*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Prune Cake, I provide you with a brief summary about the recipe, other food ideas, tips and a recipe in that order!
Code Name Edelweiss is Stephanie Landsem’s newest novel about the rise of Nazi influence in 1930s Hollywood and one man’s mission to curtail the efforts.
Based on true events, the novel follows Leon Lewis (the real man behind the fight against Hitler in Hollywood) and one of his fictionalized spies. If you love WWII fiction and old Hollywood, then this is the novel for you.
Stephanie Landsem was kind enough to share her grandmother’s recipe for Old Fashioned Prune Cake (or as Stephanie’s family calls it – German Brown Cake)!
This cake is truly one of the best spice cakes I’ve ever baked. It was super easy (no bundt pans) and my family gobbled it up.
Don’t forget to check out the entire book club kit for Code Name Edelweiss . And keep reading for Stephanie Landsem’s special recipe for you!
Code Name Edelweiss is a novel chosen through Book Club Bites’ collaboration with The Best of Women’s Fiction podcast. Don’t forget to check out the fabulous Best of Women’s Fiction podcast where Stephanie Landsem discusses Code Name Edelweiss and more: HERE.
For Code Name Edelweiss Food Ideas:
Stephanie Landsem was kind enough to provide us with her grandmother’s recipe for German Brown Cake (or Old Fashioned Prune Cake) that she loves. Since the book examines German-American relationships, I think this a perfect pick.
If you love spice cake, then you’ll love this one. The cake is fluffy with a perfect crumb and easy to make (no bundt pan required!). The buttermilk icing is also smooth as velvet and delicious!
For more food ideas, keep reading to see the foods that inspired Stephanie Landsem while writing the novel!
Whether you choose something from this list or try your own option, I hope these ideas will get your creative juices flowing to host your book club for Code Name Edelweiss.
Prune Cake Recipe:
Old Fashioned Prune Cake (German Brown Cake)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch cloves
- 2 jars baby food prunes 6 – 8 ounces total
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Beat all cake ingredients together until smooth. Pour into a sheet pan with sides (about 26 by 18 inches) Bake at 350 degrees until center is set and toothpick test comes out clean – about 20 minutes.
- Optional: If you prefer, you can bake in a 9X13 pan for a thicker cake. Bake for 30-35 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.
- While cake is baking, make the glaze. Stir all the ingredients together and heat to boiling. Boil 2 minutes.
- When the cake comes out of the oven, pour the hot glaze over it. Let cool before cutting into squares and serving.
More Fun from Stephanie Landsem:
Please insert a short description of your recipe and why it relates to your novel. Include any information you think readers would enjoy!
This is a cake that was passed down from my German Grandma Violet and is a favorite in our family. My adult children and their friends still beg me to to make it! Although the ingredient list seems rather ordinary, the combination of spices and prunes, along with the glaze, gives this cake a remarkable and surprising flavor and tender crumb. It’s a unique recipe that I’ve never seen in any cookbook or baking blog. (Sometimes, if I’m feeling guilty about the sugar, I use a half-recipe for the glaze. It’s still good, but not as sticky-sweet and wonderful as using all the glaze!)
One note: this can also be made in a standard 9 x 13 cake pan but will be thicker and take longer to bake. If you go this route, prick the cake with the tines of a fork after removing it from the oven, then pour on the glaze slowly to let it soak in.
If you would like to credit someone besides yourself for the recipe, please do so here.
Grandma Violet Wetzel
Good food and a good book go hand-in-hand. What is your favorite food to enjoy while reading?
I like to mix some popcorn with a few handfuls of peanut-butter M&Ms. My fingers stay relatively clean and so do the pages of the book!
Did you sample any interesting food while researching this book? Or experience anything exciting while researching?
Since Code Name Edelweiss is set in a German-American neighborhood in Los Angeles, the research reminded me of a lot of the German foods I’ve enjoyed as a child and when visiting Germany. Writing about Liesl made me crave wursts, schnitzel, good German bread, and apfelküchen! I also did a lot of research on recipes struggling families relied on during the Great Depression. One of them was called Hoover Stew and was basically macaroni, cut-up hot dogs, and whatever vegetables you had on hand. Filling and cheap was what many families needed during the difficult economic times of the 1930s.
Find Stephanie Landsem:
Stephanie can be found online!
Have you read Code Name Edelweiss ? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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