plum drizzle cake

As soon as plums appeared at my fruit shop a week or two back I knew it was time to make the annual plum cake. How much do I love plum cake? Well lots and lots judging by the number of plum cake recipes in the archives. But how could I make the cake a little different this year? I decided to use hazelnut meal in the batter, instead of the usual almond or walnut meal and iced it as well, something I've not done before.

This is my go to butter cake recipe and you can top it with just about any type of fruit or berry or combination of the two. To make the cake extra moist I placed a layer of sliced plums in the centre of the cake mixture. 

In a stroke of genius I decided to ice the cake and used some of the left over plum juices to make the icing. The icing tinted by the plum juice was such a gentle pretty pink colour. If you decide not to ice the cake then dredge the top of the cake with an extra tablespoon of caster sugar as new season plums can be quite tart.

Here's the recipe for you. For all my recipes, I use a 250 ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon. All eggs are 60 grams and my oven is a conventional oven not fan forced, so you may need to reduce your oven temperature by 20°C. This recipe makes a 17 cm cake. If you'd like to make a 23cm/9 inch cake, just double all the ingredients and bake for the same amount of time.

Plum Drizzle Cake - makes a 17 cm cake
5 small plums
1 tablespoon caster sugar
125 grams (4 oz) unsalted butter
100 grams (½ cup) caster sugar
1½ tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 egg
¾ cup self raising flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ cup almond, walnut or hazelnut meal
60 – 90 mls (¼ - ⅓ cup) milk

60 g pure icing sugar, sieved
1 tsp softened butter
1-2 tbl reserved plum juice

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F conventional oven. Grease and flour a 17 cm spring-form tin and line the base with baking paper.

Cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Slice each plum into quarters, put into a small bowl and sprinkle over the tablespoon of caster sugar. Set aside.

To make the cake, cream the butter, sugar and lemon rind in a bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined well. Sift the flour and the baking powder together then mix through the nut meal. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk to make a soft batter. You may not need to use all the milk. Spoon half the batter into the greased and lined tin. Layer a few of the plum slices over the top of the batter. Gently spoon the remaining batter over the fruit. Arrange the remaining plum slices over the top of the cake. Don't throw out any of the juice left in the bowl because you'll need this for the icing. If you're not going to ice the cake, then sprinkle an additional 1 tbs of caster sugar over the plum slices. 

Bake the cake for 1 hour or until the cake tests cooked when a skewer is inserted into it. Some of the plums may sink to the bottom of the tin while cooking. This is completely normal so don't worry. Cool the cake in the tin for about 15 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

To make the icing combine the icing sugar and butter in a small bowl until the butter is incorporated. Add sufficient of the reserved plum liquid to make a thin icing. Drizzle over the top of the cake and allow to set before serving.

A slice of very moist plum cake. Perfect.

See you all again soon,

Bye for now,



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