The email that included this two-page spread of cake-casserole recipes said, “For the ‘Cake Casseroles’ I was thinking the prune one, of course.”


OF COURSE. Although the fruit cocktail one looks pretty scary, too…

Prune Casserole – Mid-Century Recipe Guest Test Sunday
Author: Betty Crocker (1958)
  • Cake Casserole
  • 1 box Honey Spice Cake Mix
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups prunes
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Hot Lemon Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
  1. Pour cake mix batter into greased and floured 13×9½x2″ pan or shallow 3-qt. casserole. Sprinkle 1½ to 2 cups uncooked cup-up prunes over batter. Mix ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar (packed), ½ tsp. nutmeg, and ½ tsp. cinnamon with 2 cups boiling water. Pour over batter and prunes. Do not stir. Bake 45 to 55 min. at 350°.
  2. Serve with hot Lemon Sauce: Mix 1 cup sugar and 2 tbsp. cornstarch. Gradually add 2 cups boiling water. Boil 1 min. Add 4 tbsp. butter, 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. grated lemon rind. 15 to 18 servings.


It’s easy enough making a boxed cake mix, and even sprinkling dried fruit on top isn’t totally ridiculous.


But pouring sugary, spiced water over the top? WHAT. IS. THIS.


There’s a good half-inch of liquid on top of this cake.


And it looks like a toxic waste spill.


Even though all that terrifying sludge has mysteriously disappeared after baking, I was having a hard time shaking the memory. It must have gone somewhere.

But that’s ok, because I just serve the food and let somebody else be the guinea pig. Oh, Buuuu-uuuuuzz…


“Why are you wearing your brainstorm shirt?”

“I figured they look like wrinkly prunes.”

Yeah, we can’t come up with brilliant costumes for everything.


So how does it taste?


“Oh, man, this is really boring.”

“What? There are prunes and spices and lemon sauce everywhere!”

“It’s just… really bland if you aren’t eating the prunes.”

Verdict: Mediocre.

Tasting Notes:

Can’t believe I’m saying this, but it needed more prunes. The bottom half, with mushy soft spicy prunes, was surprisingly appealing — so use either twice the prunes, or half the cake batter. Plain spice cake just isn’t very interesting, and bites without sauce and fruit are really dull.