Italian Cream Prune Cake

Do you ever have one of those days where you just cannot think or have any inspiration for anything? All your ideas seem stupid and you can’t decide what to make?
That was me the day I made this cake.

On days when I have a whole day off, I love to cook something that takes a little more time just because I know I can’t when I have work or school that same day.
When I made this cake however, I couldn’t decide what kind of cake I should make. I wanted to make something outrageously decadent, over the top, and stunning.

Instead I made this cake. Italian cream cake with a prune filling.
Don’t get me wrong, this cake is wonderful! Moist and light, not over the top sweet, (except when you build up all your frosting for the last bite like me) and the prune filling is just the right touch to balance the flavors out.

But I had visions of brownie layers, cookie dough layers, and more chocolate than you can count on 1 hand.
Why didn’t I make something like that? I couldn’t decide which specific layers I wanted. Yeah. Lame excuse I know.

This cake did me well though. The pictures didn’t come out as good as I had hoped, but it was a good practice cake for me. My first full sized Italian cream cake and and the first time doing little rose swirl frosting on the top. I originally wanted to cover it in rose swirls but cream cheese frosting simply is not thick enough.

This cake was worth the hype. It seems like everyone was making the Pioneers Womans recipe for Italian Cream Cake and now I understand why.

I know it’s early, but this cake would be perfect for Easter!

Italian Cream Prune Cake

(Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
Cake 
1 stick Butter
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
5 whole Eggs, Separated
3 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk
 
Frosting
 
2 packages (8 Oz) Cream Cheese
1 stick Butter
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 package 2 Lb Powdered Sugar
1 cup Chopped Pecans
Date Filling
13-15 dried prunes
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
Directions
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans.
Cake 
Beat egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter, oil, and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, and pecans.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, then fold in egg whites.
Pour evenly into the three prepared pans, then sprinkle the top of each pan with 1 (at least) tablespoon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto cooling racks and allow to cool completely.
Frosting
In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Stir in chopped pecans. Spread between layers and serve.
Note: cream cheese frosting will soften at room temperature, so refrigerate if you won’t use it right away.
Date Filling
Soak dried dates in a bowl of water for about 45-60 minutes. After soaking, place dates and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add in cornstarch to thicken and let cook another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

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