Late Summer Plum Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Plum Cake

Gently spiced, this jammy plum cake celebrates the summer-into-fall season. Serve it as a brunch cake or for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

plum cake

One of the most popular (and easiest, I might add) dessert recipes on my site is Martha Stewart’s lovely fresh strawberry cake. Over the years, I’ve gotten lots of inquiries about replacing the strawberries with other fruits. I finally had the chance to try it with juicy plums, and it worked beautifully. Quartered and nestled into the batter, the plums soften into jammy, mulberry-colored pockets as they bake. The addition of warm spices — like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom — complements the fruit and celebrates the summer-into-fall season. This cake can be served any time of day, plain or topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

What you’ll need to make Plum Cake

ingredients

Step-By-Step Instructions

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 quite 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

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Late Summer Plum Cake

Gently spiced, this jammy plum cake celebrates the summer-into-fall season. Serve it as a brunch cake or for dessert topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • I just made this for company last night. Because our friend is diabetic, I used monkfruit for the cup of sugar. I did add the 2 Tbsp of ‘regular’ sugar on top. And the only milk I had was almond milk. Excellent, delicious! As I have more plums left (thawed from the fall bounty) I’m going to make another one today and add cherries also. Then freeze! So glad I found this recipe!

    • — Maureen on April 4, 2021
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  • I’ve made this recipe 3 times and it comes out the same every time. The cake is light and not too sweet, the plums are dense, fruity and a bit tart. I reduced the cinnamon (because I’m not a great fan) and increased the cardamom, a delicious combination of flavours.

    • — Helen on February 15, 2021
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  • This is legitimately my favorite cake ever. I could eat it every day. I tried using apples instead of plums, which also is AMAZING.

    • — Metinee on February 9, 2021
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  • I really enjoyed making this cake with our summer harvested plums I had pitted and flung in the freezer. Cake batter was nicely spiced and perfectly moist with yummy crisp caramelization on the edges where the delicious sugared plum juice oozed out. I topped it with whipped cream and my family loved it. A delightful dessert any time of year!!!

    • — Elaine Howe on February 2, 2021
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  • I very rarely write reviews, and almost forgot that I made this in the summer. But I saved it on my phone, along with the picture. I am not a big fan of plums, but I do like fruit in cakes and other desserts so I figured I would give this a try. I followed the recipe and it came out exactly as the recipe described. Everyone that tried it enjoyed it very much.Jenn is a master at allowing home cooks and bakers the necessary instructions to make delicious meals and baked goods, turn out looking like a professional job! This plum cake is good warm or cold, but especially served with vanilla ice cream on the side. The plums are soft and sweet and complement the cake perfectly. I absolutely loved this! Can’t wait till summer!

    • — Jean Bell on January 28, 2021
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    • Hi! I made this for the first time today and it came out really well. The cake was darker than I thought it would be, maybe from cinnamon? The flavor was fantastic and was super easy to make. I do believe this is my new favorite dessert. Super yummy. Can’t wait to make more recipes on this website. Thank you Jenn, great mix of recipes!

      • — Vanessa on April 2, 2021
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  • This is a really great recipe that comes together easily,and better than Martha Stewart’s! You won’t be disappointed.

    • — genie creighton on January 28, 2021
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  • I love this plum cake. It’s summer in every bite. I can’t wait to make it again.

    • — Lisa on January 28, 2021
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  • Dear Jenn,
    I have tried many of your recipes and have great success with my husband and guests. I have made this plum cake many times and also with apples, pears and peaches. They all work in you recipe. I love most of them. I would like to see ingredients in weight also so I can measure the ingredients better. Like sticks of butter… I don’t have them so it would be good to know the grams. Thank you.

    • — Monique on January 28, 2021
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  • This cake is perfect for summer/fall but I also brought it into winter because it’s so good with the spices! makes your entire house smell amazing too which is great for when guests walk through the door! Never have tried any sort of cake like this but was really really happy with how it turned out. Make sure to top with ice cream or whipping cream and you really get the perfect bite!

    • — Lindsay on January 28, 2021
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  • This is a different use for plums and is absolutely delicious. Every recipe I have tried of Jenn’s so far have all been very good.

    • — Dorothy on January 28, 2021
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  • Lovely cake…definitely make it again. Thank you

    • — Vicki on January 16, 2021
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  • Absolutely delicious cake and so moist. Will definitely be making this many more times. Thanks for the recipe

    • — Linda Stephens on November 25, 2020
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  • Do you have a suggestion for how to adjust baking time if using multiple 4 inch springform pans instead of 9 inch. Would you cut the baking time in half?

    • — L Clark on November 5, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi L, I’m concerned that with the smaller pans and reduced baking time, that the plums wouldn’t have enough time to cook/soften up. Sorry!

      • — Jenn on November 5, 2020
      • Reply
      • ok thank you.

        • — L clark on November 10, 2020
        • Reply
  • An amazing cake! So simple and so tasty
    The only problem is that the cake vanished so quickly

    • — Yael Hahn on October 30, 2020
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    • Don’t make a mistake and bake this recipe! I did and we 3 finished the whole cake in one go! Irresistible!

      • — Sepideh Foroozan on December 11, 2020
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  • I just baked this as directed, only using a bit less sugar. I used prune plums. Oh my!
    It’s sitting on the cooling rack with 2 pieces missing.
    This is an amazing cake, tender and perfectly spiced. I’m going to make it again tomorrow for a friends birthday!

    • — Wendy Sheldon on October 16, 2020
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  • It’s a wonderful recipe! Love the spices in it and it was nice and moist!
    I will make it again since my whole family thought it was awesome!

    • — Maija on October 15, 2020
    • Reply
  • My son doesn’t usually cook or bake, but he wanted to make my birthday cake yesterday so I found this recipe for him. He found it very easy to follow, and the cake turned out delicious! I just had another piece for breakfast with coffee–perfect!

    Everyone loved the juxtaposition of the tart and juicy plums with the flavorful cake, and commented that they would have it again any time.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • — Jean on October 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • This is a simple and lovely recipe that has wonderfully balanced flavours. It marries the joys together of late summer and early autumn.

    • — Karen Turpie on September 28, 2020
    • Reply
  • JENN!! I just made this cake this morning and am having my 2nd piece with a lovely cup of tea! I grew up with 2 plum trees and miss my Mom’s and Baba’s plum cakes. So when I saw a 4 pd box of purple Italian plums at Costco last week, I was on a mission. Your recipe did not disappoint! This cake very easy to put together and I love the rustic look. I cut the sugar to 3/4 and replaced 1/2 cup flour with almond meal, and sprinkled the top with turbinado sugar. BaDaBOOM! This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever made and will be my go-to from now on. The spices give it such a delicate boost of flavour too. I will surely be making this again; no really, I’ve got less than 3 pounds of plums left since munching on them while slicing! Another great recipe by you!
    Janet
    PS: can I slice up the rest of the plums and freeze them? I’d love to make this for our Canadian Thanksgiving Oct. 12th.

    • — Janet on September 25, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed this, Janet!! Yes, you can definitely slice and freeze any remaining plums. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 27, 2020
      • Reply
  • Everyone loved this cake. It was perfect! I substituted ground cloves for the cardamom b/c I didn’t want to go to the store. I will be making this again very soon.

    • — Sheryl on September 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Delicious, thank you..
      I replaced Cardamom with Ginger powder..
      Love your recipes..
      Lemon pound cake was also delicious so was burger recipe..
      By the way, I live in Istanbul and am in my late seventies..
      Thanks 😊

      • — Işın on September 26, 2020
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn, this was a very nice recipe and easy to put together and bake. it smelled wonderful while baking. I chose peaches as a topping and can send a picture if you like but I am not sure how to attach it.

    • — Susan on September 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • So glad you liked it! Unfortunately, the blog isn’t set up to receive pictures but if you’re on Instagram, you can share it there; be sure to tag me @onceuponachef! 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 23, 2020
      • Reply
      • Dear Jenn,
        Plum Cake is delicious, thank you for the recipe. I used ginger instead of cardamom.

        • — Işın on October 3, 2020
        • Reply
  • What a lovely, warm, sweet, yet tart cake! I made homemade vanilla whipped cream to go with it. My husband said it’s the best one he’s ever eaten, however, he seems to say that about any recipe I make from your site, Jenn! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes! I can’t wait for your next cookbook to come out 🙂

    • — Bethany on September 21, 2020
    • Reply

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