Italian Plum Cake

Tammy | Chez Nous
by Tammy | Chez Nous
8 servings
1 hr 5 min

I've usually only eaten plums whole with juice dripping off my elbows, then spitting the pit as far as I can manage. In my adulthood, that is the compost bin! But they are certainly delicious especially in desserts. And this Italian Plum Cake is just one of the many delicious options. It holds its own as a breakfast cake, a tea cake, or a dessert with a bit of whole whipped cream.

How are Italian plums different?

There are many types of plums ... red, golden, plump, juicy ... and then there are the thin Italian plums that are just as juicy as their plump counterparts.

Italian plums are a large oblong-shaped variety. The skin is thin and surrounds a firm, juicy flesh that holds a pit that is easily removed. It is rich and has a sweet flavor. The pulp is a greenish, amber color when the fruit is raw, but it is a deep shade of pink when cooked. You can see that change from the photo above to the last photo in this post.

The cake starts with a simple creaming of the butter and sugar, then adding the eggs.

The flour, salt, and baking powder are then added and mixed in completely. This is a simple cake!

Now for the Italian Plum Cake magic!

The cake is simple. So the WOW factor comes from the fruit ... Italian Plums. Just cut them in half and nestle them into that simple cake batter.

Sprinkle them over with sugar and cinnamon and bake.

sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar

When it comes out of the oven, the plums will be cozied into the batter and totally juicy.

How to serve

I've tasted this warm and I've eaten it a couple of days after baking. I can say with all confidence that it is delicious either way. However, the longer it sits, the juicier the fruit becomes and permeates the cake. You make your own preferential choice.

Recipe details
  • 8  servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 45 Minutes Total time: 1 hr 5 min
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  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, or gluten-free 1:1 flour blend 125 grams
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 5 grams
  • large pinch of salt
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar (plus 1-2 Tablespoons extra for the topping) or coconut palm sugar 200 grams
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened 115 grams or 8 Tablespoons
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 small Italian plums halved and pitted
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 10 ml
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch round baking dish by buttering it.
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and 1 cup of sugar together until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Add the dry ingredients, mixing until combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, over the top of the batter. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar depending on how sweet the plums are.
Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out free of batter, about 45-60 minutes. If it is getting too brown, but is still not set in the middle, place a piece of foil on top without tightening it down around the baking dish.
Cool on a rack. When it is at least at room temperature, (or even the next day when the juices are all soaked back into the batter!), cut into wedges and enjoy!
Tammy | Chez Nous
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  • Bob3303961 Bob3303961 on Sep 11, 2021

    Can you use reconstituted prunes if you can't find Italian plums ?

    Joyce Wallace

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    • Tammy | Chez Nous Tammy | Chez Nous on Sep 13, 2021

      I would think that using reconstituted prunes could work. I would be sure to drain them really well, though. On that note, you can also use regular plums in which case, I'd recommend cutting them in quarters.

  • Elizabeth Bryson Elizabeth Bryson on Sep 11, 2021

    Would love to try this, but where do you get Italian plums? Are there any substitutes? Are the plums fresh or canned?

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    • Anne Anne on Nov 08, 2023

      Like Tammy said, the plums are seasonal. Here in Ohio, we only get them in the stores around Mid-September !! We grab them up when we see them. My mom makes plum dumplings (you think you died and went to heaven) It is basically dumpling dough wrapped around the plums, then boiled. Then put into a frying pan with butter. Then sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon......Mmmmmmm!!!