Upside Down Prune Cake – Made

I posted the recipe for Upside Down Prune Cake and at the time speculated if this could be done in a Dutch oven. Well, over this past weekend, I was at a history timeline event camped next to a friend who is quite proficient with Dutch oven cooking. She indulged me, and we decided to try it!

First, fresh prunes are not available until August, and at that, difficult to find. I used jarred prunes from Sunsweet, and pitted them. We melted the butter over the fire in a copper pot, then placed that at the bottom of a ceramic pie plate. Next we layered the ingredients as the recipe instructed.

Once there was a good fire under the oven and it was well heated, a trivet was placed in the bottom of the oven and the cake on the trivet. The trivet allowed for air circulation under the pie plate. We replaced the oven lid and left it alone for 20 minutes or so. I checked it and rotated the plate 180 degrees to even out the cooking.

Since there is no thermostat on a fire, we didn’t know how long this would need to cook. At 25 minutes, it was not cooked through. 20 minutes later, it was a bit scorched on the edges and we were not able to turn it out on a plate.

The cake itself was not terribly sweet. Had the glaze not overcooked, once turned out it would have been a nice top to a moist cake. We did not serve it with whipped cream because we had no electricity with which to whip.

The camp kitchen serves lunch family style, with all kinds of pickles and fruits in jars down the center of the table, and desserts on a buffet of sorts off to the side. I can happily say that friends and family alike tried the cake, although I can’t guarantee they liked it. My sister took some pictures that I will try to get hold of and post at a later date.

3 thoughts on “Upside Down Prune Cake – Made

  1. Hey it sounds like it was at least edible..what a cool adventure. I once saw scones being cooked in a pan on a wood fire..a wonderful practice that I have shared with the grands. Sometimes it is just fun to try something else:)


  2. How you cook in a dutch oven I don’t know. I haunted the Continental encampment and they were in the process of serving a peach cobbler they’d made in one, and did it ever look good! They regretted not being able to offer me any due to regulations – bacteria and “camp clean” levels, you see – but I’m determined to give it a try. I’m not fond of peaches, so when I get my hands on a dutch oven I might just try your prune cake first. I saw the pictures, and it did look good (except for the black corona). How did it taste? Vanilla-like? Christmas cake spice-like? Bread-like?


  3. Cat, it was not real sweet and a bit bready, as though it could have used some vanilla. The flour you use will also affect it – cake flour will be lighter than standard flour, etc. It picked up a bit of the sweet prune flavor.

    As for “how you cook in a dutch oven” well, it’s no different from the oven in your kitchen except it doesn’t have a thermostat. Renee told me that oak burns better than pine for cooking and gives a more consistent heat. The oven itself just captures and circulates the hot air around the food. You have to check the food so it doesn’t burn, as happened to us. Old wood stoves worked on the same principle I suppose. I hope you will get a chance to try it!!


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