Chocolate Prune Olive Oil Cake

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Chocolate Prune Olive Oil Cake

Ridiculously moist and incredibly tender, this recipe takes the classic chocolate cake to new depths. In this Chocolate Prune Olive Oil Cake, rich olive oil in the batter is balanced with the fruity sweetness of prune purée made from California Prunes. The California Prune purée used in this recipe cuts the cake’s sugar content by 50% without sacrificing an ounce of sweetness. Rich notes of cocoa are highlighted by the addition of instant espresso powder while the bright flavors of fresh orange juice and zest add a subtle citrusy note to balance the rich chocolaty flavor of the cake. From there, a deep, dark ganache frosting is swirled over the top, making this single-layer cake the perfect blend of simple and sophisticated. It’ll take close to no time to make and will be the star of any holiday soirée.

California Prune growers take care to produce only the biggest, sweetest plums. Then, when it comes time to dry them, they do so with an unmatched level of care, precision, and craftsmanship. California Prunes not only act as a naturally rich sweetener in baked goods but can even bring a fruity, fresh taste to your savory bakes. Try them whole, diced, or puréed in all your favorite sauces, sweets, cakes, and other bakes. They’ll add unmatched natural sweetness and pack a powerful combination of important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber into all your bakes. To learn more and find other inspired recipes, go to

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Prune Olive Oil Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (1 gram) instant espresso powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup (176 grams) prune purée (see Notes)
  • ½ cup (112 grams) olive oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) tightly packed orange zest
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) fresh orange juice
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1½ teaspoons (9 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • Silky Chocolate Frosting (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; dust sides of pan with cocoa, tapping out excess.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, salt, espresso powder, and baking soda; use a silicone spatula or whisk to help press all of mixture through.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, prune purée, oil, orange zest and juice, eggs, and vanilla bean paste. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until combined and no flour pockets remain. (Do not overmix.) Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter several times to settle batter and release any air bubbles.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 36 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a small offset spatula around edges of cake. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. Level cooled cake, if desired. Using a small offset spatula, spread Silky Chocolate Frosting on top and sides of cake, swirling as desired.
To make prune purée, place 6 ounces (170 grams) roughly chopped California prunes (about 1 cup) in a medium heatproof bowl. Add ½ cup (120 grams) boiling water, pressing down prunes until they’re mostly submerged. Let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer prune mixture to the container of a blender; process until a paste forms, stopping to scrape sides of container. (It’s OK if flecks of prune remain.) A food processor can also be used.

Any extra prune purée makes a great addition to other treats and snacks like smoothies, oatmeal, or peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Silky Chocolate Frosting
Makes about 2 cups
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (160 grams) evaporated milk
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon (1 gram) instant espresso powder
  1. In a small bowl, stir together granulated sugar, evaporated milk, brown sugar, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Pour sugar mixture into the container of a blender; process for 30 seconds.
  2. In the top of a double boiler, combine chocolate, butter, and espresso powder. Cook over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture; process until thickened and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds, stopping to scrape sides of container. Transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate until thickened and spreadable, about 15 minutes.


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  1. Can I substitute a non-dairy milk for the dairy whole milk? Would I need to change anything else to balance, say, for fat content?


    • Hello, and thank you so much for your question! Although we haven’t tested this recipe with milk alternatives, you should be able to substitute the non-dairy milk of your choosing, substituting 1:1 by volume. If you’re at all worried about fat content, you can try using a higher fat milk alternative like coconut milk (if you think the flavor would blend nicely). But, almost any non-dairy milk should work. If you do end up experimenting, be sure to let us know how it goes!

      We hope this helps, and happy baking!

    • Hello Stefany,

      Thank you for your question! Unfortunately, we don’t typically post nutrition information with our recipes, and therefore don’t have this information available. So sorry for the inconvenience, but we hope you enjoy the recipe!

      Happy Baking!


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