I have been enjoying the baking of a friend over the course of the pandemic. When I told her I had some plums I wanted to use up, she lent me her current favourite baking book Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings by Yossy Arefi.
This is a great tasting cake and easy to make. What my family really loved was the delicate almond flavour, not overpowering at all. I am a big fan of marzipan but appreciate that you can only have a small bit before it becomes too much. Although you can omit the almond extract, I would advise you not to.
½ c. (113g) unsalted butter
5-6 small plums (around 12 oz./340g)
¾ c. (150g) plus 1 T. sugar
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
¾ t. kosher salt
1 c. (128g) all-purpose flour
½ c. (55 g) almond flour
1 t. baking powder
3 T. sliced almonds
¼ c. apricot or raspberry jam
Notes: t. = teaspoon T. = Tablespoon
- Position rack in centre of oven and preheat oven to 350F. Butter an 8” square pan with on-stick spray or line pan with parchment paper.
- Brown the butter – should take about 3 minutes. Scrape the brown bits as it is browning and when it is golden brown and smells nutty, pour it into a bowl and let it cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Pit the plums and slice them into quarters.
- Add ¾ c. (150g) of the sugar and eggs to the warm butter and whisk until pale and foamy, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, almond extract and salt. Whisk until smooth and emulsified.
- Sift together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Fold into the wet ingredients and stir until well-combined and smooth.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Tap the pan gently on the counter to release any air bubbles.
- Arrange the plums in snug rows on top of the batter, sprinkle with the almonds and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
- Bake the cake until puffed and golden and a tester inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 35 or 40 minutes.
- If you plan to use raspberry jam to glaze the plums, using a strainer and rubber spatula to remove the seeds.
- Cool for about 15 minutes and then use the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan. Brush and coat each plum with the jam.
- Set the cake on a baking rack to cool. This cake is delicious warm so you don’t really need to wait! (Store the cake, wrapped tightly, at room temperature for a day or two or in the fridge for up to three days.)