Grandma Schavey’s Prune Cake

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my grandmother’s cook book I have. You can see that post here. It actually belonged to my maternal great grandmother whom I’ve never met. She passed it on to her daughter in law, my maternal grandmother. Somehow my paternal grandmother ended up writing a recipe or two in it and then my father’s sister (my Aunt Bea) gave the book to me. I have no idea of how it transferred between all of these women on both sides of the family but I am happy to have it.

In the back was a hand written recipe from my mother’s mother, my Grandma Schavey. (Schavey is a German name. She had Scandinavian blood in her as she was a Petersen but her husband was German.)

I have been curious about this recipe for some time. So I decided it is just too windy and rainy to go outdoors this week and I am tired of sitting still reading. Not in the mood for much else so I decided to make the prune cake.

I am not a baker (from scratch). Growing up in America most people just use mixes in a box. Also this recipe only has the ingredients listed and no directions. However I have watched a zillion episodes of the Great British Bake Off which I love and I thought I could figure out a cake. No temperatures are given for anything either so I guess I had my own Great Tasmanian Bake Off.

Note: should read baking SODA.

I cooked the prunes on the stove top in a little bit of water until they were really soft and falling apart. Use pitted prunes as you don’t want to be messing around with pits.

I put all the wet ingredients in one bowl and stirred them up well. Then I put all the dry ingredients in another bowl. I then got the mixer out and slowly added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients while mixing them all together. I greased the pans with Crisco which I get from USA as I will never get used to baking paper but you can decide how you do that.

I baked it for 20 minutes in a fan forced oven at 170. I should probably have lowered the temperature a bit, maybe to 160 and taken longer but it did come out pretty good. One side of it was slightly darker on top than the other but I’m sure that is my fan oven. I will never get used to a fan forced oven but not much I can do about it.

The Final Product

I had Mr. Penguin taste it with his afternoon cup of coffee and he thought it was really good. However I could give him slop and he would tell me it was very good so I tasted it myself. I LOVED it. It has a. nice taste of prune and if you enjoy prunes you will like it. However I have no idea how I am going to go tomorrow after eating all of those prunes so I think I shall start out slowly with a smaller piece.

It would be lovely with some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream with it, neither of which I have. So it will be a plain old prune cake for today.

Let me know if you try this but I would certainly recommend it and it really was easy as.


21 thoughts on “Grandma Schavey’s Prune Cake

  1. I love prunes, and love prune cakes, but recipes are not common. I have a pretty good system (if you know what I mean) so eating a few prunes never seems to bother me. I’m guessing this could be made with GF flour. I like the method, too, which is pretty easy sounding. What size cake tin did you use? A traditional 20cm/8″one?

    I reckon g-gma would not have used crisco or baking paper, but just a bit of the old butter and flour cake tin lining.

    Oh, and love the way the recipe book crossed from one side of the family to the other. How interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had no adverse effects from the cake. We simply enjoyed it. I used a 20 cm round pan. It wasn’t that big of a cake. I have no idea how this book changed hands but liked the notes written in it with pencil from various relatives. They all lived near each other so maybe one borrowed it. I’ll never know as they are all gone now. The last one who was part of that group died a few days ago at age 95 of Covid. Very sad but not surprising living in USA.


  2. When my grandma passed away, the grandchildren were all allowed to choose one thing as a memento. I asked for her box of recipes.

    I would choose you as the Bake Off winner. Well done. No oven temp. No time mentioned for baking. Good job.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. One has to vary one’s projects these days. How wonderful to be able to use an old recipe from ancient family traditions. It looks great, and I might even try to bake one. Let’s see. I am not a big baker, rather prefer cooking.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks great, but I would be hesitant about a lot of prunes. My grandmother ate them regularly for the obvious reasons (people’s diets in those days were so bad, with all the refined products, that they *needed* to eat the prunes). I have unhappy memories of being given them in custard as a dessert – but I think I would have been fine if I’d been given the cake! Well done on carrying on the family recipe, though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I always say “pretty good” or I’ll never get another thing cooked for me. It is a very delicate art telling a partner something they worked hard on hasn’t quite succeeded!
    Years ago I had family staying over and a young niece and I were first up so I suggested we make pancakes. She was astounded they could be made from flour, milk and eggs and not a packet to be seen.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ollie & I loved the prune cake.
    I prefer cake as is…no ice cream or cream topping, which spoils the taste.
    More cake? Por favor 😋😋😋😋😋


  7. This cake looks delicious but you need to add whether it’s baking powder or baking soda. I forwarded it to lots of people before I discovered the word that was missing in the recipe.


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