Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with my top 10 recipes + new weekly recipes!

Late Summer Plum Cake

5 stars based on 15 votes

Plum-Cake

One of the most popular recipes on this site is the Simple Summer Strawberry Cake, a wonderful, homey dessert sent to me by one of my readers, Karen Tannenbaum. (The recipe was originally published in Martha Stewart magazine in 2005.) Over the years, I’ve received numerous inquiries about replacing the strawberries with other fruits. Finally, with an abundance of fresh picked plums in my kitchen this week, I had the perfect excuse to try it. I found it worked beautifully with the plums. Quartered and nestled into the batter, they soften into jammy, mulberry-colored pockets as they bake; and the addition of warm spices celebrates the summer-into-fall season. Serve it as a brunch cake, or for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

ingredients

Begin by whisking the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt together in a large bowl.

dry-ingredients

Next, beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

creaming-butter-and-sugar

Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

adding-eggs-and-vanilla

Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth.

mixing-in-milk

Transfer the batter to a greased Springform pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Note that the batter is quick thick.

spreading-batter

Arrange the plums on top, skin side up, in a circular pattern so that they cover most of the batter.

plums-in-batter

Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the plums.

plums-sprinkled-with-sugar

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until golden on top and set in the center.

baked-plum-cake

When the cake is hot out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan and then remove the springform edge (leave the base in place). Let the cake cool on a rack completely.

cake-cooling-on-rack

Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Plum-Cake-1

Late Summer Plum Cake

Servings: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 70 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1 pound plums, pitted and quartered

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. (Alternatively, the cake may be made in a 9-inch cake pan or pie pan and served directly from the pan.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or beaters, cream the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and beat on low speed until smooth. (Note: the batter will be quite thick.)
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Arrange the plums on top, skin side up, in a circular pattern so that they mostly cover the batter. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the plums.
  5. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until golden on top and set in the center.
  6. When the cake is hot out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan and then remove the springform edge, leaving the base in place (if using a springform pan). Let the cake cool on a rack completely. Slice and serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
  7. Note: This cake keeps well, loosely covered at room temperature, for several days.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 344
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 8g
  • Carbohydrates: 54g
  • Sugar: 35g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 231mg
  • Cholesterol: 55mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    I was a little hesitant about making this but with plums looking good at the market, I decided to give it a go. It turned out so delicious, despite me messing up how I made it. I thought for sure it was a bust because of my mistake but it was flawless. My husband said the areas with no plums tasted just like the entemanns crumb cake. Everyone who tried it loved it. Can’t wait to make it again

    - Arielle Troiano on October 8, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    I hope this message finds you and yours well. I made this cake for my family, and it was a huge hit, absolutely delicious! As plums are out of season, can I substitute frozen peaches? If so, should they be defrosted first? As always, thanks for your wonderful recipes, and expert advise. 😊

    - Vicki on October 8, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Vicki, So glad you liked the cake! And yes, I think peaches would work nicely here. I’d suggest defrosting them first and draining off any extra liquid.

      - Jenn on October 9, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I had such fun making this plum cake. I substituted a gluten free flour and the texture of the cake was great. I was worried that it wouldn’t work, but it did!

    Folks at the dinner seemed to enjoy the cake a lot. And the gluten free diners were really appreciative.

    To MY taste, the cake was too sweet. And I was hoping for more of a tangy, plum taste.

    I will definitely try this recipe again, although perhaps with a different fruit next time. Cranberry?

    What do you think about how I might tone down the sweetness. AND would the top still come out crusty, if I left out the sugar on top of the plums?

    I know, many questions. LOVE that you are responsive to your subscribers thoughts and inquiries. And your recipes are so easy to follow. Thank you. -Kate

    - Kate Sells on October 3, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Kate, Glad you liked the cake! To tone down the sweetness, you could cut the sugar for the base of the cake back by about 1/4 cup. If you omit the sugar on top, it would not have that crusty layer. And while I think that just cranberries would make the cake too tart, a combination of plums and cranberries would be nice.

      - Jenn on October 5, 2016 Reply
      • Jenn, that sounds perfect! Cranberries and plums. Thank you so much for addressing all of my questions.

        And congratulations on finishing your recipe book.

        Best, Kate

        - Kate Sells on October 6, 2016 Reply
  • And, shall I leave the skins on the plums? I will be making this dessert for a Rosh Hashana dinner this Sunday, October 2, 2016, so I am hoping to get some answers before terribly long!

    - Kate Sells on September 30, 2016 Reply
    • No need to peel the plums, Kate – the skin softens nicely as the cake bakes. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

      - Jenn on September 30, 2016 Reply
    • Thank you so much for your quick response. I am so looking forward to trying your recipe! I have used your recipes before and they are always lovely. Loved the one this summer: peaches, cheese, prosciutto, and basil. I will make that again, no doubt.

      And might I be so bold as to guess that a Happy New Year salutation might be in order for you, as well!

      - Kate Sells on September 30, 2016 Reply
      • Thanks, Kate!

        - Jenn on September 30, 2016 Reply
    • I just noticed your
      favorite recipes for Rosh Hashana. Yay. I will definitely look them over in for future years. What a lovely idea to post this subject. Thank you again.

      - Kate Sells on October 1, 2016 Reply
  • Will a 10 inch springform pan be large enough???

    - Kate Sells on September 30, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Kate, A 10-inch pan is actually a bit too large. I would use a 9-inch deep dish pie pan or cake pan if you don’t have the proper size springform. A 10-inch would work, but the cake would be quite flat.

      - Jenn on September 30, 2016 Reply
  • Can this cake be made with RED plums instead of the black plums pictured?

    - Alice on September 29, 2016 Reply
    • Sure Alice, red plums will work too!

      - Jenn on September 29, 2016 Reply
  • Can this prune cake be frozen?

    - Anne Cawley on September 20, 2016 Reply
    • Yes Anne, I think it would freeze nicely.

      - Jenn on September 21, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jennifer,
    Another blue ribbon recipe!! Absolutely delicious!! My wife and I both enjoyed this cake. I never would have thought that the skin on the plums would end up being so tender.
    Once again, thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe!!!

    - Jim on September 18, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jen! Really wanted to make this recipe but can’t seem to find ground cardemom in my area. Any thoughts as to what would make a good substitute?

    - Amanda on September 4, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Amanda, You could add a bit of ground ginger or just leave it out — it won’t make a big difference. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on September 5, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn,
    Your cake was such a hit, my boys are asking me to bake another one! If I double the recipe, can it be baked in a 9×13 pan? How much extra time would I need to add? Thanks for your time. :)

    - Vicki on September 3, 2016 Reply
    • So glad everyone liked it! Yes, you can double it and prepare in a 9 x 13 dish. Cooking time should be about the same, but make sure to check it for doneness before pulling it out.

      - Jenn on September 4, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is delicious! I honestly did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did. I had to stop myself and my husband from eating it, I think I could have sat there and eaten the whole cake. I decreased the sugar from 200g to 150g (a little less than a cup) I also used one large black plum and two smaller red plums. Will be baking this over and over again!

    - Chrissy on September 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this with peaches and it was luscious. Great foundation recipe for any stone fruit or berries.

    - Katileigh on September 1, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    absolutely delicious – the perfect cake to introduce plums to those who think they don’t like them!

    - kay campbell on August 29, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      That would be me. I thought I should bake this and it was just great. My whole family liked it. I’m not one to try anything new but after making the strawberry version I thought this could be something new we would like. My wife has already said I have to make it for Christmas!

      - Tom on September 4, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Greetings Jenn,
    This cake was delicious, my family and I loved it. My son suggested making it with peaches, blackberries or bluberries next time. Thanks for another wonderful recipe!
    Vicki

    - Vicki P. on August 28, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This light Summer cake is delicious. Do you think it could be made with fresh peaches too? If so, how large would you slice them? My husband loved it and asked for it again this week. I made both the strawberry and plum recipes. It will be my go to Summer cake recipe!

    - Karen on August 28, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Karen, Glad you liked the cake! Yes, I think you could use almost any variety of fruit here. If using peaches, I’d cut them in quarters, sixths or even eighths depending upon the size of the peaches. I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      - Jenn on August 29, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    I liked the unusual combination of spices. It goes well with the plums. I used only 1/4 C. of butter and it came out very rich and had a good texture.

    - Susan Stone on August 27, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn
    made this tonight and it was yummy! Do you think this would freeze well?

    - Barbara on August 27, 2016 Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it, Barbara. I do think it would freeze well.

      - Jenn on August 27, 2016 Reply
  • I want to print your recipe late summer plum cake when I press print it doesn’t print.

    - alice muise on August 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Alice, I’m sorry you were having trouble printing the recipe– I will look into why that’s happening. I’ve emailed you a PDF version so that you can save or print it. Hope you enjoy the cake!

      - Jenn on August 27, 2016 Reply
  • This sounds really great. I’m always looking for ways to get the boys to eat more fruit. Definitely going to have to try this one out! I’m thinking it would make a great breakfast!

    - Nathan on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    - Eileen on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn-
    I was wondering about the texture of the plum skins in the finished cake-are the tough? Is it worth peeling them first?

    - Kerri on August 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Kerri, I don’t think it’s at all necessary; they soften up nicely.

      - Jenn on August 25, 2016 Reply
      • 5 stars

        I wondered about the skins also but the plums with skins tasted “jammy” just as Jenn described.

        - Tom on September 4, 2016 Reply
  • Hello Jenn…Greetings from Canada!
    Going to bake your Late Summer Plum Cake. I have an 8 inch spring form pan. 9 inch size is not available at any stores I have shopped. The next size is 10 inch…too large for us. How do I calculated time for baking and should ingredients be reduced for my 8 inch pan?
    Great thank you for your reply.
    Yvonne Adams
    [email protected]

    - Yvonne Adams on August 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Yvonne, I’ve made this recipe in an 8-inch pan and it works just fine as is. Enjoy and please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made cake with blueberries and it is delicious!

    - Ginger russ on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • Sounds delicious! Could I substitute Italian prune plums?

    - Maryalice O'Brian on August 25, 2016 Reply
    • Absolutely, Maryalice — they should work well.

      - Jenn on August 25, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    What time would you think I would bake this at if I were to divide the recipe into 8 4″ Spring form pans? I would like to try it but a ballpark time would be helpful. I would check it with wooden skewer to be sure.
    Thanks! Carol

    - Carol Beale on August 25, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Carol, I would start peeking after 30-35 minutes — you’ll know they’re ready when the tops go from golden around edges/pale in the center to completely golden.

      - Jenn on August 25, 2016 Reply

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.