This plum spice cake is made from a simple recipe, flavoured with allspice and anise, cardamom, and ginger, for a simple cake that's anything but boring!
I love to make these plum cardamom coffee cake muffins. They are probably the easiest way to bake with plums. You could make a fancy plum tart too, but in the spirit of keeping things simple this plum spice cake is the way to go!
I started with Dorie Greenspan's recipe for a dimply plum cake from Baking: From My Home to Yours (page 41) because I love the way the cake features the plum halves, like they are on display. Dorie uses cardamom in her recipe, but I felt like more spice, but not just the usual cinnamon and nutmeg combination. Instead, I opted for anise seed for its licorice flavor, and allspice because it reminds me of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves combined.
This is a fantastic cake for spotlighting perfectly ripe plums. The cake is light and full of flavor. The sweet caramel flavor from the brown sugar is the perfect complement to the tart plum skins. And, though the oil in the cake batter may seem a little unusual, I think it actually yields a moister crumb than an all-butter cake.
Plum spice cake
- 1½ cups (190 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
- ¼ tsp (1.25 mL) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- ¾ tsp (3.75 mL) ground allspice
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground anise seed
- ⅛ tsp (0.625 mL) ground cardamom
- ½ tsp (2.5 mL) ground ginger
- 5 tbsp (70 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1½ tsp (7.5 mL) pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) canola oil
- 3 plums halved and pit removed
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and line with parchment paper a 9-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and all the spices. Set aside.
- In another medium bowl, cream together the butter and the brown sugar with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Add the oil, and mix well. The batter will be glossy and silky at this point.
- Add the flour, and stir slowly to combine, making sure that the flour is completely incorporated.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the plum halves, cut side up, and pressing them slightly into place in to batter.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the cake.
- Remove the pan from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack, cut into squares (using the plums as a guide) and serve warm or at room temperature.