Brown Sugar Plum Cake

Plums are one of the most delicious of fruits to eat out of hand in summer and fall, but baking with plums (in either season) is a treat all its own. The sweet, soft flesh turns jammy and just a tad tart, and the garnet color deepens into something magical – can you tell I’m fond of plums? Anyway, this brown sugar cake is the perfect vehicle for baked plums. I like to use tiny sugar-plums, as you can cut them in half, de-pit them, and they are good to go – and I love the way they “polka-dot” the top of the cake. I recommend generously sprinkling Turbinado sugar over the plums and bits of cake that poke out between them, as it is makes for a crackly and sparkly crown, once baked, with the loveliest, slightly crunchy, texture. The cake is oil-based (my favorite kind – sorry, butter) and so it is super easy to throw together. It calls for more brown sugar than granulated, resulting in a moist a cake, with a slightly caramel-y vibe – perfect with plums, but really, what isn’t?


To take a peek at the original blog post for brown sugar plum cake cake, and to peruse my collection of original recipes, click here.  




  • about 7 small red “sugar” plums, ½ pound
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 yolk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • Turbinado sugar for generously sprinkling
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving



Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch spring form pan with cooking spray or softened butter and line with parchment You can also use a 9-inch cake pan, but you might have a little more trouble removing the cake from the pan. Set aside.

Slice the plums in half, remove pits, and set side.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oil and sugar and whisk vigorously to combine. And the egg, yolk and vanilla, and whisk again. Add the sour cream and whisk a final time.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and with a rubber spatula, gently fold to combine. Do not over mix. Stop folding when there is still a streak of flour or two.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and decoratively place the plum halves on top, skin side down.

Generously sprinkle the cake with Turbinado sugar and place in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, rotating the cake at 20 minutes and testing it for doneness at 35. The cake can be pulled from the oven when a tester inserted in the center comes out with only a moist crumb or two.

Once cooled enough to handle, remove the sides of the pan. Using a large spatula, slide the cake onto a platter or cake stand. Serve slices warm or at room temperature, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.


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