Late Summer Plum Cake

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Plum Cake

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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.

Piece of plum cake on a plate with a spoon.

Taking a cue from Martha Stewart’s fresh strawberry cake—a favorite on this site—this plum cake is the perfect dessert for late summer, when plums are at their prime. Gently tucked into the batter, the plums turn into rich, jammy pockets as they bake. And a touch of warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom give the cake a hint of cozy fall flavors. You can enjoy this dessert any time of day—plain and simple, or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

What you’ll need to make Plum Cake

Cake ingredients including egg, vanilla, and baking powder.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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

Bowl of unmixed dry ingredients.

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

Electric mixer creaming butter and sugar.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.

Eggs and vanilla in a bowl with butter and sugar.

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

Milk added to batter in a bowl.

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

Person spreading batter into a cake pan.

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

Plums set in a cake pan of 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.

Plum cake in a springform pan.

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.

Plum cake on a wire rack.

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

Piece of plum cake on a plate with a spoon.

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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

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ 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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Comments

  • Hi Jenn,

    This was so delicious! I want to make it again but plums are now out of season here in Australia…would this work with pears? How would you adjust the sugar?

    • — Jahnavi on May 14, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Jahnavi, So glad you like it! I haven’t tried it, but a few other readers have mentioned they’ve used pears successfully. (I’d make sure to use pears that are good for baking like Bosc or Anjou.) I’d love to hear how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 15, 2024
      • Reply
  • I was a bit dubious to be honest but when it was baked, it was the BEST. We all loved it (with vanilla ice cream, of course)! I compared it to another similar recipe and this recipe is more moist as it has the half cup of milk. Have currently got another cake to n the oven with apricots, so looking forward to it. Thanks!

    • — J T on February 29, 2024
    • Reply
  • I baked this once and it was lovely. Second time it was hard and sugary and very moist inside. It wasn’t very nice. What did I do wrong that time please?

    • — Denise Dillon-Smith on January 23, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Denise, Sorry this didn’t work out! If you had success with the cake the first time around, I suspect you must’ve made a measuring error this time. You mentioned it was sugary and moist; might you have inadvertently added too much sugar? Sugar not only makes things sweet, but also adds moisture to things (as it dissolves) so that would be my guess. Please LMK if I can help in any other way.

      • — Jenn on January 23, 2024
      • Reply
  • This cake is delicious!!❤️

    • — Maya on January 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe earlier this month, just to see if it would be popular. Today I am making it again, doubling the recipe, because it proved so popular that it lasted a day. Everyone loved it and I was asked to make it again in place of our traditional Christmas cake. Definitely a recipe I would and will recommend.

    • — Alexa on December 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this recipe multiple times. It’s easy and super delicious; my wife said it’s the best thing she ever tasted! I just made it by hand in my daughter’s kitchen which presented the challenge of an unfamiliar kitchen. It turned out great! It smells terrific!

    • — Tom Rudd on November 4, 2023
    • Reply
  • Looks fantastic! Is it freezable?

    • — Jenny on October 17, 2023
    • Reply
    • Yep, it freezes nicely!

      • — Jenn on October 17, 2023
      • Reply
  • Delicious! Loved it! Quick and easy to make and so yummy. I loved how the plums sank down and you couldn’t see them. Thank you for this recipe 🙂

    • — cary on October 11, 2023
    • Reply

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