Buttery, Sweet, Bright, Thoroughly Delicious Plum Cake

Buttery, Sweet, Bright, Thoroughly Delicious Plum Cake

Very slightly adapted from this recipe in Bon Appetit

This cake is an ideal vehicle for summer stone fruits. I’ve made it with peaches, nectarines, and plums, but plums are by far my favorite. Plums are usually a little tart for me, so I don’t tend to eat them out of hand. But that same tartness makes them great to cook with, because you can add sugar to balance it out. Here, the resulting cake is intensely plummy, yet sweetly satisfying.

Need I mention to use the very best fruit you can find? Shop at your farmers market and taste, taste, taste. When I made the cake in these photos, the best-tasting plums were golden, which is why the fruit doesn’t have a typical plummy color.

Serves 8

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 plums (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved and pitted, each half cut into 4 wedges
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Zest the lemon, then squeeze the lemon to yield 1 tablespoon of juice. Set the zest and juice aside (save any remaining lemon for another use). In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat in the lemon zest and juice. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared springform pan and spread it out evenly.

Arrange the plum wedges in concentric circles on top of the batter, lightly pressing them in. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle the mixture over the plums and bake until the cake is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool 10 minutes, then run a small knife around the edges of the cake to release it from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan sides.

Serve the cake warm or room temperature, topped with the whipped cream.