Tuesdays with Dorie…Dimply Plum Cake…

by Jamie on September 22, 2008

I had very mixed feelings about making this cake because I am not a huge fan of fruit desserts. I think it’s a texture thing, not necessarily a taste issue. However, Sunday rolled around and I had all the ingredients on hand, so I thought I would give it a go. This is a super easy recipe with minimal ingredients; however, the cake gave me some trouble. I followed the directions exactly as written with the exception of subbing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon for the cardamon. I baked the cake for 45 and inserted a wooden skewer, which came out clean. Well, at this point I thought the cake was done, it looked beautiful and the cake had baked up nicely around the halved plums. I let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then inverted it onto a cooling rack. All looked good, until 20 minutes later I realized the middle of my cake had deflated and the middle of the bottom was oozing through the cooling rack and onto my counter. Needless to say I was a bit irritated, cleaned up the mess and cut a corner of the cake (this part baked just fine). We really enjoyed the flavor and texture of this cake and were a little disappointed that the bottom fell out. The cake was very tasty and really tasted a bit pumpkin-y to us, which was odd because this recipe does not contain pumpkin. Due to the fact that I am anal and slightly obsessive I made this again on Monday, this time using Granny Smith apples. I thinly sliced the apples and layered them evenly across the cake to ensure even cooking. I baked the cake at 350 for about 55 minutes. This time the cake cooked through and tasted absolutely delicious…we definitely preferred the apple version. This recipe was chosen my Michelle of the blog, Bake-en. To see more versions of this delicious dessert check out the TWD blogroll.

Dimply Plum Cake
makes 8 servings -Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional) *I used Cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or sunflower
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums, halved and pitted (I used 2 Granny Smith Apples on version 2)

Procedure
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.
1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom, if you’re using it.
2. Working with a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each egg goes in. Still working on medium speed, beat in the oil, zest and vanilla—the batter will look smooth and creamy, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
3. 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 four rows of four plum halves each—jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
4. 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’ juices will seep back into the cake—then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
Storing:

You can wrap the cake and keep it at room temperature for up to 2 days, during which time it will get softer and moister.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar PheMom September 23, 2008 at 12:47 am

I feel the same way – I loved the flavor, just not the baked fruit texture. Your cake looks great!

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avatar steph- whisk/spoon September 23, 2008 at 1:05 am

mine was goo on the bottem, too. i actually flipped slices over and put them under the broiler to frim up! the apple looks great, though!

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avatar Marthe September 23, 2008 at 5:16 am

Despite of all the problems your cake went through, it looks gorgeous!!

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avatar Kimberly Johnson September 23, 2008 at 5:26 am

I had the same problems with my cake being gooey on the bottom and falling out. It was tasty though and I’m definately going to try your apple version!

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avatar Cathy September 23, 2008 at 5:33 am

You are now the fifth person (including myself) who had trouble with under/uncooked parts of this cake. Ugh! I guess it needed a little longer. I thought from the beginning that this cake sounded tailor-made for apples, but was too chicken to try it (I still tend to follow recipes exactly). Now that you’ve paved the path for me, I might just try this again, with apples and for 55 minutes!

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avatar Lori September 23, 2008 at 5:52 am

mine didn’t cook through, either. but with those apple slices, it looks just amazing!

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avatar Laura September 23, 2008 at 6:24 am

Mine didn’t cook all the way after 45 minutes either! Your apple version looks absolutely beautiful – I will definitely try that combo!

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avatar n.o.e September 23, 2008 at 7:19 am

I LOVE the way that apple cake looks, especially the last picture! Mmm, great cake for Fall. I think I cooked mine longer, and on a lower oven temp. It was hard to know exactly when the thing was cooked, especially the peach one I made.
Nancy

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avatar Bridgett September 23, 2008 at 11:58 am

The cake looks gorgeous for it not turning out so well in the middle for you! I am with you, I am not to thrilled about fruit desserts, but I loved the cake part.

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avatar chocolatechic September 23, 2008 at 2:07 pm

I am with you.

Love the cake, not the fruit.

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avatar kim September 23, 2008 at 2:42 pm

sorry you had goo issues :( it looks pretty with the slices on top!

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avatar HoneyB September 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

that last pic looks really awesome!

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avatar Leslie September 23, 2008 at 6:48 pm

Its nice to know I am not the only anal one out there! I think I like your apple version better!
Thanks for your comment on my Oreo Turkeys. They were super quick to assemble!

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avatar Engineer Baker September 23, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Kudos for trying again after the slight failure of the collapsing cake. I’m going to have to try it with apples – it sounds wonderful.

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avatar Peggy September 23, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I love the way your apples look across the cake. I really wanted to try apples but I was chicken. Did not know how well they would bake in it. I stuck with plums. Mine did cook in 40 minutes, but a lot of people said theirs did not.

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avatar StickyGooeyCreamyChewy September 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

I’m sorry that you had a problem with this. Your cake looks awesome, though! I love the way you layered the plum slices on top.

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avatar Em September 23, 2008 at 7:48 pm

I did apples, too! hahahahaha I think I will make this again, with sliced plums since everyone’s raving about it. Your photos look great as usual

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avatar Prudy September 23, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Oh lovely cake! I did apples too, but mine sank in a lot more. Yours looks just perfect.

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avatar Maria September 24, 2008 at 8:21 am

Well the photos look great!! Sorry you had some troubles, but who doesn’t? :) I am sure I would of loved them!

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avatar alexandra's kitchen September 24, 2008 at 9:11 am

beautiful! looks wonderful. you’re so good to make the recipe again so soon after trying it the first time around. I never have the discipline to do that.

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avatar Christine September 24, 2008 at 10:22 am

I had to bake mine a little longer and had mixed feeling about whether or not I was going to like it. It was a huge hit and next time I am going to try it with apples. Yours looks delicious!

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avatar Jacque September 25, 2008 at 6:28 am

Oooh, the apple version is gorgeous! I’m glad the recipe worked out for you in the end.

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avatar Teanna September 25, 2008 at 7:57 am

I think the apples sounded like they were the right way to go! That cake looks SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

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