Smitten Kitchen, man…she never lets me down. Her take on Marian Burros’s plum torte is now going down as one of my new all-time faves.
Plums have never been high on my list of fruits—they look cool but are fairly bland tasting. But cut them in half, sprinkle them with cinnamon-sugar, and bake them into a fluffy cake batter, and apparently these babies soften into sweet, juicy gems.
One of the shocking things was how easy this recipe was. No complicated instructions or finicky ingredients, just mix up a very simple batter, place the plums cut-side down, and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. It only took maybe 15 minutes total to assemble, then into the oven it goes!
If you can stand it, wait to eat the cake until the next day, which allows the juices to seep into the surrounding cake and meld everything into the most amazing texture and flavor.
This plum torte recipe was so good that I now want to try making it with ALL THE FRUITS! (I did try it with pears and it’s so good!)
Halve and pit the plums.
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In your mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until it’s fluffy and light.
Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as you go.
Then add the dry ingredients, mixing until everything is just combined.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch springform pan or layer cake pan if you don’t have springform.
I went ahead and lightly sprayed mine with cooking spray even though it was non-stick. Smooth the top out.
Arrange the plums, cut-side down on the batter, covering all the space you can.
Sprinkle the whole cake with lemon juice, then the cinnamon and sugar.
Bake the cake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center (non-plum) part of the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes.
Cool on a rack. If you can keep your greedy hands off it long enough, try leaving it covered at room temperature overnight. This plum torte is great fresh, but even better the next day, because the plums will send their juices out into the cake and everything will become one big delicious YUM.
Seriously, this plum cake is amazing and delicious and awesome and you should go make it right now. Now. Really, go now. And if plums aren’t in season, try it with pears.
Other simple desserts I’m obsessed with:
- Fresh Apple Cake with Honey Glaze
- A Healthier Take on Moist Strawberry Shortcake for a Group
- Bourbon Cherry Crisp with Brown Butter Streusel
- Almond Pavlova with Balsamic Berries & Whipped Cream
- Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake With Peanut Butter Glaze
- Traditional Sticky Toffee Pudding (Cake)
Marian Burros’ Plum Torte
Smitten recommends purple Italian prune plums, but my Kroger didn’t have them so I just used regular purple plums.
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder (aluminum-free if you have it)
- Large pinch of salt
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) of unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 12 smallish purple Italian purple plums (or 4-5 regular), halved and pitted
- 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon or tablespoon of ground cinnamon; recipes differ, so I split the difference & did 2 teaspoons
- 1-2 tablespoons of sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, sift or whisk the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) together. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and cup of sugar together until the mixture is fluffy and light. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as you go, then add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
Spoon the batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan or a regular 9-inch cake pan (I sprayed mine lightly with cooking spray). Smooth out the top and arrange the plums, cut-side down, all over the batter. The plums should cover up as much of the batter as possible. Sprinkle the top of the cake with lemon juice, then the cinnamon and sugar.
Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center (non-plum) part of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Once cool, consider letting it stand at room temperature covered overnight, since it’s even better the second day.
Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen