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Chocolate Plum Cake

Chocolate Plum Cake

This recipe is an adaptation of the Fresh Plum Cake recipe in The Baking Bites Cookbook (a great gift for Mother’s Day, to all you last-minute shoppers!). It is a very simple cake, with a vanilla-scented cake batter supporting lots of fresh, juicy plums. It is beautiful to look at (you’ll have to check out the photo in the book), too. But as I’ve always said, it never hurts to mix things up a little bit, so I decided to make a chocolate variation on that cake.This cake is meant to showcase fresh plums, so even though the cake is chocolate, it only has a light chocolate flavor to it and doesn’t overpower the fruit at all. In fact, the cake tastes richer and more complex where it meets with the plums and has fruit juice running into it. I like the way that this cake rises up well around the plums during baking for a lovely presentation to the finished cake. I always sprinkle the top of this cake with a bit of coarse sugar before putting it into the oven. It adds a little bit of extra sweetness to the fruit, and a hint of crunch to the top of the cake.

The plums look fantastic when you slice into them because I leave the skins on in this recipe. Plums have very thin skins that are not tough after baking. Leaving the skins on allows a brilliant purple-red color to stain the otherwise pale peach-colored flesh of the plums. For an even more vibrant color, look for plums that have a naturally red flesh and use them in this cake instead!

Chocolate Plum Cake

Chocolate Plum Cake
5 ripe medium plums
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (any kind)
1 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease. Make sure there is overhang over the sides of the pan.
Halve the plums and remove the pits.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light. Beat in cocoa powder, followed by egg and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Blend in about 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk. Add in half of the remaining flour mixture, followed by the rest of the milk, then add the last of the flour mixture. Stir only until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Batter will be fairly thick.
Spread batter into the prepared pan. Arrange 8 of the plum halves around the outside of the pan, and place two at the center, pressing the plums cut side-up into the batter. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool completely in the pan, then lift the cake out (using the aluminum foil) to transfer it to a plate before slicing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Serves 8-10.

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19 Comments
  • Wow, those are stunning! I’ll have to come back to this when our tree is laden with plums at the end of the summer.

  • Kitchen Corner
    April 30, 2010

    Simple and nice chocolate plum cake!! Topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream… heaven!!!

  • freakazoid
    May 1, 2010

    wow.. these is one of a kind cake.. and also thanks for sharing the ingredients.. i’ll try to make of these coming Sunday.. I hope i could get the same result you made (cross-fingers) he he he..

  • dani
    May 1, 2010

    beautiful cake!

  • Gala
    May 2, 2010

    Love the color of those plums….yum.

  • Milly
    May 2, 2010

    I’m definately going to try this in a few weeks when the fruit gets a little bit sweeter over here!

  • Pral
    May 3, 2010

    Looks yummy! Do you think strawberry can be used somehow instead of plums? or will the heat affect it?

  • Wiosanna
    May 4, 2010

    Wow, that purple-red color of plums looks amazing.

  • Penny
    September 13, 2010

    I tried this recipe today and boy is it yummy! The mix of the chocolate and the plums (which are in season here in New Zealand right now) is just amazing. I’ll definitely try this one again. Thanks!!

  • Meg
    January 21, 2012

    SO good. The cake is the perfect amount of chocolatey and very moist. Perfect texture. The plums add a really nice tartness. I used plums I had cut in half and frozen in the summer.

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