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View from above of whole plum cake on a white kitchen towel. Yellow forks beside it.

Fresh Plum cake

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This is a fantastic and easy cake, with a beautifully moist and dense crumb, with a caramel tone from the brown sugar. A layer of sweet juicy plums is on top that softens just enough to make it irresistible. You can make it with oil or half butter. It comes together quickly.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil, or another neutral one (If you want to use half oil and half butter, see instructions in the Notes, below)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup regular granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (about 1/2 a large one)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 6 to 8 purple or red plums, halved, pitted, and cut into wedges
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, for sprinkling before baking


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC
  2. Butter or spray a round 8-inch cake pan (22cm).
  3. Working a hand mixer (or stand mixer) in a large bowl, beat the eggs adding the sugar gradually and beating for another 2 minutes, until thick and lighter in color.
  4. Add the oil in a thin stream, beating for a minute or two, until it thickens.
  5. Add the orange zest, vanilla extract and mix well.
  6. Reduce the mixer speed to low speed and add the sifted dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) in 2 parts, mixing only until they are incorporated. You can sift them directly over the oil batter or sift them in a different bowl and then add. 
  7. 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.
  8. Arrange the plums wedges in a circle, or however you want. 
  9. Sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar on top.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is brown and puffed around the plums that are juicy and wrinkled, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Ovens are all different so it might take a little more or a little less time to fully bake. 
  11. Transfer to a wire rack and cool, then run a knife around the sides of the pan and remove the cake.
  12. Serve at room temperature, plain with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 


Oil and butter: you can use both instead of only oil. Use 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of butter, at room temperature. Beat soft butter with sugar for 2 minutes, then add eggs, one at a time, and then oil in a stream, beating until you have a thick, satiny batter. Follow from step 5 in the recipe above. 

Organization: always read the recipe before starting and make sure you have all the ingredients measured and at the right temperature, the right pan size, utensils, and enough counter space to work comfortably.

Loaf pan: you can use large loaf pan and you will have a taller cake with less fruit on top.

Flavorings: plums pair well with cinnamon, cardamom, and almond, so you can add a large pinch of one of the spices and some pure almond extract. Also tangerine zest if you don't have oranges. Or no orange zest and use more spice.

Storing: this cake keeps well for several days in the fridge, well wrapped, and can be frozen up to a month. Keep in mind that frozen fruit never comes back to its original state. But it still works.

Fruit: plums work very well with this sweet cake batter because they have a good acid level, but it's a great recipe to use with other stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, apricots and even cherries.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Category: Cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/8
  • Calories: 324
  • Sugar: 23.8 g
  • Sodium: 97.1 mg
  • Fat: 15.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.6 g
  • Protein: 4.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 46.5 mg