This whole plum situation has reminded me of why I should always look to Smitten Kitchen before any other site for fail-proof recipes. With this and this, I erroneously went to Martha Stewart; when those recipes didn’t succeed, I knew where to turn (and where I should have started) with the approximately 234982347 pounds of plums that remained.
Dimply plum cake
adapted, just barely, from Smitten Kitchen; I substituted lemon zest for the original orange zest, and used Italian plums instead of red or purple plums
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
5 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
grated zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
10 Italian plums (or 8 red or purple plums)
Preheat the oven to 350˚. Spray a baking pan (8×8, or a Pyrex casserole dish like I used; I have a feeling my lack of success in round one can partially be attributed to using the wrong cake pan) with cooking spray.
Halve the plums and remove the pits.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy (3 minutes). Add the sugar and beat for three more minutes; add the eggs one at a time and beat for a minute after each egg to incorporate. With the mixer running, beat in the oil, lemon zest, and vanilla. Kick the mixer down to low speed and gradually add the dry ingredients until they’re incorporated (don’t overbeat.)
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it out. Arrange the plums cut-side up in the batter…you can gently push the plums down so that they’re nestled in the batter (but not submerged). I think I was a little heavy handed with this step because when the cake was done, the plums weren’t sitting up nice and pretty like they should have been; most of them had sunk down quite a bit. Whatever, it still tastes great.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is brown and the batter has puffed up around the plums. Cool for 15 minutes or so and enjoy! The cake keeps for several days and gets more soft and moist by the day.