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Prune Cake

3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups chopped pitted prunes
1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13-inch pan.
Cream the butter well, then slowly add the sugar beating until
blended. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat well. Mix together the
flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon, and add to the creamed
mixture along with the buttermilk. Beat until the batter is smooth.

Stir in the prunes and walnuts. Spread evenly in the prepared pan
and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in
the center of the cake comes out clean. While the cake bakes,
prepare the buttermilk syrup: Combine the buttermilk, sugar, and
butter in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook until the
butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in
the vanilla. Set aside until ready to use. Reheat if necessary;
the syrup must be hot when poured over the cake.

When the cake comes from the oven, use the tines of a fork to poke
holes all over the top at 1/2-inch intervals, Drizzle the hot syrup
over and let cool for a few hours before serving, with softly
whipped cream, if you wish.

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