Friday, September 10, 2010
Dimply Plum Cake
In case my last post for Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake didn’t exactly ring your bell, I have another cake to tell you about today. It also has fruit in it, but this time we’re talking plums. Ripe, juicy plums that get syrupy sweet when baked in the oven. And oh my gosh, they are so good. Cooked plums were a new one for me, and they are a revelation. I want to buy more plums so I can bake them, roast them, grill them… and maybe top them with vanilla ice cream.
But I digress. Let me tell you about the cake that turned me on to the wonder of cooked plums. Dimply Plum Cake. A funny name I know, but this cake is simple, flavorful, and versatile. It is a perfect cake for weeknights or unexpected company as it comes together quickly, with relatively few ingredients and little mess. I served it for Rosh Hashanah dessert last night to rave reviews. Which reminds me, Happy New Year to my Jewish readers!
Dimply Plum Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
* Note: While the plums were delicious in this cake, you could easily substitute other stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, or apricots.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Scant 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/3 cup flavorless oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
Grated zest of 1 orange, optional (I left this out)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 or more purple or red plums, halved and pitted (depending on size)
Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the brown sugar and continue mixing for another 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for about a minute after each addition. Add the oil, vanilla, and zest (if using). Mix until the batter is smooth and satiny looking, 1 to 2 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Place the plums, cut-side up, into the batter, pressing down gently.
Bake the cake for 20 to 40 minutes (depending on the size of the pan you use), or until the cake is golden brown and puffed up. (I used a 9-inch pan, and my cake took exactly 20 minutes.)
Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert the cake onto a plate. Finish cooling the cake, plum side up, on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or room temperature.
Leftover cake will keep, tightly wrapped, for 2 days at room temperature.