Traditional recipes

Quick plum cake recipe

Quick plum cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Plum cake

This is my favorite plum cake recipe, because it can be prepared quickly and you only need a few ingredients.

91 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g pitted plums
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 26cm springform cake tin
  2. Cream the butter and 150g of the sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Add one egg at the time alternating with the flour mixture to the butter and stir well after each addition. Mix until smooth.
  3. Pour cake mixture into the prepared cake tin and place plums evenly on top, with the plums cut side down. Sprinkle with the remainder of the sugar and the cinnamon.
  4. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before enjoying.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(29)

Reviews in English (3)

I made this today. We have just had a large portion with custard. It was very easy and very tasty. My one concern with this recipe is that it suggests using a 26cm tin. IMO this is way to big for this small amount of mixture . Having put my mixture a 26cm tin I saw how thin it was I then greased a 20cm tin and scraped the mixture into that. I was surprised it actually rose properly after messing it about. It finished up about 1" thick and well cooked. I really think you should change the tin size recommended in the recipe to a 20cm tin. I will make it again.-14 Feb 2015

Great wee came just took it out oven, lovely-23 Feb 2017

Delicious as a cake or for pudding with cream/custard/ice cream. Really enjoyed this and have already made it a second time, using ginger instead of cinnamon and topping with tinned pears.. Such any easy recipe to make. Will try with other fruits/spices. I sprinkled the top with Demerara sugar instead of caster for extra crunch.-06 Jan 2015

  • 6 to 8 plums, choose tart, firm, almost-ripe beauties
  • 2 1/4 Cups sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 1/2 Cup flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 or 4 chunks
  • 3 large eggs

Halve plums along their cleft lines. Pull out stones. Set a rack in the middle of the oven, and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Measure 1 1/4 cups sugar into a heavy 9- or 10-inch skillet, preferably cast-iron.

Stir in salt and water (no more stirring).

Set skillet over medium-high heat.

In about 9 minutes, sugar will begin to color.

Tilt pan, swirling sugar to an even medium-brown.

Set plum halves, cut-sides down, into the caramel.

Measure remaining 1 cup sugar, the flour and baking powder into the food processor.

Process until crumbly, about 20 seconds.

Slide in eggs, and process until batter comes together, about 10 seconds.

Drop mounds of batter onto the plums.

Using an offset spatula, spread evenly.

Set skillet on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until golden and springy, 40–42 minutes.

Run the spatula around the edge of the pan.

Set a serving platter upside down over skillet.

Using mitts, hold platter and skillet together and invert, landing cake on platter.

Quick Almond and Plum Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat the inside of a 10-inch springform pan with 1/4 teaspoon of the butter reserve the rest.

In a food processor, combine the flour, almonds and 2/3 cup of the sugar and process until a coarse powder forms. Add the eggs, oil, baking powder, vanilla and remaining butter process just until incorporated. Add the milk and process just until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan in should be about 3/4 inch deep in the pan.

Using the tip of a sharp knife, remove the pit from the stem end of each plum. Rinse the whole pitted plums well in cold water and, while they are still wet, roll them in the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar. Push the plums down into the cake batter until half immersed, making sure to space them evenly.

Set the pan on a cookie sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and browned. Let cool on a rack until lukewarm.

Mix the plum jam and brandy and brush the glaze over the lukewarm cake. Remove the springform pan and cut the cake into 6 wedges each serving should contain a plum. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.

Easy Plum Cake Recipe

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Notes about this recipe

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Really Easy Plum Cake

Summer is halfway over, people. More than halfway over, in fact. It’s been hot as hell in New York, so right now I’m kind of excited for September, when I’ll hopefully be able to bust out a jacket or two and not feel like I’m dying if I put on a pair of jeans, but I also know that New York is going to k-i-l-l me this winter and all of my friends who moved to LA are going to be posting pictures of themselves cooking a turkey on the beach or something while I’m shivering over a trash can fire in some back alley. That’s a pretty accurate description of New York winters. Everyone warms their hands over giant piles of trash. This is, of course, the opposite of what happens in the summer, where we use said trash piles to shield ourselves from the oppressive sun. Whatever happens this winter, we’ll always have sweet summer memories, right fellow kids? Rockaway Beach, Governors Island, day drinking on Sunday afternoons and eating all of the grilled and barbecued foods we could possibly handle. I’ll try to keep doing these things until my sleeves get longer and the days get shorter. I do it for you, ya’ know.

Pretty bar, pretty sushi from Salt + Charcoal, milk bread from the same place, and ice cold rosé.

The is the perfect end-of-summer, oh-god-when-will-I-see-another-plum kind of cake to make. You can really use any stone fruit here: peaches, nectarines, cherries, apricots…whatever floats your boat. In the fall, try making this cake with apples or pears, too – why not? The base is simple and perfect. It’s a light yellow cake, with a slightly crispy top, thanks to a quick sprinkle of granulated sugar before going into the oven. This is a satisfying cake to make because it’s super easy, completely unfussy, and the result is perfectly simple: just cake and fruit. This is the kind of thing you want to bring to your next picnic or barbecue, because people can cut off a slice and eat it happily with their hands. Be sure to save yourself a couple of slices for breakfast, though – it’s great with a big cup of coffee or tea, and the final bit of crust is sturdy enough to use to pick of any remaining crumbs, a cake-eating strategy you should all adopt to get the most out of any delicious baked good you may come across.

You’ve got to love a recipe with so few ingredients.

Get your batter together.

Arrange your plums on top, sprinkle with sugar and bake until set.

Let the cake cool for a bit before slicing and serving. Do I spy an heirloom tomato pie in the background? Yes, yes I do.

This cake will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Which plums for this cake?

The utter most important thing for this traditional Austrian plum cake: Use quality plums that are ripe but not overly soft and juicy yet. You want to use fruits that are more firm than you might select if eating them raw. Usually, those are the easiest to pit and they don’t fall apart into multiple pieces while trying to pit them.

I used damsons (Italian prune plums) from a tree in our garden for this cake.

I used damsons for this recipe – sometimes also referred to as Italian prune plums or Empress Plums – simply for the reason that my parents have a big tree in their garden. They are rather small and usually egg-shaped – and when cooked, they turn an amazing purple-pink color.

The damson tree in our garden is bearing soooooo many fruits.

This year, the tree is bearing so many fruits that we had to support the branches not to snap off. Seriously. I think the tree kind of went overboard.

If you opt for a different kind of plum, make sure not to use too large ones since they will sink to the bottom of the cake. If using a larger kind, quarter them instead of cutting the plums in half.

What you should also know: I kind of made the recipe up. Don’t get me wrong: It tastes exactly like the plum cakes that I used to eat as a kid, but this one is even fluffier.

There was half a cup sour cream hanging in the fridge since who knows how long, so I simply added it. This might be the reason for the extra deliciousness. If you don’t have sour cream on hand, simply add some milk instead.

How to Make a Quick Christmas Plum Cake

Most Christmas cake traditions point in the direction of the UK. There's one common reference to the plum porridge that predates the plum pudding and cake. It was usually what people ate on Christmas Eve (and not Christmas day itself) and was a fasting meal in preparation of Christmas festivities. This morphed into the first avatar of Christmas Pudding with dried fruits and spices. The oatmeal made way for butter, flour and eggs by the 16th Century laying the foundations for the Christmas cake as we know it today. The spices helped preserve the cake and most people still boiled the cake only the rich could afford ovens at that time.

The first recipes of the plum pudding began to emerge about 300 years back. One of the British expats I met at a cake mixing ceremony in Chennai was quite overwhelmed at the number of cake mixing events at hotels in India. She told me about 'Stir-up Sunday' in the UK, the last Sunday before the season of Advent, typically in the last week of November and a month ahead of Christmas. This is the day when families in England get together to mix their cake.

The Myths and Superstitions

It's still customary for all family members to have a go at the Christmas cake mix in an 'East to West direction' in honour of the three kings (three wise men) who visited infant Jesus. The spices in the mix - from the Orient, were also supposed to honour these three kings. The other legend one hears about is the 13 ingredients in the mix that are supposed to symbolise Jesus and his twelve disciples. It's still customary for some families to slip in a silver coin or two - for good luck, into the cake mix. I've seen this practice followed at some of the cake mixing ceremonies too. Blame it on the occasional visit to the dentist but quite a few families in the UK have discontinued the tradition of dropping coins into the mix.

A Quintessential British Tradition

Quite a few British royals have been linked with the Christmas pudding and it has been immortalised in tales like Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol. However it was King George I - you can still find the recipe for King George's Plum pudding, who is supposed to have popularised the plum pudding in the 18th Century. The puddings back then combined dry fruits with minced meat and suet (a form of animal fat) they were also called bag puddings because they used to be hung in a cloth and boiled. The Twelfth Night (after Christmas) cake, with dried fruits and nuts, was the other precursor to the modern day plum cake. It used to be leavened by yeast during the medieval periods and also featured hidden charms before eventually being replaced by the Christmas cake during the Victorian era.

The Plum Pudding Without Plums

It might be an oddity but the plum pudding has never been made with fresh plums. Back in the 17th Century, plums also referred to raisins and prunes and hence the name plum pudding. The Christmas cake mix is typically done a month ahead. Dried fruits like sultanas and prunes are soaked in liquor (usually brandy or rum) and then added to the cake mix along with the flour and eggs when the cake is baked. Plum pudding is generally moister and served warm - tastes best with a warm custard sauce (you can even try with regular vanilla custard). A traditional plum pudding was always made with suet but most patisseries in India don't use suet. Plum cake tends to be drier and boasts of a much longer shelf life.

Chefs and passionate bakers I've spoken to over the years recommend a 1:1 (dried fruits: liquor) ratio and also recommend that the nuts are not added to the mix. They suggest adding the nuts along with the flour since the nuts can't absorb the flavours the way the dried fruits do. The key is to ensure that every bite of the cake has a large quantity of nuts and fruits they don't call it rich plum cake for nothing! You can add a marzipan icing to the plum cake - many Christian homes in South India do this.

Christmas Plum Cake Recipe
Recipe by Chef Anil, Hyatt Regency, Chennai

If you still want to bake a plum cake in time for Christmas, try this relatively easy recipe (you still need to soak the Christmas mix for a day though).


200gm butter
200gm icing sugar
4 eggs
200gm flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence
400gm nuts and dry fruits
40 gm mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves)
200ml rum and/or brandy
100ml orange juice

1. The Christmas mixture: mix the dried fruits and nuts (you could add the nuts at a later stage) with the rum/brandy and orange juice and leave it closed for at least 24 hours. You can reduce the alcohol content based on your preference.

2. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy around 10 minutes.

3. Add the eggs and vanilla essence, and mix for 1 minute.

4. Add flour and baking powder in butter mixture.

5. Add Christmas mixture and mix properly. Put the mixture in the ring mould, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degree C for 40 to 45 minutes.

Ashwin Rajagopalan is a cross cultural training expert and lifestyle writer. When he's not writing about food, he thinks about gadgets, trends and travel experiences. He enjoys communicating across cultures and borders in his weekday work avatar as a content and editorial consultant for a global major and one of India's only cross cultural trainers.

The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Ingredients of Christmas Plum Cake

  • 750 gms mixed dry fruits (raisins, black currants, cranberries, sultana, prunes, figs)
  • 200 ml rum
  • 1 Lemon zest
  • 1 Orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp clove powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 50 gms tooti fruity
  • 250 gms butter
  • 200 gms brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100 gms almond powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 Eggs
  • Icing sugar (for decoration)
  • Christmas toppings (for decoration (small santa, mini reindeers)

Simple, great-tasting desserts that are perfect for sharing.

I am the recipe creator, photographer, blog writer and publisher for my site. I'm passionate about veganism, food, and health so I have chosen to bake using healthy ingredients because I believe that you should be able to eat everything guilt free! My aim is simple, to create great tasting vegan desserts that you can replicate and serve to your friends and family.