22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

Late Summer Plum Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes
Plum Cake

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy.

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

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


Step-By-Step Instructions

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


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


Add the egg and vanilla and mix to combine.


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


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


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


Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar over the plums.


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


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.


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


You may also Like

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


  • 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


  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.

See more recipes:


  • I am now getting ready to make my third cake in 24 hours! Took the first one to a party last night where it was devoured. Still have a lot of Italian plums from my tree, so I decided to make it again for another gathering. Family members whined that I was taking it, so I’ve got a third one in the works. Delicious! Reminds people of a scone, and it’s not too sweet. Thanks for the great recipe.

    • — Coleen on September 18, 2022
    • Reply
  • It was very easy to make and was delicious and beautiful! I’ll be making this cake again.

    • — Laura on September 17, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wondering if I could substitute fresh mango for the plums in this recipe? Thanks! Love your recipes so much! I have become a better cook, due to them!

    • — Liz Pratt on September 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, Liz – that should work. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 17, 2022
      • Reply
  • Oh my days, this was incredible! I’ve never baked with plums and now see what I’ve been missing. Super easy recipe to follow, baked perfectly and made a beautiful presentation. Absolutely delicious..for breakfast too😳

    • — Susan R. on September 14, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could you please advise another pan size if one doesn’t have a springform? Thank you.

    • — Ellen Mac on September 11, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Ellen, it can also be made in a 9-inch cake pan or pie pan. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on September 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • Another winner! Don’t read any further. Just go to your kitchen and make this cake now. Your family will love you for it. It is winner. Everything about this cake recipe works.

    • — Peg Reiter on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made this cake earlier in the week with some lovely Hollywood plums from our orchard. It was spectacular, with the red flesh of the plums, and delicious. We also enjoyed your Cobb Salad on Labour Day. I’ve never had a failure with any of your recipes, Jenn. Cheers from Canada. T

    • — Therese on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jen:
    What variety of plums did you use for the cake?

    • — Debbie on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Debbie, I used black plums. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 8, 2022
      • Reply
  • We have an Italian plum tree in our backyard that rewarded us with a mountain of sweet plums this season, so I was looking for some new recipes using plums when I came upon yours. I have made it three times this past week and my family is asking when I will be making it again. It’s such a lovely cake recipe that bakes up quickly with ingredients I always have on hand. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • — Ellen on September 5, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow this cake was a mega hit! I had a lot of plums lying around and I wanted to find an easy recipe to use them. This cake was the first one I stumbled on. Luckily I had everything for it, including a springform pan. The only modifications I made was I used 3/4 cup of sugar for the cake, salted butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar for the plums, and some powdered sugar to sprinkle on top for serving. Wow. What a cake. It was perfect, just like the picture here. I also love the name of it. A later summer plum cake. It’s exactly late summer here in Northern Virginia so a perfect dessert to evoke the feeling that fall is almost upon us. Thanks for the recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

    • — Victoria on August 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have made this cake four times in the last two weeks. Each time, it vanishes within an hour of baking! I reduced the sugar to 3/4c and the sugar on top to 1 tablespoon, since we like our desserts to be less sweet than most recipes I find online. Great recipe!

    • — Nirmala on August 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jen, just wanted you to know that this is my “go to” summer cake recipe for fruit. I have made it using plums, raspberries, strawberries ( to rave reviews ) and peaches. Apples get their chance this Fall. Thank you.

    • — Susan on August 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • Wow! It was gorgeous, juicy plums, warm spices, a winner for me, but I had to substitute a couple of spices and cardamom because of allergies. Used mixed spice instead, made with a cake pan. A great treat!

    • — Yvonne on August 20, 2022
    • Reply
  • I had exactly 1 pound of extremely ripe, juicy plums hanging around. I’m so glad I made this cake. It was visually stunning (I made it in a white pie pan with a fluted edge) and the taste was outstanding. The combination of jammy purple plums and spice was, to me, very unique. Mine was done at 55 min and I used Gold Medal flour- I get best results with this flour when I make cakes and cookies. Thank you for another winner!

    • — Meredith on August 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • This is a wonderful cake; beautiful and simple yet interesting. Mine turned out a little dry, especially at the edges. Next time I’ll use full fat milk (used 2% this time), try to find some juicier plums and maybe bake for 5min less but I’ll definitely be making this again! Thanks for sharing.

      • — Rachel on September 12, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jen! Looking forward to this one. I don’t keep milk around much my stomach doesn’t handle it around, but yogurt is still ok. Would thinning out some yogurt be a possibility or would it mess with the baking powder too much?

    • — Melinda on August 19, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Melinda, it may be fine but I’m not 100% sure so I wouldn’t risk it; instead, I’d use a dairy-free milk. Hope that helps and that you enjoy the cake!

      • — Jenn on August 22, 2022
      • Reply
    • Thanks Jen! I forgot to buy something else 2 days in a row so I ended up using the yogurt and crossing my fingers. I only added a couple splashes of water-def thicker than milk. It took perhaps a little longer than advertised to bake but I think it was actually having a little too much fruit, not the yogurt. It turned out fantastic in the end and got rave reviews from my friends. Thanks for another great one!

      • — Melinda on August 23, 2022
      • Reply
      • Thanks for the follow-up, so glad it came out well!

        • — Jenn on August 24, 2022
        • Reply
  • OMGoodness! This is the best ever summer cake. I don’t even care that much about plums. I bought 2 for my daughter, who didn’t eat them. Then I saw the recipe and the comments and had to go out and get a few more. I expected the skin to be a little chewy but it wasn’t. It was delicious gooey (when a little warm) goodness with some hints of spice. I rate my recipes and this is a 10/10 points!

    • — Marcia on August 12, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’ve made this 2 times in the past month…
    My family is obsessed with it. Perfect combo of tart and sweet, while the warm spices bring depth and a fragrant aroma. I serve it with homemade whipped cream, but I love it plain as well.
    It is by far one of my all time favourite desserts!

    • — Alexandra on August 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Absolutely love this recipe! I did make a few modifications and it came out wonderfully, which speaks to its flexibility:

    1. I used 1/2 t of cardamom, since I really love cardamom

    2. I substituted 1c of the AP flour for gluten free flour and the remaining 1/2c of AP flour for almond flour. The cake baked up beautifully and had a really nice texture.

    This cake was a breeze to make and was a huge hit at family dinner. Highly recommend!

    • — Julia on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • I did 1.5 lb plums my second time around bc I couldn’t get enough of the tart flavor ratio to cake. Added half the plums to the middle of spreading out the batter and it was a delight!

      • — Anisha tekade on August 31, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, Can you use skim milk? I am attempting this for guests and that’s what we use.

    • — Mary on August 7, 2022
    • Reply
    • Yep 🙂

      • — Jenn on August 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • This is such a lovely cake. I’ve received many compliments for it, the most recent that it tastes like an ‘adult cake’. Love the flavour combinations and I’ve made this twice in 7″ and 9″ cake tins and it works brilliantly with a bit of tweak on times. I used oat milk and served with oat cream as I can’t have normal milk/cream and it’s still delicious. I normally reduce sugar in recipes but found yours had the perfect ratio to round out the tartness with the plums. This is added to my go-to summer cake recipes. Thanks so much for creating and sharing such an amazing recipe!

    • — Tracy on July 24, 2022
    • Reply
  • I want to make this cake in few days. Can we use half butter and half vegetable oil instead of all butter?

    • — barbara on June 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Barbara, Vegetable oil won’t work here because you need something solid to cream with the sugar. You can use half butter and half coconut oil if you’d like.

      • — Jenn on July 1, 2022
      • Reply
  • Every morning I go out into the backyard and the squirrels have picked several plums off our tree and taken one or two bites out of each one. Not wanting to waste basically perfect fruit, I cut out the bad parts and made your plum cake. I forgot the sugar on top so sprinkled some on the last few minutes of baking. It came out fine and everyone in my family loved it. The slightly tart plums and the warmley spiced cake are so good together I couldn’t resist eating two pieces before it even cooled. Thanks for the recipe. It is definitely a keeper.

    • — Leslie on June 25, 2022
    • Reply
  • I have been making this recipe but using this seasons strawberries which are so sweet and so brief in their moment of outstanding sweetness. Anyone that has tasted this version has raved about it but my one bit of advice is to not overdo the berries as they tend to sink into the batter. Just be judicious and you will have a delicious cake.

    • — Susan on June 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • — Madalina on April 17, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Madalina, Thanks for pointing that out!

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2022
      • Reply
  • This was simple to make and delicious ! I served it with vanilla gelato . Will make again . I think you could substitute other fruit easily . I am in Australia and it would be lovely with nectarines or peaches .

    • — liz whyte on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Just made this. Amazing!
    So soft and the perfect spice.

    • — Lou the chef on March 13, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi! Could peaches / any stone fruit be substituted here? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • — Krysten on March 10, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, I think they would. I also have this peach cake you may want to consider. Hope you enjoy whatever you make!

      • — Jenn on March 10, 2022
      • Reply
  • I love plums and the flavors in this cake are wonderfully different from most other recipes.

    Has anyone tried substituting plums for pears? Or substituting any other fruit?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    • — Gladys on December 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Gladys, 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.) Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on December 29, 2021
      • Reply
    • Gladys, I have made this using fresh peaches when in season and it was delicious. In June I used fresh strawberries and people raved about it. I did make it using fresh pears as well and loved it but for some reason pears don’t seem to excite people they way the stone fruits do.

      • — Susan on January 6, 2022
      • Reply
  • Wow!!! This is so delicious! I’m thinking of making smaller versions of this cake for people for Christmas. Do you have recommendations of how long to bake it if it was baked in a 4 or 5” springform pan, or in a mini loaf pan? Thanks for such a delicious treat!

    • — Grace on December 13, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you like it! I’d guesstimate that you should start checking 4 or 5-inch versions of this at about 40 minutes and mini loaves at about 35 minutes. These are just estimates so keep a close eye on them!

      • — Jenn on December 14, 2021
      • Reply
      • Can I use frozen plums instead of fresh? Thanks!

        • — Rebecca on August 9, 2022
        • Reply
        • Sure, Rebecca, that should work. Enjoy!

          • — Jenn on August 10, 2022
          • Reply
    • How much cardamom do you use? The recipe has a box with an x in it then just says teaspoon. ???

      • — Kim on July 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Hi Kim, that’s so strange as I see the amount! I will have my developer look into it. You’ll need 1/8 teaspoon. Hope you enjoy!

        • — Jenn on July 28, 2022
        • Reply
  • Really liked this cake. I had some plums which wouldn’t ripen so poached them
    in some sugar/water. Made the cake recipe and knowing I would have too many plums I put a layer of the batter at the bottom of the pan and then a layer of plums, put the rest of the batter on top and circled the rest of the plums on top. The texture of this cake is really moist and spongy and so easy to make. It’s now on my list of favourites. Excellent recipe

    • — John on November 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • Wow, this cake is simply delish!! Moist and the light spice combo puts it above other simple plum cake recipes – I say the cardamom is a must to give it just that unique touch – although delicious in any regard. My plums were not very sweet, so i made a sweet whipped cream with a touch of rum to top the cake with. Everyone thought it was amazing. This is a keeper for regular rotation and I’d call it an early fall cake just as much!

    • — Karin on October 26, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m surprised I don’t see this repeatedly in the reviews: it’s either 8 Tbls or a half a cup of butter. I don’t bake very often but they are definitely not equal

    • — Andrew Wang on October 24, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Andrew, if you look at a stick of butter, the wrapping usually has markings on the outside indicating that 8 tablespoons is the equivalent of 1/2 cup. You can find some more information here.

      • — Jenn on October 25, 2021
      • Reply
      • We don’t use sticks per tablespoons for butter in Australia but easy to find the equivalent. I used 113 g for this recipe and it was fine.

        • — liz whyte on March 13, 2022
        • Reply
        • Hi Liz, Also, I just want to make sure you know that the great majority of my recipes have conversions to metric/weights. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you.

          • — Jenn on March 14, 2022
          • Reply
    • Don’t leave poor reviews because you don’t bake often and don’t know conversions. Recipe is great.

      • — Ula on August 16, 2022
      • Reply
    • 8Tbs definitely equals 1/2 cup! Might want to double check your math.

      • — Bry on August 3, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hello Jenn I came across this recipe and decided to try it since I had some plums. Boy oh boy, it is delicious! So easy to put together and the spices blend nicely. I ate two slices although I was full….very greedy of me but just couldn’t resist. This is most definitely a keeper. Can’t wait to make another one. Thanks

    • — Rosie on October 11, 2021
    • Reply
  • I tried this recipe a few weeks ago- obsessed! I wanted to try a gluten-free version so some family members can try it, but I’ve never converted a recipe this way, do you have any recommendations?

    • — Claire F on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Claire, Glad you enjoyed it and I think this would convert nicely to a gluten-free version. I’d recommend an all-purpose gluten-free baking mix like this one from King Arthur. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on October 7, 2021
      • Reply
  • Morning. I’m looking forward to trying this! I froze the plums. Should they be defrosted first ?
    thanks much!

    • — Lisa Prosko on October 6, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I don’t think they need to be defrosted first. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    Do you have a UK version of this recipe this please? Or can you tell me how to convert to grams? Thanks

    • — Beth on October 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn. I don’t have cardamom, will leaving it out compromise the taste? Is there something else you would recommend instead? Is it okay to use rather soft plumbs? As always, thanks!

    • Hi Diane! It’s totally fine to leave out the cardamom (no need to replace it with anything), and it’s also fine to use soft plums. Enjoy! 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Jenn and CONGRATULATIONS on another Stunner of a Cookbook! Outstanding work, as always!

        • 💗

          • This was gorgeous! Looking forward to remaking tomorrow, but going to try with blueberries as it’s my Grans fave fruit. Do you think it will turn out as well as the plums? Loved baking and eating this!!

            • — Jack M on January 19, 2022
          • So glad you enjoyed it! Yes, this should work with blueberries. Please LMK how it turns out!

            • — Jenn on January 21, 2022
        • Hi Jenn, is it okay to use frozen plums?

          • — Mary on October 4, 2021
          • Reply
          • Yes, Mary, that should be fine. Enjoy!

            • — Jenn on October 6, 2021
    • Hi Diane, It’s fine to omit the cardamom and as long as the plums are not too mushy, they should be fine. Enjoy!

  • I made this twice, so far. It is absolutely delicious and I received a lot of compliments.

  • Excellent! This is a keeper for sure. My son picked a bunch of plums on a lunch break at his high school. So we doubled this and made two. Delicious. Thanks!

    • Hi Jenn,
      Can I use cashew milk instead of regular milk?

      • — Hilary on July 27, 2022
      • Reply
      • Sure!

        • — Jenn on July 28, 2022
        • Reply
  • Oh my, this plum cake is absolutely delicious! I am making it today for the third time in as many weeks. I bake it in my springform pan and it turns out just perfect. If I ever sell my house, forget putting a pot of potpourri on the stove to simmer, I’ll bake this cake instead – it makes the house smell absolutely wonderful!

  • My neighbor gave me 3 lbs if plums the other day. I made a double batch of this cake in a parchment lined 11×17 pan (it has to bake a bit longer). It is so delicious!

  • Got fresh plums sent to us may my sister in law. My boyfriend says it’s at the top of the list of things I’ve made. It is surprisingly delicious! Will make it whenever I can

  • Made this a day in advance to serve tonight. The cake has gotten kind of wet and mushy. Any tricks to bring back the nice crustiness of the top of the cake? Should I warm in the oven?


    • Yep pop it back in the oven for a bit to warm up 🙂

      • Absolutely delicious cake, very moist and light with the beautifully delicate spice flavour.
        Easy and quick to make

  • This is an utterly fantastic recipe! Clearly the best plum cake I have ever tried- my husband can’t get enough of it.

  • This cake has a very high deliciousness-to-difficulty ratio — it’s super-easy to make, and tastes wonderful. It’s not extremely sweet, and the different textures make it very satisfying.

  • Simply amazing. One slice is not enough! Thanks again for another great recipe.

  • I made this cake in memory of my mother in law Mimi who always made a late summer plum cake. This was so delicious and easy to make. I hid a small piece and had it for breakfast today. Great with my coffee. Love Jennifer’s recipes.

  • Do you think I could successfully use white whole wheat flour? Any thoughts on how it’d change the texture or density of this cake?

    • Hi Kat, I do think you could get away with white whole wheat here. The texture will be a bit different with it, so if you’d like the minimize the impact on the texture, I’d suggest using half all-purpose and half white whole wheat. Hope you enjoy!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I have made many of your recipes and they are wonderful! I was wondering if sour cream could be substituted for the milk in the recipe for the Late Summer Plum Cake?

    • So glad you like the recipes! Unfortunately, sour cream wouldn’t be a good substitute for the milk here — sorry!

  • Jenn,
    What’s your take on recipes that call for unsalted butter but have salt in the recipe? I just use salted butter and cut down on the salt. I’m curious on your thoughts! Thanks.

    • Hi Kari, The primary reason that recipes call for unsalted butter but also include salt is that the amount of salt in salted butter varies by brand. This makes it harder to calibrate the rest of your seasoning in the recipe. While it varies by brand, most salted butter has approximately 1/4 tsp. salt per stick, so you can use the salted butter and reduce the salt in the recipe as needed. Hope that helps!

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.