Baking with Julia
♪ i like cake. i like cake ♪♫
Now that you have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day… my job is done.
I made this last night. The plums I found at the grocery store were so nice and ripe. I will try the cake this afternoon and let you know how it tastes! It was incredibly easy to put together. Mine looks just like Dorie’s in the book, and hopefully it’s yummy too!
I like cake!
Yeah, that’s gonna be in my head all day.
I baked this on Sunday. For those on the fence, I’d say, “Make this!” I had moderate expectations and it was soooo good. It’s probably our very favorite Dorie recipe now. I used plums, lemon zest and cardamom. I used part white whole wheat for the flour.
Plan to eat some soon after you bake it. As Dorie says, the texture changes a lot by the next day. It was good the second day but great on the first day.
I made this last night. I liked it. My plums must have been large, however, because I only needed four and a half. Wanted to let you know before you sliced and pitted them all like I did.
I know I mentioned this before, but if your plum halves are too big, it might make your cake fall apart. I made 2 this time, 1 with peaches, lemon zest, and basil and 1 with nectarines, cardamom and orange zest. I sliced the fruit this time so my cakes would stay in tact. If you are thinking about not making this one, reconsider, it is delicious. Both of the cakes were gone within hours, so I don’t know apart the texture changing the next day. oh, and make sure that you let it bake all the way through. it might take more than the 40 minutes.
I meant about- I don’t know about the texture changing! I hate it when that happens!
Anyone planning on trying Dorie’s cherry and lime suggestion? I was thinking of doing that b/c I am not a huge plum fan. Of course cherries aren’t in season right now but maybe frozen would work?
I have a bunch of frozen cherries in the freezer and I think I’m going to do cherry with lime. I’m not that crazy about plums, no one in the house is.
@ pamela – sweet! I’ll try it too. We’ll be cherry lime cake twins :)
I cut the recipe down to 1/4 recipe and baked it in a 4″ pan. I sliced my plum up and fanned the pieces around the top, but I wish I had left the plum as instructed, in halves. It didn’t have enough plum the way I did it.
I tried to pick fairly small plums, but even so, I couldn’t use quite as many as Dorie’s recipe suggests (and pictures – she must use tiny plums). But the cake puffed up around and between them (I think the plums shrank at bit) and I actually ended up wishing I’d squeezed another one in. The plum to cake proportion is important – I can see why JacqueOH said it wasn’t enough. Oh, and I’m kinda indifferent about plums, but they cook beautifully.
Mary Ann, how did the peach, lemon zest and basil one compare? I might make that tomorrow! Did you use full peach halves?
The peach version was by far my favorite of the 3 (I made it before with the plums) I used fairly small peaches from the tree in the backyard, but didn’t half them, because I wanted to make sure the cake stayed together. I sliced them in 8ths or so, but put them close together. It turned out beautifully. I could’ve eaten it all by myself. Just thinking about it makes me want to make it again~!
I made mine in a round pan. The square was in the dishwasher. I used Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus instead of Caradamom. It was $10 and the store didn’t have it. I loved this recipe. My kids liked the bready part but don’t like cooked fruit and hubs wouldn’t even try it.
Does anyone know if this would freeze well? I don’t have anyone to eat this with this weekend, but if I could freeze it for later, that would be awesome!
I am pretty sure that Dorie says in the storing section of this recipe that this cake, does not, freeze well. But, I didn’t look again. I am just recalling from memory.
I made this on Tuesday and tried it last night. I had some doubts, but I’m glad I made it. It has a nice sweet flavor but not overly sweet.
I found Italian prune plums in the market and they are very small, I see how Dorie used 8 of them in the cake. I really liked it just after it had cooled, by the next day it was a bit denser and dryer. Will make with raspberries next time because that is what DH loves!
I made this the other day with sugar plums. They are really small, so I did get 16 halves on it. Really make sure it’s baked enough. Even at the full 40 minutes, mine wasn’t done in the middle. Problem is, it tested as done and then totally sank. And then when I flipped it out, it fell apart. It was tasty, though!
I made this yesterday and love it. I didn’t have a problem with the baking time. I baked it for 40 min. Let it cool for 15, took it out of the pan and it set perfectly on a plate. I did not use caradamom, cus I didn’t have any. I used a sprinkle of all spice.
I liked the flavor of the cardamom in this one. And the fact that it didn’t have a lot of sugar. I just am not plum lover. Next time I think peaches, apples. But I did like the cake. It does dry out quickly tho, so eat and enjoy.
I just picked some plums from a friend’s tree so the recipe is very appropriate for this time of year. I’ll follow your tips but I won’t listen to that song song song.
Kristin – I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a loaf pan and it was just enough (maybe just a tad more!) for me and my 3 year old. Maybe that is an option for you! :)
I’d like to make this cake in a 13×9 inch pan to give 12 slices but I don’t know how to change the recipe quantities or baking time. Will appreciate help please. Sherrytrifle.
Heather, the original calls for an 8×8 pan which has an area of 64 square inches. A 13×9 pan has an area of 117 inches which is a little less than double the area (1.83 times to be exact). So I’d say, double the recipe for the cake batter.
If you are using regular sized plums you will probably be able to fit 4 of them along the 9-inch side of the pan and 6 along the long side, so that would be 24 plum halves. For the little Italian prune plums, you’ll need more (don’t know how many).
Since the dough will be a little deeper in the pan and the pan is bigger, you might need to increase the cooking time a bit. Just keep checking on it…
I’ve noticed that a lot of Dorie’s recipes call for putting a dish on a sheet pan to bake. What’s that for?
My plum cake was practically raw in the middle after 45 minutes of baking but very dark brown on top. I didn’t use the sheet pan and wonder if that makes a difference.
Barbara: Thanks a ton. I’ll double the ingredients and just keep watch on the baking time.
I made this today and I am very pleased with the recipe. My son doesn’t care for the fruit but he liked the cake part!
P.S. I found italian plums at the food co-op and used all 8 of them.
Im thinking about using apples as the fruit. Do you think they will cook enough? Should I just slice them thin? WDYT?
I think apples would work, but I would either quarter them or slice them. It actually sounds really yummy!
I used prune plums, nectarines and figs, and made cupcakes instead of the 8×8 cake., reducing the baking time to 15-20 minutes. They turned out really well! I really like the flavour and texture of the cake, though it definitely wasn’t quite as good the second day. I think the cake would also be good with blobs of jam throughout.
I just made mine and it also took longer than 40 min- 50 was the total cooking time I believe. Dee-lish!
Kelly- I think that the sheet pan under the pan helps it cook more evenly. When I do that with my cupcakes or muffins, the bottoms don’t over cook before the tops (I used to sometimes get brown bottoms but now everything is nice and event.)
Laurie- I think apples would be great, but like Mary Ann said, I would slice them a little thinner. I did peaches and cut them into halves and then each half into thirds so the pieces weren’t too big to sink to the bottom or undercook.
The cake was delicious, great job!
THIS IS SOOOO GOOD.
I made it with plums from my front yard. I didn’t have any citrus in hand for zest, so I subbed lemon oil. This is one of my favorite Dorie recipes yet. The cardamom and plum combo is magical.
it was my first time using this recipe, but I started with the peach/basil combination since my mom had given me loads of fresh peaches from her friend’s tree. I used only about four and a half peaches and it just came out so beautifully! i served it at a party and it was a hit!
This cake is delicious!! I used yellow plums and paired them with fresh basil an lemon zest.
Oh man, was this delicious. And gorgeous, too. I took this to my small group meeting at church and they were so impressed with how pretty it was. And they thought it was yummy, too! Someone suggested leaving the skin off because they had a hard time cutting through the skin. Something to think about.
To me the picture in the books looks like there are only 3 plums across…it looks like the far side of the cake in the picture is the outer edge and the near side also looks like the edge of the cake and I only count 3 across…I’m just sayin’ :)
I made this last night, baked for 45 minutes and the skewer came out clean. I then let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan and inverted onto the cooling rack, within 20 minutes the top middle collapsed and the middle of the bottom fell out…It still tasted good, but I wish it would’ve cooked through.
I know this is off the topic (I’m sorry and I hope no one minds) but there’s a recipe for a Chocolate Malted Milk tart on Sur La Table’s new baking blog. If anyone needs a recipe for leftover Ovaltine, it’s us!
I made the dimply plum cake last night using plums, grapefruit zest and cardamom. I cut the plums in half. We love the flavor of the cake. My husband told me “next time make it without the plums, I don’t like plums in my cake”. heh. picky guy.
Next time I make it I will cut the fruit into smaller pieces or use smaller plums. :)
I’ve made this a bunch of times and have always had to bake it for 50 minutes. Plouts are very good, apricots are amazing (but because they tend to be quite tart, I put a bit of brown sugar on them, which caramelized them beautifully).
I also rub the zest into the sugar before creaming it with the butter. You’ll taste it more up front that way.
Kelly: Putting your pan on top of the sheet pan helps you move your baked good in and out of the oven and rotate it easily (see p 492). Take care what you use though. The first time I made this cake I used my insulated pan and the cake took forever to bake. I learned this by baking other things; recipes from King Arthur Flour frequently call for this same treatment.
I ended up taking a short cut. I used cherry pie filling on top of the cake and swirled it in. While I thought the flavor was good, my cake was way over cooked. It was dry. I am sure I screwed it up somehow because you guys have raved over it. I may try it again later this week.
Awesome cake! I loved it. I almost passed this one up, it just didn’t appeal to me, until someone else said not too! lol Glad I didn’t. I used black plums, orange zest and cardamon. It was hard to cut through the plum skin, and I thought this cake would be great with out the plums, and with some whipped cream too. I made mine in single ramekins, kinda an oops of an idea, but it still tasted great. I will be making this one again. :)
Mine wasn’t pretty, but it was delicious. It reminds me of an old fashioned dessert you might read about in a novel set in the countryside of England…
I used white peaches & nutmeg, it was good but I’m not sure my peaches were ripe enough b/c they weren’t very juicy. It was great topped w/ ice cream! ;)
I used apples and cinnamon in mine and I agree re: the countryside dessert…it’s very rustic and ‘cold windy night’…it will be great in winter. :)
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