New This Month

Dried-Plum-Butter Stack Cake

Stack cake, an old Appalachian dessert, is often made with an apple-butter filling, but we chose dried-plum butter instead.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 16

Photography: Mike Krautter

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2015


Dried-Plum Butter

  • 4 cups pitted dried plums (prunes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (from 2 large oranges)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh juice
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • Pinch of coarse salt


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • Unsweetened lightly whipped cream and ground cinnamon, for serving


  1. Dried-plum butter: Bring dried plums, orange juice, lemon zest and juice, and 2 cups water to a boil in a covered medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until fruit is beginning to break down, 35 to 40 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, brown sugar, and salt, mashing mixture with the back of a spoon until jam-like. Transfer to a medium bowl; let cool completely. Dried-plum butter can be stored in refrigerator, covered, up to 1 week.

  2. Cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Beat butter with sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with milk, until combined. Divide dough into 9 pieces. Shape into disks, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Working with one dough piece at a time (keep the rest in refrigerator), roll out on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a roughly 8 1/2-inch round. Using a paring knife and a cake pan or plate as a guide, cut dough into an 8-inch round. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; refrigerate while rolling and cutting remaining dough pieces, placing 2 rounds on each sheet.

  4. Bake cookies in batches until golden and firm in center, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

  5. Place 1 cookie on a cake plate and spread with 1/2 cup dried-plum butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Top with another cookie and spread with another 1/2 cup dried-plum butter. Continue stacking and spreading until all 9 cookies have been used. (Do not spread filling on top layer.) Wrap in plastic; refrigerate at least 12 hours and up to 1 day.

  6. Serve, dolloped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon.

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