Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dimply Plum Cake

This recipe is definitely a keeper! This cake is moist, tender, with just the right amount of sweetness and it is delicious! It makes an 8" square cake, just the right size for my family. I like the texture of this cake. It is very moist and very tasty, perhaps from the combination of butter and oil. I think the butter makes it really yummy and the oil helps to keep it moist and tender. 

I only use 5 plums instead of 8 as suggested, I couldn't fit all 8 in the pan. The arrangement will be 3 half plums in rows of three, making it a total of 9 half plums, with 9 servings. Dorie says that on day 1, the texture is slightly crumbly, on day 2 and 3, it is soft and moist. I couldn't decide which one I prefer, I love them both!

These plums are sweet and a little tart, just right.

The recipe calls for cardamom spice, but I substitute it with about 1/8 tsp of ground ginger instead, as I'm afraid that my children may not like the cardamom.  I really think the ground ginger is a lovely combination to the flavour of this cake, it is not overpowering, with just a slight hint of the ginger, that the kids did not even notice! I did tweak the sugar a little. This recipe calls for 3/4 cup tightly packed, I loosen the brown sugar to make it more fluffier and then scoop into the cup to make a 3/4 cup, lightly packed, not tightly packed. It turns out just right.

I would definitely make this again, perhaps with combination of other fruits and spice, as suggested by Dorie Greenspan. 

If you do not have plums, you can always substitute with other fruits, as suggested by Dorie in "Playing Around".

I'm sharing this yummy cake at :

Dimply Plum Cake
(adapted from "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan)
Ingredients :
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional) (I use 1/8 tsp ground ginger)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (about 160gm)
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar 
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as conala or safflower
grated zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums (in the fall, use Italian prune plums), halved and pitted

Getting Ready :
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom, if you're using it, together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition.  On medium speed, beat in the oil, orange zest and vanilla. The batter will look very light and smooth, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.  Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter - I usually make 4 rows of 4 plum halves each - jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes - during which time the plums' juice will return to the fruit - then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.

Serving : You can serve this cake while it is still warm or wait until it reaches room temperature.

Storing : The cake can be kept well wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days, though its texture will change (not unappealingly) over this time.  On day 1, the cake has somewhat firm, slightly crumbly texture - reminiscent of corn bread; on days 2 and 3, after some time under wraps, it is soft and moist. It does not freeze well.

Playing Around : This cake works well with several other kinds of fruit. Apricots, peaches, nectarines and cherries are all good.  If you'd like, omit the cardamom or substitute another spice.  Similarly, you can trade in the orange zest for lemon, lime or even grapefruit.  Here are some of my favorite combinations : apricots with orange zest and a teensy pinch of ground star anise; peaches with lemon zest and a little finely chopped fresh basil ; nectarines with orange zest ; and cherries with lime zest.


For more details and to submit your entry please click here. Remember the challenge ends on November 29th, 2010 at 12.00 noon, Malaysian time. Good luck!


  1. Lovely cake and sounds so delicious, too! I like the touch of ginger and orange, too! Cheers!

  2. I LOVE the name of this cake, lol! It caught my eye right away. I just recently realized how much I love plums. I never really ate them growing up and just assumed I didn't like them. Love them now. This cake is a perfect way to enjoy them too. Thank you so much for linking up with Cookbook Sundays! And I must remember to make a citrus recipe!

  3. That recipe is already bookmarked in my copy of Dorie's book. Somehow I never got around baking it. Your cake came out very nicely. Can't wait to try it myself.

  4. Sounds and looks like a beautiful cake! I love the addition of ginger to replace the cardamom! Genius!

  5. Your plum cake is beautiful. No doubt it was moist, flavor and delicious. I would love a piece with a good hot cup of coffee.

  6. Your cake looks amazing. I just love the way it looks and I just know it will taste just as good. I am going to try your recipe really soon. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.Hope you are having a good day.
    Miz Helen

  7. This cake looks very moist and delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I look forward to try this in the future. Too many things to bake but can't bake all at one time :D

  8. I've looked at this cake in Dorie's book several times, but have not made it. Yours looks so good I may have to find some plums!

  9. Well another dessert you have made, that I cannot wait to make! The black plums are my favorite, I have made delicious jam from them also. Thanks so much.

  10. The plum cake looks really moist and good!

  11. Cake looks super moist and soft..

  12. Hi Marguerite,
    Thank you! Have a nice day!

    Hi Brenda,
    Yup, this is a delightful plum cake. You will love this cake. Looking forward to your citrus recipe! And it is always a pleasure to be part of Cookbook Sundays!

    Hi My Kitchen in the Rockies,
    Try it soon! You will enjoy it!

    Hi Peggy,
    Thank you for dropping by. Nice to see you! I love ginger, and it really goes well with this cake. Have a lovely day!

    Hi Velva,
    Thank you. Have a lovely day!

    Hi Miz Helen,
    Hope you will enjoy trying it out. You have a lovely day too!

    Hi Zoe,
    Yes, I know exactly what you mean! The addition of cookbooks and yummy recipes from foodies and other sources are getting more and more!

    Hi scrambledhenfruit,
    Quick, get some plums! LOL! Hope you enjoy it when you do try it out.

    Hi Melynda,
    Thank you. Yes, I'm was thinking of making plum jams too! Hope you enjoy this cake when you do make this. Have a nice day.

    Hi Angie,
    This cake is certainly moist and really good. Have a lovely day.

    Hi Priya,
    Thank you. Have a lovely day.

  13. What a beautiful cake with the plums in it! I really like the ginger spice too, a lovely complement to pears!

  14. This is a beautiful cake. And great idea substituting the cardamom for ginger. Cardamom is very expensive, so I try to sub it out whenever I can and only use it when absolutely necessary.

  15. I also luv to find recipes that make an 8-inch square cake! It is the perfect size for my family too! The plums look delicious!

  16. Hi Reeni,
    Thank you!

    Hi Elsa,
    Thank you! I love ginger, and it makes a wonderful substitute.

    Hi UrMomCooks,
    Thank you for stopping by. Nice to have you here. Yes, 8" square cake is the perfect size!

  17. Hi...

    It's looks very delicious. Watering my mouth again and again. You know...nowadays if i go to Star Buck or Secret Recipe to buy some cake, it's always remind me about your blog!
    I cannot stand just to see...i need to taste it.

  18. Hi Orchid de dangau,
    Gosh, now when I pass by Star Buck or Secret Recipe, I will remember what you said, and remind me of Orchid de dangau! He! He!

  19. That plum cake looks gorgeous - I think it would probably like it the next day when it has moistened and softened a bit, but then I would happily eat it any time - definitely my kind of cake. Love the name too!
    Sue :-)

  20. Hi mr.pineapple man,
    Yes, this is a great recipe from Dorie! If you are into baking, try making this!

    Hi C&C,
    Thank you. The name certainly calls for attention! Have a nice day!

  21. Hi What's Baking??,
    How about tomorrow? Yum, yum!