A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: September’s Plum Cake


Or rather a wonderfully moist, fresh plum cake, as referred to by Nigel.  And it REALLY is. Not just wonderfully moist, but also delicious.

I’ll let you in on an odd tidbit – plums are my favorite fruit. I know, it’s weird, right? Have you ever heard anyone proclaim the plum to be their favorite fruit? Cherries, watermelon, raspberries, sometimes even peaches…these are often people’s “favorite” fruits but mine has always been the plum. I just love the taste and the texture of it. Not to mention, I love anything you just need to rinse and eat. I’m 28 years old and, for the record, I have never cut  a watermelon in my life because I’m just that lazy.

When I saw this recipe in In the Kitchen, I knew it had to be the one made for the month. Well, until I read on for a few more pages and got to a plum crisp that I seriously debated for a while, too, and ultimately decided I would make before the end of plum season.  This is such a good cake, and ridiculously easy to make. I am a big, big fan of ground almonds used in place of flour – both for taste and texture – and this cake is no different. I debated adding some vanilla extract because most cakes use some kind of extract, but opted just to let the almonds do their thing and they totally did. On top of the nuttiness of the almonds, you also have some walnut bits in there to lend a little crunch and more nutty flavor. The plums are sweet and hold up perfectly in this cake, without becoming too mushy.  This is a really lovely summer/fall dessert but would not be out of place at a brunch table, either.

Nigel must be using some itty bitty plums or something, or at least a different type of plum. I used black plums, which I love and also which happen to be rather large. So, though the original recipe calls for 12-15 plums, I only used 5 and this cake was pretty jam packed with plums. Depending on the size of your plums, I would recommend buying a couple extra just in case, but I’d really doubt you need as many as 15, or even 12. There just isn’t enough surface area on a 9″ cake pan!

You should make this cake. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Wonderfully Moist, Fresh Plum Cake

Serves 8-12
Adapted from
Nigel Slater

5-8 plums
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup AP flour
1.75 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8-9″ square or springform pan with parchment.

Cut the plums in half and remove the core. Cut each half into 2-4 pieces.

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and baking powder, and then gently add to the mixture (I start this off in the mixer but quickly switch to folding with a spatula to prevent overmixing). Fold in the ground almonds and the chopped walnuts.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and then place the plums on top of the pan (no real reason to make this look pretty as most will sink to the bottom, anyway). Bake 45 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning out.

A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: September’s Plum Cake

22 thoughts on “A Year in the Kitchen with Nigel Slater: September’s Plum Cake

  1. I like plums but I wouldn’t say I love them! However I do find they work well in cakes like this. The use of almond meal is always a winner in helping the cake be moist. Nice one Elly!

    1. Hi Noelle. I stored it loosely covered in foil overnight (I made it late in the evening) but my condo was too hot to keep doing that without that sticky stuff you get on muffins, etc. when you do that, lol. I put it in the fridge that morning and when we ate a slice we either let it come to room temp beforehand, or just zapped a piece in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Worked fine and stayed moist. Hope you like it!

  2. Thanks Elly! I actually made it 20 minutes ago! My husband raved over it. I had a brain fart though. I decided to turn the cake while it was still warm. I was able to salvage half the cake! I mean we still ate the messy portion but the nice portion is still photographable. Sigh…it is a monday.

  3. Plum cake is one of my favorites and this looks like a good recipe.

    Nigel was probably using the smaller Italian Prune Plums. They are my favorite for baking, and only in the store for about 3 or 4 weeks out of the year.

  4. You are right, not many people say their favorite fruit is plum. Mine is mango, but plum would be my favorite if it grew in trees in the form of this cake. Looks and sounds amazing!

  5. I’m a huge fan of substituting ground nuts for flour when I’m baking as well. This looks like the perfect plum cake! I always gravitate to buying peaches at the store and need to mix things up with some plums next time!

  6. This looks amazingly good. I wish I could grab it from that picture and just start eating lol. I actually work with Del Monte, and if you want to try a different kind of cake, our website features an almond peach cake that’s really delicious! Our new citrus bowls and Superfruits add to the moistness of it and if you’re interested, you can get some coupons while you’re there too :). Check it out!


  7. This looks delicious- shame I’m allergic to nuts really!

    Having had the privilege of eating plums on both sides of the Atlantic, I can tell you why Nigel Slater recommended so many- plums (and fruit in general in my experience) are larger in the USA than in the UK. I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to be the way of things!

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