Plum Torte

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Plum season in the Okanagan Valley tends to land in late summer as we’ve all just finished canning our peaches and making our pickles, which is why I think it tends to be a very underrated fruit – after all, who would want to follow an act like peaches? But bite into a ripe, locally grown plum and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the sweetness!

With many varieties pouring into the market, be sure to try a little of each to find your favourite, and use any of them to bake this torte (now that we can turn our ovens on again in the evening!).

This recipe was originally published in the New York Times at the end of every summer, and I really like the way that Smitten Kitchen has adapted it, too.


1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder (the aluminum-free kind, if you can find it)
Large pinch of salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon (depending on sweetness of plums)
1/2 cup (115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs
12 smallish plums, halved and pitted
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350°F
  2. Halve the plums, remove pits and set aside.
  3. Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice – you can adjust this depending on how sweet the fruit already is. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon.
  5. Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool before serving, or you can refrigerate or freeze it until you’re ready to serve.

If serving from frozen, reheat briefly in the oven at 300°F



Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter (but of course not plum juice), about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Once cool, if you can stand it, and I highly recommend trying, leave it covered at room temperature overnight as this cake is even better on the second day, when those plum juices further release into the cake around it, becoming not just “cake with plum,” but cakeplumughyum (official terminology, there).


Sprinkle with icing sugar and whipped cream for a beautiful presentation and a little extra sweetness.