Walnut Prune Honey Cake (video)

a slice of prune honey cake on a plate, with large cake on cake stand

You’ll love traditional Eastern European cake recipe! My Walnut Prune Honey Cake with honey cake layers, sour cream whipped cream frosting, walnuts and dried prunes is so delicious! It’s also called торт чернослив (torte chernosliv) in Ukraine and Russia. The honey cake layers are moist and delicious and combine so well with the sour cream frosting and tart prunes! It’s great after dinner with a cup of tea!

My Honey Cake Video Tutorial

Watch my YouTube video tutorial for step-by-step instructions and see how I put together this prune honey cake! Want to stay up to date on new recipes? Make sure to subscribe to my website emailing list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications.

Ingredients for Prune Honey Cake

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this incredible prune honey cake!

  • Honey: use pure honey for sweetening the cake layers. Maple syrup will also work well as a replacement.
  • Oils, Eggs & Vanilla: the wet ingredients for making the cake layers. Have the eggs at room temperature for best results.
  • Flour, Baking Soda & Powder: the dry ingredients for making the cake. Don’t forget to sift the dry ingredients.
  • Sour Cream: you’ll need sour cream for both the cake layers and for the sour cream frosting. I recommend using regular, not light, sour cream.
  • Cream Cheese: for making the frosting. Soften the cheese at room temperature for about 30 minutes prior to using in the recipe.
  • Heavy Cream: use very well chilled cream for making the whipped cream!
  • Walnuts: use finely diced walnuts for filling and decorating the cake. Pecans and hazelnuts will also work well for this cake recipe.
  • Dried Prunes: these sweet and tart dried fruits go so well with the cake layers and the frosting! If you absolutely cannot use prunes, dried dates or dried apricots will also taste great.
a honey prune cake on a cake stand, drizzled with chocolate and diced walnuts

Making the Honey Cake Layers

When making this walnut prune honey cake recipe, I always start with the cake layers first. I love the flavor of the honey! These cake layers are extra moist and delicate! Here’s how I make them:

  1. First, preheat the oven to 350F/177C and line two, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: sour cream, eggs, cooking oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients together on medium speed for a few minutes until a uniform and smooth mixture forms.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then mix for about 1 minute, just until the a smooth batter forms.
  4. Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake the cake layers in the preheated oven for 32 to 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Allow the cake layers to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then gently transfer them on a wire rack to cool completely.

If I’m in a hurry, I place the cake layers into the refrigerator to cool down faster! Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled before you start to assemble the cake!

a close of up a prune honey cake on a plate, with whipped cream frosting

Making the Sour Cream Frosting

Sour cream is a super common ingredient in Eastern European dessert recipes, such as this one! The sour cream adds a certain tanginess to the frosting and it tastes so delicious! If you’ve never tried it before, you’re in for a real treat!

  1. Place the softened cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Beat the cheese for a few minutes until it’s smooth and creamy. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix again for about a minute.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer), whisk the chilled heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar for 4 to 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add the cream cheese and sour cream mixture into the whipped cream. Whisk on high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute, scrapping down the sides of the mixing bowl, until a thick and creamy frosting forms.
  4. NOTE: keep the frosting refrigerated when not using!! It tends to melt and soft quickly! If it gets too soft, place it back into the refrigerator and chill it for 15 to 30 minutes. Whisk it again once it’s chilled.
a walnut honey cake on a cake stand, with diced walnuts and sour cream frosting

How to Make a Walnut Prune Honey Cake

Once you have the cake layers and the frosting done, it’s time to put together this honey cake with prunes! Here’s how I suggest assembling the cake:

  1. Finely dice 1 cup of walnuts and dice 1 cup of dried prunes for the filling.
  2. Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled, otherwise they will melt the frosting. Using a serrated knife, first level the top of each cake layer and then split the layers in half. You should have 4 layers total.
  3. To assemble the cake: add about 1 cup of whipped cream frosting onto the cake layer, spreading it evenly to the edges. Next, top the cake layer with a third of the chopped walnuts and chopped prunes, spreading them evenly. Repeat this process for the next 3 layers.
  4. Frost the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat layer of frosting, then let the cake chill for about 30 minutes. Keep the frosting chilled during this time as well.
  5. Apply the final layer of frosting to the outside, smoothing the frosting with an offset spatula. Garnish the sides of the cake with more diced walnuts, drizzle some melted chocolate over the top and add dollops of whipped cream. I used Ateco tip number 847 for this cake.

Storing the Cake & Serving Suggestions

Once you have this walnut prune honey cake assembled, it needs to go into the refrigerator. Ideally, leave the cake in the refrigerator overnight to chill and set, or for at least 4 hours. This will allow the cake layers to absorb more moisture from the frosting and allow the flavors to come together. Serve the cake with hot tea or coffee.  

a close up of a walnut cake on a wooden cake stand, with diced prunes and walnuts

Common Recipe Questions

Can I make this cake ahead of time?

Yes, I even recommend it! This cake is best after it’s had the chance to set overnight in the refrigerator. You can also make the cake layers a few days ahead of time. Just let them cool completely, wrap them in plastic wrap and keep them stored in the freezer.

Can I make the frosting without sour cream?

Yes, the frosting will work well if you omit the sour cream. However, for the most authentic tasting Торт чернослив, I recommend adding it.

What can I use in place of sour cream?

Use strained Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for the cake layers. Omit the sour cream altogether and don’t replace it with yogurt for the frosting.

More Recipes!

Enjoyed this Eastern European cake recipe? Make sure to check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy! I also have two cookbooks with more cake recipes – The European Cake Cookbook (all cake recipes!) and Beyond Borscht, which has a dessert chapter!

  • Golden Key Caramel Cake – this is my husband’s favorite cake! Rich caramel cake layers with crunchy pecans and a caramel frosting!
  • Honey Cherry Cake – a quick and easy honey cake dotted with sweet cherries, topped with a kirsch whipped cream.
  • Chocolate Spartak Cake – an 8-layer chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting. This decadent cake is perfect for special occasions!
  • Torte Napoleon – another traditional cake that’s loved by many, made with puff pastry cake layers and creamy custard filling.

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a slice of cake close up on a plate, with text overlay 'Walnut Prune Honey Cake'

Supplies/Tools

Need some supplies or tools for making this delicious honey cake? Check out my suggestions, available online on Amazon (affiliate links).

  • Aluminum Cake Pans – these are my favorite baking pans. They bake cakes very evenly.
  • Ateco Turn Table – this cake decorating table is a must for serious cake bakers!
  • Off-Set Spatulas – use these for spreading the frosting evenly.
  • Pure Honey – use a pure, mild honey for making the cake layers.
  • KitchenAid Mixer – I love this small, handheld mixer for smaller baking jobs! The copper mixer by KitchenAid is currently unavailable (from Williams Sonoma).

Walnut Prune Honey Cake (video)

1 hr 45 mins prep + 32 mins cook
16 servings
An Eastern European honey cake recipe with walnuts, prunes and a sour cream whipped cream frosting!

Ingredients 

For Honey Cake Layers:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cooking oil, I use canola oil
  • 1 cup pure honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For Filling:

  • 1 cup walnuts, diced
  • 1 cup dried prunes, diced

For Sour Cream Frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened at room temp
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups heavy cream, well chilled
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar

For Garnishing:

  • 1 cup walnuts, finely diced
  • 2 to 3 dried prunes, diced
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Instructions

For Honey Cake Layers:

  • First, preheat the oven to 350F/177C and line two, 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: sour cream, eggs, cooking oil, honey and vanilla extract. Mix the ingredients together on medium speed for a few minutes until a uniform and smooth mixture forms.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then mix for about 1 minute, just until the a smooth batter forms.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake the cake layers in the preheated oven for 32 to 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake layers to cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then gently transfer them on a wire rack to cool completely.

For Sour Cream Frosting:

  • Place the softened cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Beat the cheese for a few minutes until it’s smooth and creamy. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix again for about a minute.
  • In a separate mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer), whisk the chilled heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar for 4 to 5minutes, until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the cream cheese and sour cream mixture into the whipped cream. Whisk on high speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute, scrapping down the sides of the mixing bowl, until a thick and creamy frosting forms.
  • NOTE: keep the frosting refrigerated when not using!! It tends to melt and soft quickly! If it gets too soft, place it back into the refrigerator and chill it for 15 to 30 minutes. Whisk it again once it’s chilled.

Assembling the Cake:

  • Finely dice 1 cup of walnuts and dice 1 cup of dried prunes for the filling.
  • Make sure the cake layers are completely cooled, otherwise they will melt the frosting. Using a serrated knife, first level the top of each cake layer and then split the layers in half. You should have 4 layers total.
  • To assemble the cake: add about 1 cup of whipped cream frosting onto the cake layer, spreading it evenly to the edges. Next, top the cake layer with a third of the chopped walnuts and chopped prunes, spreading them evenly. Repeat this process for the next 3 layers.
  • Frost the outside of the cake with a thin crumb coat layer of frosting, then let the cake chill for about 30 minutes. Keep the frosting chilled during this time as well.
  • Apply the final layer of frosting to the outside, smoothing the frosting with an offset spatula. Garnish the sides of the cake with more diced walnuts, drizzle some melted chocolate over the top and add dollops of whipped cream. I used Ateco tip number 847 for this cake.

Storing & Serving:

  • Once you have this walnut prune honey cake assembled, it needs to go into the refrigerator. Ideally, leave the cake in the refrigerator overnight to chill and set, or for at least 4 hours. This will allow the cake layers to absorb more moisture from the frosting and allow the flavors to come together. Serve the cake with hot tea or coffee.  

Nutrition

Calories: 668kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 349mg | Potassium: 309mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 1242IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 2mg