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
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)
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.
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.