a 36 Lady Prune bundt Cake with a slice removed on a plate

36 Lady Prune Cake

36 Lady Prune Cake is a Vasey family favorite, and we have a feeling your family will love this recipe, too!  

In the early 1960s, the California Prune Advisory Board (hey, that’s us…in a past life) sponsored a recipe contest. One recipe was unanimously favored by the judges, but there was just one problem – 36 different women had entered the exact same recipe prune bundt cake. From then on, the cake was famously known as 36 Lady Prune Cake. The true origin of this recipe remains a mystery, but it’s a local favorite to this day.

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Baking with Prunes

You probably know that prunes are great for gut health. But did you know that they can add moisture and depth of flavor to your favorite baked goods? And that’s not all…with the addition of prune purée, bakers can reduce refined sugar by up to one-third, as well as reducing the amount of needed eggs and fats. Whether you are trying to reduce refined sugar, cut unhealthy fats, or simply make healthier baked goods, California Prunes and Prune Purée are ingredients more and more bakers are relying on to enhance their cakes, cookies, muffins, and more.

a 36 Lady Prune bundt Cake with a slice removed on a plate

36 Lady Prune Cake

This heritage recipe for 36 Lady Prune Cake is sure to become a family favorite!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 8 servings
Calories 816 kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chopped nuts walnuts, almonds or pecans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1 cup diced California Prunes

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick margarine
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP white Karo syrup


For the Cake

  • Combine oil, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, nutmeg, buttermilk, flour, nuts, salt, baking soda, and prunes.

For the Glaze

  • Mix sugar, baking soda, margarine, buttermilk and syrup in saucepan and cook until margarine melts and the mixture boils and changes color to a darkish brown and forms a very soft ball. When cake comes out of the oven, turn out on a plate, prick with a fork and pour glaze over the warm cake.
  • Pour into an oiled and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350F (180C) for 45 minutes.
  • Dust with toasted sliced almonds if you wish. You can also use a fresh, homemade whipped cream frosting rather than a glaze – a Vasey family favorite!


This heritage recipe is shared in memory of Dorothy Lindauer of Red Bluff, California.


Calories: 816kcalCarbohydrates: 107gProtein: 10gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 567mgPotassium: 354mgFiber: 4gSugar: 75gVitamin A: 346IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Heritage Recipes, Holiday
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Check out Our Top Tricks to Healthier Baking from our friends at California Grown! Wondering what to bake first? Try some of our favorite Old-Fashioned Recipes for Desserts!

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