Depending on where you are in the world, plums can come into season anywhere from now until the autumn. Here in England, our local plums should start arriving in the shops as early as in July but I’m afraid I struggle to wait that long to make this tasty plum cake recipe. It’s been a family favourite for years.
A Quick and Easy Recipe
The batter for this easy to make plum cake recipe is literally the work of moments – then all you have to do is spread the batter in the pan, lay some sliced plums on top, sprinkle with sugar and wait for it to bake. This can be harder than it sounds as the smell while it is baking is pretty much irresistible.
While I originally blogged this plum cake recipe back in 2013, it has been in my repertoire for a long time. Back then, I used to put halved plums on top of the cake – which was nice but didn’t look nearly as pretty as the fanned out slices. It’s funny how recipes can evolve like that – how you can suddenly think of an idea which transforms a favourite recipe into something even more special.
Although this plum cake recipe is quick and easy, it tastes a lot more complex. One of the things I like best about it is the spices. Cinnamon, ginger and ground nutmeg combine to make it fragrant, rich and delicious. It keeps well for a couple of days at room temperature – in fact the spices seem deepen and taste even better. The plums will start to sink a little after a day though, so I recommend making this cake on the morning of the day you want to serve it the first time.
How Should I Serve This Plum Cake Recipe?
We enjoy this plum cake all year round. Try it on its own with a cup of coffee or tea, for dessert with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream or even with custard or cream as a traditional British ‘pudding’ – that’s what we call dessert over here!
Easy Plum Cake – Printable Recipe
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup buttermilk (buttermilk is best but ordinary milk will work)
- 2 to 3 large plums, pitted and sliced (wait until the last minute to do this or the plums will go brown)
- 2 tablespoons Demerera sugar for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
- Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch loose bottomed cake pan.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
- Beat the eggs and vanilla into the creamed mixture.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix just until blended.
- Pour in the buttermilk and beat until smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. The batter will be thick and you will have to spread it to fill the pan, coaxing it out to the edges. Smooth the top of the batter so it is even.
- Arrange the plum slices over top of the batter in a circular fashion, leaving a bit of space between each slice.
- Sprinkle the Demerera sugar over the top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- When the pan is cool enough to handle, release the springs of the cake pan and gently remove the sides. The bottom of the cake pan can be gently removed by sliding a knife underneath the cake and lifting the cake on to a wire rack using a large slice. However I often cheat and leave the cake on the metal base for serving to avoid any risk of the cake not coming off in one piece.