Louis Fowler vs. The Pioneer Woman: Iny’s Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing

Originally, TLO head honcho Patrick asked me if I could cook up some celebratory cinnamon rolls from Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman Cooks for this month’s holiday entry. I truly thought I could, but with many of the essentials currently unavailable at the supermarket down the street, I instead opted for the far more complex Iny’s Prune Cake with Buttermilk Icing.

I’m very well-aware that many people in my age group are not a fan of prunes, but I have always loved them, even as a small child; to be fair, they often came in with packed in our box of Native American commodities and I’ve never been one to look a gift meal in the mouth, especially when they were free and no one else liked them. Thanks, Uncle Sam!

To be honest though, it perturbed me when, throughout the recipe, Ree was determined not to let her husband know there are prunes in the cake; is her Marlboro Man’s tastes that delicate that, as an adult, he’ll throw a temper tantrum if he has to dare eat a handful of these dried plums? Grow up, dude.

With unqualified pride, I emptied a canister of prunes into the pot with a little bit of water, stewing them to a light boil. While that was occurring, I made two additional pots, one filled with the dry ingredients and, the other, the wet ones, of course; after the prunes were boiled and somewhat mashed, I combined all three in a heavily buttered dish to bake.

The cake cooked in the pre-heated oven for around 45 minutes; after a short break, I got started on the buttermilk icing, a somewhat easy proposition that included sugar, corn syrup and a whole stick of butter in a large pot that is left on the burner for about ten minutes; mine seemed a little bit runny—I wondered if it was because I used dark corn syrup when I couldn’t find light corn syrup.

Regardless, the scent that wafted over from the oven was truly heavenly; I’m sure it’s what the manger must have smelled like shortly after Jesus’s birth. Bringing the cake out of the oven and pouring the warm icing across the top, even though I’m sure it wasn’t up to the Pioneer Woman’s pearl-handled standards, they surpassed my lonely benchmarks beautifully.

I’d like to say that the cake would last me, at least, a week, but with the holidays, I give it about three days. But, then again, that’s how most cakes should be treated, right?

So, you know what…I’m going to consider this a win: Pioneer Woman 5.5, Louis Fowler 2.5. And if you want to get rid of any of Drummond’s old cookbooks this holiday season, send them to me, please. I need some new recipes.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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