When I saw this cake a few months ago on Let Her Bake Cake I knew I had to have it. I don't know why this urge hit me - I had never eaten a plum before, and had no idea what cardamon tasted like (I still can't describe it other than it is very aromatic, very flavorful and goes along the same lines as cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Kinda a little citricy). This is definitely a perfectly fall cake.
I didn't really know what to expect flavor-wise of this cake, but I was not dissapointed! Its very much a coffee cake, kind of dry and crumbly. The cardamon, orange zest and plums pair perfectly together, giving it a rather unique taste. And much to my surprise, the cake gets moister the longer you let it sit. I definitely think it was better the second day. Next time I might just go ahead and make it a day in advance. Because of this cake, I have now decided that I adore plums.
Dimply Plum Cake
Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup veggie oil
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6-8 purple or red plums, halved and pitted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan (or round works fine, too), dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamon together.
Working with a mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes, then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat for a minute after each egg goes in.
Still working on medium speed, beat in the oil, zest and vanilla; the batter will look smooth and creamy, almost satiny.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.
Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter–Dorie says she usually makes four rows of four plum halves each–jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes during which time the plums juices will seep back into the cake then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.
*Note: I think this cake looks cuter if you have more purpley plums than mine were.
Also, if you like, you can dust the cake with powdered sugar after it cools.