love the wooden floor, the cowbell that jingles as you open the door and the big bulging sacks of muesli and brown rice; the aromas of coffee, spices and organic fruit mingling together to produce a fragrance that speaks to me of delicious pure things and a different lifestyle.... and on the counter (which is unadorned by anything so symbolic of capitalism as a till- they add up on brown paper bags) the sunlight catches something amazing- something shiny and golden-brown and sweet-smelling, that is labelled "Sticky Prune Cake"...
... I never did get to try any, and later, when I became vegan for the first time round it was out of bounds for me as it was made with egg. For some reason this memory resurfaced a couple of days ago, and, being a big fan of anything prune-related, as my regular readers will know, I couldn't help inventing my own vegan and even healthier version. (Take a look here and here for more about prunes from this blog.) Hope you like it as much as I did!

150g ready-to-eat prunes, chopped just a bit bigger than sultanas
200g organic plain wholemeal flour
4 tsps baking powder
2tsps ground cinnamon
75ml peanut or rice bran oil
100ml date syrup plus 1 1/2- 2 tabs to be added when the cake is baked
150ml soya yoghurt
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the chopped prunes and mix well, ensuring they are not sticking together and are evenly distributed through the mixture.
  • Measure out the oil, date syrup and soya yoghurt in another container and stir to mix.
  • Add the wet to the dry mixture and beat well for about a minute. You will find that this mixture is a little less wet than my regular sponge cake recipe
  • Spoon into a 2lb metal or silicone loaf tin. (If it's metal, oil and line with greaseproof paper/ baking parchment.)
  • Bake in an oven preheated to 180C for about 20 minutes, or until it is browned on top and a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges clean. (If you don't have a fan oven, I'm guessing you may have to cover the top of the cake with greaseproof paper for the last 10 minutes or so of cooking.)
  • Now here's the magic sticky bit: wait about 5 minutes after you take the cake out of the oven and then, before you remove it from the loaf tin, spoon some date syrup over the top and spread it so that it soaks into the cake. A few minutes later, take the still-warm cake carefully out of the tin and place on a dish or plate. Cover the sides with date syrup too.
  • When the cake cools, the outside will be sticky and shiny, and the date syrup will have soaked a ilttle way through to the inside. Eat it as it is, or you could try it hot with custard as a pudding.
btw, this has gone out to the excellent Tickling Palates blog's "I Love Baking" event. Check it out for both sweet and savoury baking inspiration :) You can also follow this link to Radhika's fb page for more event info and sharing.


  1. Wonderful info on prunes. I shall add prunes in cakes hereafter as my son has been advised to have them to treat constipation but he does not like it. This way he shouldn't be able to find it out.
    Tickling Palates
    Event : Let’s Cook – Sweet Somethings


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