This plum almond cake is a classic Italian dessert. Easy to make from scratch, it boasts a delicate crumb that's interspersed with pockets of jammy plum awesomeness.
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. This recipe has been updated. Originally published July 20, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Special Equipment: 8- or 9-inch springform pan
Plum Almond Cake Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes one 8- or 9-inch cake
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) sunflower or other mild vegetable oil, plus more for the pan
- 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond meal or almond flour (you can find this almost anywhere these days, even at Trader Joe’s)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) half-and-half or whole milk
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 7 to 9 plums (any variety), halved and pitted but not peeled
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1. 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.
- 2. 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, 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.
- 3. 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.
- 4. 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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