Spiced Plum Cake

Saturday 21 September 2019

I really start to struggle with finding good light for taking my food photos this time of year, when the days are getting shorter and the sun is finding its way differently in the sky. 

It always takes me a few weeks to adjust to it all. I find myself having to cook my food much earlier in the day. These days of adjustment are not my favorite days! Oh well! 

I hope you won't let poor photography dissuade you from baking what is a really lovely cake.  I adapted the recipe from one I found on a site called Once Upon a Chef. 

It looked really nice and I had picked up a couple of punnets of purple plums at the shops as they were on offer.

I adore plums, they are one of my favourite fruits.  I was quite disappointed in the plums we bought the other day. They were mealy.  

I hate mealy fruit.  It is so disappointing. The only way to really use them was to cook them, hence the cake.

I'll be honest here and say I think its really bad that you should buy punnets of mealy fruit at this time of year when fruit is so fresh and readily available!  

Bad. Bad. Bad. Shouldn't happen!  I don't understand why it is so difficult for our shops to get in perfectly grown and ripened fruit?  How do they do that!

Mind you, checking the label, upon closer inspection I see that they came from Spain. Why are we importing plums from Spain??

Especially at a time of the year where fresh plums are ripe and ready for the picking and eating here in the UK?  So disappointing!  Again, it shouldn't happen!

I shake my head when I think of it all. It is such a disappointment.  We are a country that grows beautiful stone fruits, especially down south.

Cherries, plums, apricots.  Admittedly we don't get the sunshine for good peaches, but our plums in the UK are gorgeous.

When we lived down South in Kent on the Manor Estate where I worked there was an abundance of beautiful deep purple plums. The trees in their orchard drooped under their weight.

It was a rush to get them picked before the wasps took over.  Wasps really love ripening plums. I can't say that I blame them!

Anyways, this is  a really lovely cake.  I am afraid I over-cooked mine a tiny bit. The skewer kept coming out looking like it wasn't cooked in the centre. 

I kept popping it back in for a few more minutes.  So my edges got a bit crispy, but not in an unpalatable way at all!  

It was actually quite nice . . .  the crisp finish on the edges.

As my husband was eating it he kept mumbling all the while, this is a really good cake . . .  love this cake  . . .  more cake please  . . . 

He could not get enough of it.  Served warm with lashings of cold cream.

He is a very lucky man.  He can eat cake until it comes out his ears  . . .  and pour cream all over it when he does.   

And he never has to worry about any of it sticking to his thighs, like I do.


Or anywhere else on his both.  I swear to God the calories in anything just slide off him.  Not like me.

I only have to sniff things like this and I gain ten pounds.  Seriously. 

He can eat and eat and eat and none of it sticks to his bottom, or his neck, cheeks, arms, etc.  . . .  I really don't think its fair, but it is what it is! 

I am sure there must be a simple reason for this, but I am damned if I can figure it out. If I could I would be a millionaire!

This is a beautiful cake  . . .  filled with the lovely flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and that almost jammy fruit, which is tart and sweet at the same time.  

For brunch or for dessert, this is one cake you won't want to miss out on . . .  and the perfect way to use up less than perfect plums!

If you are a fan of cooking with plums you might enjoy these other recipes I have shared through the years:

PLUM & HAZELNUT CRUMBLE SLICE - This slice has a nutty buttery base almost like a pastry, and then a layer of hazelnut cake, stogged full of lovely plums. The whole thing is topped with a crunchy nutty streusel. Moreishly scrummy!!

PLUM FUDGE PUDDINGS - Delicious single serving puddings made with simple ingredients. Fresh bread crumbs, thinly sliced fresh plums, butter, cream, honey and a bit of brown sugar and spice. After making a very simple fudge sauce of butter, cream and honey . . . you simply layer everything up in little ramekins . . . and then bake.


Yield: 8

Spiced Plum Cake

A beautiful cake that is perfect served for brunch with hot cups of coffee or as a dessert with scoops of vanilla ice cream.


  • 210g plain flour (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each ground nutmeg and ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 115g butter softened, plus more to butter the pan (1/2 cup)
  • 190g white sugar, plus 2 TBS, divided (1 cup + 2TBS, divided)
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 120ml whole milk (1/2 cup)
  • 1 pound fresh plums, pitted and quartered


How to cook Spiced Plum Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Butter a 9 inch spring form pan really well and dust with flour, shaking out any excess. Set aside.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Stir in the salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter and 190g/1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, adding a spoonful of the flour mixture if it starts to curdle. Add the milk alternately with the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, levelling it off. Scatter the plums over top decoratively. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 TBS of sugar.
  4. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  5. Run a knife carefully around the edge of the cake to loosen, and then loosen the sides of the pan. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Cut into slices to serve. You can dust this with icing sugar if you want to pretty it up a bit!
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  1. It looks most delicious! I've also always thought it unfair that many men (but not all of them!) can eat just about anything and still keep their figure!

    1. Oh, I am with you Sandra! Not fair, but it is what it is! I like to bake for my husband and it brings me no end of joy to see him enjoying it all! I hope you try the cake! xoxo

  2. Hi Marie, your plum cakes looks very pretty. I don't have any plums but I do have peaches that are on the mealy side I'd like to use up. Do you think I could substitute them for the plums in this recipe? Thanks for your advice. Hugs, Elaine

    1. I think you should be able to use any kind of stone fruit successfully Elaine! Let me know how you get on! Cooking mealy fruit helps to redeem them! xoxo

  3. I have that NYT recipe..it's something that no longer agrees w/ J baked plums..So beautiful!

    1. I will have to look for the NYT recipe Monique! Thank you! xoxo

  4. Thanks so much Laurie! It really is! xoxo

  5. Can this cake be made a day before to be eaten the next day,and can this cake be frozen.

    1. I am so sorry that I never got back to you on this. Very unlike me as I usually respond as soon as I can. I have only ever made this cake on the day, and I am not really sure about freezing it as I never have. Sorry I am not of much help here!

  6. Hi. This recipe sounds really good. Wanted to know if we have to roll the fruits in flour before putting into the batter!?? Would they sink to the bottom? Or would they stay on top? Hoping for a reply really soon as I want to make this for Christmas! Thanks. Merry Christmas to you and a happy new year!

    1. No, it is not necessary to roll the fruits in flour before putting them into the batter! I hope that you enjoy it and a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well!

  7. I’ve made this cake four times now - it always works perfectly and guests always say how fabulous it is. Also yes to serving it warm with cream - delicious!

    1. I am so pleased that you make and enjoy this cake. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment about your experience. Its so very much appreciated! xo

  8. Made this last night with some plums on the older/softer side -- everyone in family & guests loved it! This will become my new party/potluck dish. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. I am so pleased that this was made and enjoyed! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment about your experience with this recipe. It is very much appreciated! xo

  9. Wheres the actual recipe???? I have to stroll thru copious amounts of adverts and still no recipe

    1. The recipe is right there at the bottom of the post. A Printable Recipe Card, which I pay for so that you can have that option by the way. You're welcome.


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