Garden Recipe: Plum cake

Like many fruit, a plum out of season is hardly worth it. And so each year I eagerly anticipate their arrival in August. Although I feverishly collect new recipes, when it comes to it, I still end up making the same three plum recipes on rote. Comforting familiar things that just seem to fit with the cusp of the season when we might be wearing jumpers and shorts because it’s too hot or too cold for either.

I love autumn with its snap and crackle, haze and crisp mornings. But I especially love it for the things we turn to bake and make in the kitchen, with spices and brown sugar and roasted fruit. Here, I share with you one of my favourite things to make in September. This is the first plum recipe I made this year, when I happened upon a huge bag of plums for £1 in an honesty box in my village. I shared some out on a picnic – clearly the best way to enjoy a plum. The rest I baked into this delightful cake.

The sponge is thin. Essentially a vehicle for the roasted plums. You could bake it in a smaller tin, adjust your timings and have a more traditional-sized cake if that is your wont. Or serve it as pudding, warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Whatever you do, it will be delicious.


  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 75g unrefined demerara sugar
  • 75g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125g plain white flour sieved
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • A decent pinch of salt
  • 10ish plums depending on size, stoned and halved
  • Half a lime
  • Cardamom pods to taste
  • 1tbs unrefined caster sugar or demerara sugar again
  • 23cm springform tin, buttered and lined.


Cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add a tablespoon of flour if the mixture seems to curdle, but don’t worry overly, it will pull together.

Sieve in the plain flour with the baking powder, add a pinch of salt and some freshly ground cardamom. Maybe one or two pods worth?

Spoon the batter into your cake tin, it will only just cover. Level out and pop the plums on top, skin side up. Squeeze the half-a-lime’s worth of juice over the plums. Sprinkle more freshly ground cardamom over the top – I leave that to your discretion as I adore the spice and am quite heavy handed – and the tablespoon of sugar. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160c (fan oven) for around 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is done. Leave to cool and then serve with custard, crème fraiche or as it comes.

Recipe is adapted from this one.

Filed under: Blog