Plum Cake

When it comes to summertime desserts, plums often get overshadowed by their fellow pitted fruit, the peach, but this delicious cake makes them the star of the show. With texture similar to that of a coffee cake, this dense cake is extra-moist because the baked plums become jammy and soft. Sprinkled almonds on top add just the right amount of crunch to every bite of this Plum Cake. The plums add a fruity brightness to the cake, which pairs well with the buttery vanilla batter. This beautiful cake would pair wonderfully with a cup of coffee or tea at brunch, but our Test Kitchen professionals said it's "sure to impress" at any time. One of the most important things to consider when you make this Plum Cake is the size of the plums. Our Test Kitchen recommends small plums, but even more important than the size is the weight. Be sure to weigh your plums before slicing for the most accurate result. When cutting the plums, stick to the ¼-in.-thick slicing recommendations; if the slices are too thick, they'll sink to the bottom of the cake, and it won't cook evenly. Follow the Test Kitchen's instructions to cover the Plum Cake with foil during the cooking process to prevent over-browning. Swap out your usual coffee cake for this fresh Plum Cake—your family will thank you.

Plum Cake
Photo: Photographer: Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 35 mins
Serves 12 (serving size: 1 slice)


  • Baking spray with flour

  • 3/4 cup (6 oz.) salted butter, softened

  • 1 1/3 cups , plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 3/4 cups (about 7 1/2 oz.) plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons plain yellow cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon table salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 cup whole buttermilk

  • 3 large eggs

  • 12 ounces small black plums (2 to 3 small plums), pitted and cut into 1/4-in.-thick slices (about 3 cups)

  • 1/3 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray; wrap outside of pan tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil.

  2. Beat butter and 1 1/3 cups of the sugar with a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla until just combined.

  3. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. With mixer running on low speed and beating until just combined after each addition, add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

  4. Place plums on top of batter in concentric circles, covering top of batter. Sprinkle with almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

  5. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 70 to 80 minutes, covering top of pan with aluminum foil after 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around outer edge to loosen sides; remove sides of pan, and let cake cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.

Related Articles