1 9-inch cake

In Iceland, this layered prune torte is made for the winter holidays and nibbled on all season, thanks to its long shelf life.


For the Cake

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon whole milk

For the Filling

  • 2 pounds pitted prunes

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


  1. Make the cake: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. With machine running, add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

  2. Reduce speed to low. Working in batches, add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternating once with milk, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until dough is smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Make the filling: Combine prunes and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until prunes are tender, about 15 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop prunes in a food processor, and return to saucepan with reserved liquid and the granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla, salt, and cardamom. Refrigerate until slightly firm, about 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 7 equal pieces (about 6 ounces each). Roll each piece into a 10-inch round, and cut into a 9-inch circle using the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan as your guide. Place 1 dough circle on a baking sheet, and bake until edges are golden, about 14 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Repeat with remaining 6 dough circles.

  5. To assemble: Spread about 3/4 cup prune filling evenly onto 1 cake circle. Top with another circle, and continue until all 7 layers have been assembled (do not put filling on top layer). Wrap in plastic; let stand overnight.

  6. Dust cake with confectioners' sugar. Cut into quarters, then horizontally into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Cook's Notes

Wrap the dessert in plastic, and store at room temperature to enjoy it for up to three months.

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