Plum Cake

When i was growing up in Vermont, the summers were never hot enough for plums to get really sweet. Every year my grandmother would grow plums and every year she’d serve us bowl after bowl and we’d struggle to eat one or two, wincing at their sourness. Eventually she came up with the idea of baking them into a cake and suddenly no one could resist those plums. Thanks Mutti. When life gives you lemons, make plum cake.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pound Italian plums, pitted and halved
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh herbs, such as thyme or lemon verbena


Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch round terracotta baking dish or cake pan with butter.

Sift the flour and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Add the salt and set aside. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the eggs and 1 cup of the sugar until creamy. Add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated.

Spread the batter three-quarters-inch thick in the prepared pan. Arrange the plums evenly on top of the batter and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Bake for 25 minutes, until a cake tester or a knife poked in the center comes out clean. Garnish with some fresh herbs and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.

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