Plum Almond Cake

This plum almond cake, an Italian dessert known as Torta di Prugne e Mandorle, is easy to make from scratch with flour, almond meal, sugar, butter, lemon, and plums. Addictively delicious.

A slice of plum almond cake on a brown ceramic plate.

This plum almond cake is an Italian classic. While we’ve got nothing against homey, which is what author Domenica Marchetti dubs this dessert, we think this lovely little looker of a cake has a little haute going on, too. She prefers how this simple cake “celebrates September, when farmers’ markets are overflowing with small, dark Italian plums,” but quite frankly, we keep this recipe handy all summer long and make it with whatever variety of plums we happen to find. Just wait’ll you taste the delicate-crumbed cake interspersed with pockets of plums, which turn jammy as they bake. We’re a little wobbly in the knees just thinking about it. Originally published July 20, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Plum Almond Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (17)
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 10 to 12
4.8/5 - 17 reviews
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Special Equipment: 8- or 9-inch (20- or 23-cm) springform pan

Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly oil an 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Dust the pan with flour and tap out any excess.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, egg, half-and-half (or milk, if using), lemon juice and zest, the 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar, and the almond extract until thoroughly combined. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk just until combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, atop the batter. In a bowl, combine the almonds, the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and the butter and mix well. Dot the almond topping over the cake.

Bake the cake until the surface is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. (If using an 8-inch pan, you may need to bake it longer, being careful to cover the outer edges of the cake with a strip of foil if they begin to brown.) Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the ring from the pan and place the cake on a serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve warm or, if you can wait, at room temperature.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Delicious and beautiful. Homey and brilliant. The flavors of this plum almond cake blend remarkably well together and the cake is beautiful studded with the plums. I couldn’t find Italian plums so I just used the wonderful black plums from the farmers’ market. The fruit made the cook time a little challenging, as it kept the batter around the sliced plums very moist. I cooked the cake for 5 minutes longer than suggested. The only thing I would change is to increase the amount of the almond topping; I loved the contrast in textures it lent to the cake—I just wanted more of it! I really preferred this cake slightly warm. Simply beautiful and superb!

The plum almond cake was very good with its nice, delicate crumb topping and very appealing, almost buttery taste, although there was no butter used in the batter. I used fairly ripe, but not overly ripe, plums. They were rather tart so the next time I make this cake I will let them get a bit more ripe or I will try to find Italian plums. My plums were larger than Italian plums, so I only needed 7 plums halved, rather than 9, to cover the top of my cake. I didn’t have an 8-inch springform pan, so I used a regular 8-inch cake pan. I made a parchment round for the bottom of the pan hoping that this would help me get the cake out of the pan. The cake took exactly 45 minutes to bake. I probably should have let it cool for more than 20 minutes before taking it out of the pan, because it did break a bit when I removed it.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I misread the recipe and omitted the oil (although I used half and half not milk), and the texture was still great. Also used lemon peel only (more subtle flavor), and sprinkled turbinado sugar and almonds on top (laziness).

  2. 5 stars
    I’m making this beauty for a brunch this Sunday, can I use Almond milk? Looking forward to your suggestion

    1. Hi Giselle,
      To make this dairy free I used dairy free creamer (for the half and half) and it tasted and turned out wonderful!

      1. 5 stars
        I made the cake today and oh my goodness it’s officially my favorite cake!!!! I tried the non dairy half n half it worked like a charm. Thank you so much 🙏🏽

    2. Giselle, we haven’t tried it with almond milk, so we can’t say for certain, but it would likely work fine. Do let us know how it turns out!

      1. I will definitely, I’ve used Almond milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice in place of buttermilk and it curdled. Wish me luck!!

  3. Just baked this cake! Only problem is in the ingredients it had milk, but when I put it together there was no mention of when to add the milk, so I completely missed it and so the cake was very dry, unfortunately!

  4. This a wonderful cake! I had to sub gluten free flour mix and I roasted the plums first to draw out some of the moisture. My family loved the results and this will become a regular in my GF baking.

  5. I love this recipe! It’s my husband’s favorite cake. Question…I have a glut of plums from the garden and wanted to make a few cakes and freeze them. Does this cake freeze well?

    1. Dawn, so happy to hear your husband loves this cake so much! And I envy you that glut of plums. However, I wouldn’t freeze this cake as I worry the moisture from the fruit would make the cake soggy as it thaws. You may want to try halving and pitting and freezing the plums and then making the cake later. You’ll just want to first let the plums drain on paper towels really well to soak up any excess moisture. We do have a couple recipes for preserving stone fruits, including sweetly pickled stone fruits and a tipsy-inducing stone fruits in vodka.

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