Whether you use red, black, or yellow plums, this cake will be perfectly balanced with just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. Cut yourself a big slice of this Tart Plum Cake and top it with ice cream or whipped cream, but, don’t overdo it! Let the flavours of this cake shine through, don’t mask or muddle it with toppings!
If you love the tartness, and bitterness of fresh summer plums, you’re going to simply adore this Tart Plum Cake! The sweet cake batter is the perfect vessel for those diced tart plums. Oh, and this cake has a bit of sour cream in it too, so you know this one is going to be soft and moist!
This is one of those no-fuss cake recipes. That basically means that not only is the cake itself easy to make, but it doesn’t need any fancy decorating. I would consider dusting this cake with some confectioner’s sugar, but I didn’t even do that much to it! Instead, I placed it onto a cake stand and piled a bunch of whole yellow plums right into the center. I think it makes for such a beautiful cake without any fuss at all.
We all know a baker who can not only bake great desserts but can also decorate them beautifully. For me, that person is Mark. He has a YouTube channel called Epic Confections where he showcases some of his decorating techniques. I watch them religiously with the hope that I can up my game! If you love to bake and decorate, then head on over and subscribe to his channel!
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THE YELLOW PLUM
There are approximately 20 varieties of plums, most of which originated in China and then were introduced to Japan, and then eventually made their way to the rest of the world. Most varieties of plums come in a wide range of skin colours and commonly boast utterly juicy red or yellow flesh.
I think the most common type of plum here in Canada has to be the Friar Plum. They are much like a Japanese Black Plum, which is also very common, but unlike the latter, which has a very deep, dark purple skin, the Friar has lighter spots that are almost a deep rose and sometimes amber too.
Yellow plums, which are also known as lemon plums, are relatively smaller and possess both yellow skin and flesh. With a crisp and firm texture, yellow plums are juicy and very plump. When you bite into one, the skin will make a popping noise, much like when you bite into a sausage. These plums are ideally picked in late summer and early fall.
Generally, yellow plums are used for making desserts like pies, jams, fruit preserves, etc. In fact, I have a few jars of yellow plum jam in my pantry, but these particular plums went into a cake. The sweetness of the cake and the tartness of the plums work together very well!
BAKING A TART PLUM CAKE
In terms of baking, you can bake this cake in a 10″ spring form pan as I did, or you can use a 9 x 13″ baking dish. I used the spring form pan so that I could place the humble cake on a pretty cake stand; not that the cake needed anything to help it be pretty, but because I love cake stands!
You cannot bake this cake in a Bundt pan, because by the time the cake batter cooks all the way through in the middle, the outer edges of the cake will be browned too much, or worse yet, burnt. The plums have a lot of moisture and that will affect the cake and how it bakes. If the cake batter is piled into a bundt pan, or a smaller cake pan with higher walls, the moisture in the plums will cause the batter to steam. You don’t want that!
If you are willing to slice the cake right into your cake pan, then you can bake it in the previously mentioned 9 x 13″ pan. Please keep in mind that most cake pans are not built to withstand a sharp knife being dragged across them. Doing so might put that non-stick coating at risk. Line it first with parchment paper to make the cake easier to lift out.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Plums – Wash the plums and dry them. The top of the plums has a dimple where the stem held the fruit to the tree. Slice the flesh of the plum away on either side to get rid of the pit. Dice both sections into roughly one-centimetre pieces.
- Flour – Regular all-purpose flour was used. I have not tested this recipe with any other types of flour.
- Sugar – There’s a whole cup of sugar in this cake, but you need the sweetness to offset the tartness of the plums.
- Eggs – It’s always a good idea to make sure your eggs are at room temperature before baking. Sit them in a small bowl on your countertop for 10-15 minutes before using.
- Salted Butter – Your butter should be at room temperature and softened. If you don’t have salted butter, just add 1/2 teaspoon of salt when you add the flour.
- Milk – Any milk will do – skim, whole, half and half, etc.
- Baking Powder – This is used to increase the volume of the batter and to add texture as well.
- Baking Soda – Commonly known as sodium bicarbonate or just bicarb, it is a baking ingredient that’s activated by a liquid and an acid to help with leavening or rising. In most cases, you will see baking soda in recipes with lemon juice or buttermilk, but that’s not always the case. In this case, it’s the sour cream.
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies.
- Sour Cream – Baking with sour cream is a great way to keep cakes and cookies moist while adding texture and richness.
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HOW TO MAKE A TART PLUM CAKE:
The first thing you want to do is to prepare the plums. Once that is done, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10″ spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Next, beat the butter and sugar together until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Next, add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. Beat on low speed until incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture. Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat into the wet ingredients until just mixed through. Dump in the diced plums and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir the fruit evenly through the cake batter.
Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top and tap the pan firmly on your countertop a few times to settle the batter into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and set the pan on a wire cooling rack. Cool for 15 minutes before removing the springform side. Allow to cool completely.
DON’T LIKE PLUMS? USE A DIFFERENT FRUIT!
This cake will work with many other fruits if you’re not a fan of plums. Or, if you happen to like plums, you can use any variety, not just the yellow plums like you see here. You can also use nectarines or apricots. Smaller stone fruit like cherries would work too. Just pit them and roughly chop them. Keep in mind that the deep red cherry colour might bleed into the cake batter making your cake pink!
You might want to consider using berries instead of fruit. Consider using blueberries or raspberries. You can also use rhubarb. Just dice it up nicely and stir the pieces right into the cake batter.
Whatever you decide to use, I’m sure you will love this cake. Unlike most cakes that need frosting or ice cream, this one doesn’t. You should take advantage of the simplicity of this cake and enjoy its flavours rather than piling it with sugary frostings. In the photos, you can see that I used just the smallest amount of frosting. It’s a mascarpone frosting, which is not overly sweet at all, so it works beautifully with the cake.
THIS CAKE DEMANDS TEA OR COFFEE!
Maybe it’s my British heritage, or maybe it’s because I know a good thing when I see it! Afternoon sweet treats with a cup of tea or coffee have always been a part of my life. An afternoon hot beverage is very common in Newfoundland, and I still have coffee almost every afternoon. On the weekends, particularly, I love to have my coffee with a scone, a biscuit, or a piece of cake.
That’s what I love about this Tart Plum Cake. It’s a cake that has no fuss about it. And, you don’t need to do anything fancy with it to fully enjoy it. Slice off a wedge and sit back with a hot coffee or tea. Nothing can beat that! How long is it going to take you? Ten or fifteen minutes? I think everyone deserves a little downtown once in a while. And, while you’re at it, have a piece of cake! Life is short; enjoy it!
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Tart Plum Cake
- 1/2 cup salted butter (if you do not have salted butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of salt when you add the flour)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups plums, pit removed, flesh diced into one centimeter pieces, skin left on
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10″ spring form pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and greasing the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Next, beat the butter and sugar together until well combined.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Next, add the vanilla, sour cream, and milk. Beat on low speed until incorporated into the butter and sugar mixture.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat into the wet ingredients until just mixed through.
- Dump in the diced plums and use a wooden spoon or a spatula to stir the fruit evenly through the cake batter.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan. Smooth the top and tap the pan firmly on your countertop a few times to settle the batter into the pan.
- Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and set the pan onto a wire cooling rack. Cool for 15 minutes before removing the springform side. Allow to cool completely.
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