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There’s something about using fresh fruit in baked desserts that make us feel so good probably because we’re conning ourselves into believing that it’s just that: a serving of fresh fruit. Whatever it is, this cake (or tart, depending how you look at it) is outstanding!

At its core, this dessert is really easy to make. You can adjust depending on what you have on hand: if you’ve got sweet plums, feel free to omit the lemon juice and sugar coating. The simple crust that goes on top is entirely your choice to make or do without — it tastes delicious, but is really just added goodness on top of this already otherworldly cake. If you already have an abundance of plums on your hands (or cherries, pears, apples, etc.), now you know what to do with them! If not, go out and find yourself a fruit stand, pronto!

Plum Cake

Yields 1, 9-9 1/2-inch cake


  • 2 pounds ripe Italian purple plums, rinsed, pitted and sliced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature; 6 tablespoons, cold
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Sprinkle plums with lemon juice and 1 tablespoon sugar. Toss together in a bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Cream 1 stick butter and 1 cup sugar together in a large bowl or mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  5. One at a time, add the eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between.
  6. Pour batter into springform pan and arrange sliced plums gently on top.
  7. In a food processor (or by hand), combine remaining flour with brown sugar, 6 tablespoons cold butter and cinnamon, and pulse (or mix) together until crumbly.
  8. Spread mixture generously on top of the plums.
  9. Place in oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out free of crumbs.
  10. Remove from oven, let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen