Italian Prune Plums Take Two

img_2167This cake just oozes plums. Unlike the polenta pound cake where the plums are a delicious accent, here the plums are the star. I took Deb Perelman’s mom’s apple cake recipe and adapted it slightly to make this luscious, moist, plummy cake.¬†You can’t go wrong with either plum cake. Next year – plum frangiapane tart!

Italian Prune Plum Cake adapted from Deb Perelman’s Mon’s Apple Cake

Yield: 1 large cake that serves 12 to 16


3 pounds of Italian prune plums

1 rounded Tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups plus 5 Tablespoons of granulated sugar

2.75 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup Canola oil

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (or other milk)

2.5 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

4 large eggs

1 generous cup chopped walnuts

1 generous Tablespoon Cognac or other brandy

Zest of one lemon


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a non-stick spray with flour, generously spray a 10 inch tube pan with straight sides.
  2. Halve, pit and chop the plums into about 12 pieces. Toss them with the cinnamon and 5 Tablespoons of the sugar and set them aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, soy milk, remaining 2 cups of sugar, vanilla bean paste and the eggs.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones,scraping down the bowl. Stir in the walnuts.
  5. Pour and spread about half of the batter into the prepared tub pan. Spread half of the plums on top of the batter. Pour and spread the remaining batter over the plums and then the remaining plums over the batter, gently pressing down on the plums.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour and 50 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Ovens vary so start checking the cake after 1.5 hours.When ready, remove the pan to a rack to cool completely. Then flip the cake out onto the rack and using a plate, flip the cake again so the plums are now on top. When ready to serve, you can dust with confectioner’s sugar if you like. It’s pretty, but not necessary. The plums will have a wonderful tart/sweet plummy taste and the cake towards the top will almost have a slight custardy texture. The cake will keep well for several days if wrapped properly or if kept under a cake dome. Treat yourself! They are so pretty and actually useful.

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