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Dried plums are sweetened, livened up with some lemon, and simmered to make a luscious filling for a tender coffeecake. We use our simple filled braid technique to surround the filling, which gets a satisfying crunch from the nuts. Better still, the recipe makes two loaves: one for now and one for the freezer or a gift.

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
2 braids, 24 servings
Nutrition information

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Filling

  • 2 cups chopped, pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Dough

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • egg wash, made by whisking 1 egg yolk with 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. To make the filling: Combine the prunes, brown sugar, water, and lemon juice in a saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick enough to spread, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  2. To make the dough: In a small saucepan or in the microwave, heat the milk to just-below boiling, and remove it from the heat.
  3. Stir in the sugar, salt and butter, and cool to lukewarm.
  4. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until the dough is medium-soft, smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise in a warm place until it's doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  6. To assemble the coffeecake: Gently deflate the dough, and divide it in half.
  7. Roll each half into a 16" x 8" rectangle, and place each rectangle onto a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Spread half the prune filling down the center third of each rectangle, lengthwise. You'll have a strip of filling about 5" wide and 15" long. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of nuts atop the filling on each rectangle.
  9. Shape a filled braid, as follows. Cut 15 slits in the dough along each side of the filling, making strips about 1" wide. Fold strips at an angle across the filling, alternating from side to side. You'll feel as if you're just beginning to tie your shoe, over and over again. Cover the braids, and let them rise in a warm spot until they've doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. To make the topping and bake the coffeecake: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Apply the egg wash to the braids. Sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar.
  12. Bake the braids for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they're golden brown.
  13. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack.
  14. Store the coffeecake, well-wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 slice, 76g
  • Servings Per Batch 2 loaves, 24 slices
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 209 cal
  • Calories from Fat
  • Total Fat 6g
  • Saturated Fat
  • Trans Fat
  • Cholesterol 33mg
  • Sodium 170mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 27g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 8g
  • Protein 5g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.