This easy cake with plums is like a buttery pound cake topped with fresh plums, which become soft and sour-sweet as they bake. Fresh plums are the perfect flavour contrast for this cake!
This post is sponsored by Fruits from Chile. Chile exports more than 2.6 million tons of fruit annually to more than 100 countries across the globe and we are lucky to have access to plums from Chile so we can bake with plums year round!
Plum cakes tend to be a more rustic bake, popular in many cultures, especially in European countries, like Germany and Italy. A cake with plums can be referred to as a plum torte because it's a single layer cake, a little on the denser side and closer to a pound cake, baked with fresh plums on top, usually plum halves as opposed to slices. It's a simple, rustic, yet deeply satisfying cake that is a real treat served as a snack in the afternoon.
Plums come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most common varieties sold in grocery stores has a dark purple/blue skin with bright orange or pink flesh. The pit of Chilean plums is usually quite small compared to other types as you can see.
You can bake with any variety of plums that you can get your hand on, really, as long as they are ripe!
Shopping for plums
Plums from Chile are picked when they are quite firm. This is to facilitate transportation so that the fruit arrive at your local grocery stores without any damage.
If you buy plums that are firm and that are not quite ready to eat, place them in a brown paper bag for 1-2 days and store at room temperature.
You don’t want the plums to be super soft. A slightly firmer Chilean plum will give you the best texture and will slice open beautifully so you can bake with them easily. The fruit will soften as it bakes and become even more juicy!
Remember that if you store plums on the counter, they will continue to ripen and mature. Storing them in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, which is helpful if you think your plums are perfectly ripe. Chilean plum season ends in May.
What to make with plums
Plums are so versatile because they have a tart skin surrounding the sweet fruit. If you have a lot of plums to work with, you can make this cake with plums, obviously. But here are some other ideas for baking with them:
- plum jam that you can make with just plums and granulated sugar, or feel free to flavour it with vanilla bean, tea leaves, spices like cinnamon
- plum muffins which are a coffee cake style muffin with a streusel topping
- plum tart which is a fancy dessert: a pie crust with a plum filling that is sweetened with muscovado sugar, which gives the filling a deeper molasses flavour
Adapting this recipe
This plum cake is highly adaptable and very versatile. I flavoured the cake batter with cardamom because I love the combination of cardamom and plums. I have also baked this recipe with ground anise, which might seem like an unusual pairing, but it works great!
Try this cake with plums with warm spices like cinnamon, ground ginger, or even allspice.
Another option would be to skip the spices and add a few drops of almond extract to the cake batter. You could also replace a small portion of the flour (30 grams or ¼ cup) with the same weight of ground almonds, which will create a more dense crumb with a mild almond flavour.
This cake with fresh plums is a variation of the 1-2-3-4 cake recipe that is so forgiving. The 1-2-3-4 baking ratio is by volume, which translates to 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups flour, and 4 eggs. For an 8-inch springform, half of the 1-2-3-4 recipe fits the cake pan perfectly, so that's what you see in the recipe card below.
Cake with plums
- 190 grams (1½ cups) bleached all-purpose flour
- 7.5 mL (1½ teaspoon) baking powder
- 3.75 mL (¾ teaspoon) ground cardamom
- 1.25 mL (¼ teaspoon) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 115 grams (½ cup) unsalted butter room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 5 mL (1 teaspoon) pure vanilla extract
- 4 plums halved and pit removed
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) sliced almonds optional
- 10 grams (1 tablespoon) Turbinado sugar optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment, then butter and flour the sides. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar for 2 to 3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well. Beat the mixture for 2 minutes until it is aerated and very light in colour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure the batter is evenly mixed at this point. You can beat it a little more to make sure.
- Stir in the flour mixture on low speed, just until the flour is completely incorporated.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the plum halves, cut side down (or up works too!), and pressing them slightly into batter. Scatter a few sliced almonds and some turbinado sugar on top (if using)
- Bake the cake until the edges are golden brown and the plums are soft and releasing their juices. A cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the cake. This could take as much as 90 minutes, especially if you placed the plums cut side down on the cake batter.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then release the cake from the springform pan.
- Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving.
- ground anise
- ground cinnamon
- ground ginger
- ground allspice
This post was sponsored by Fruits from Chile. For more information and recipes, visit fruitsfromchile.com
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