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Open-Face Plum Cake

To ensure the fruit retains its shape during baking, use plums that are almost -- but not quite -- ripe. They shouldn't be rock hard; rather, they should be soft yet slightly firm. You can use apricots, nectarines, or peaches in place of the plums.

  • Yield: Makes 2 cakes
Open-Face Plum Cake

Photography: James Merrell

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2007


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 9 or 10 large black plums, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pans


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar, the milk, oil, and egg. Fold into flour mixture.

  2. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, and smooth tops. Arrange plums, cut sides up, over batter.

  3. Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar, and sprinkle over plums. Dot with butter. Bake until tops are dark golden, plums are soft, and a toothpick inserted into center of cakes comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool. (Cakes are best the day you make them; leftover cake is great for breakfast the next day.)

Reviews (9)

  • maria_s 16 Oct, 2013

    This is a very light and delicious cake but the ingredients are not enough for two cakes.
    Great for breakfast or coffee break!

  • motherwell2 21 Oct, 2011

    I love this recipe. I halve the recipe and add a teaspoon of vanilla. I have made it with pears, peaches, cherries and apples in addition to the plums. I like it because it doesn't need a mixer and is low fat. I only bake for 20 minutes and use a spring form pan.

  • CariO 3 Oct, 2008

    This cake was delicious especially with a little vanilla ice cream. It says to let the cake cool but I think it's much better warm.

  • CariO 3 Oct, 2008

    This cake was delicious especially with a little vanilla ice cream. It says to let the cake cool but I think it's much better warm.

  • eiramc 27 Sep, 2008

    We love this cake at my house! It is quick, easy, and delicious. We have made this with whole wheat pastry flour, used pear slices, and sprinkled it with brown sugar and butter--depending what we had on hand. It always turns out great!

  • NikC 24 Aug, 2008

    I liked this cake. It reminds me of fruit cakes my Austrian Oma would make.
    It is a recipe for TWO cakes. The fruit on top makes up for the thin cake, which really rises in the oven. If you only make one, like others suggested, it will not be fully cooked in the center after 30-35 mins.
    I would highly recommend slicing the plums instead of halving them, making the plums cook faster (my halves were not fully cooked) and easier to eat. And icing sugar sprinkled on top finishes it off perfectly!

  • BrianJC 24 Jul, 2008

    This recipe actually makes only 1 cake.

  • sonya_loretta 5 Jul, 2008

    This cake is great served with ice cream or fresh whipped cream and coffee. It it's not the ooey-gooey, super-sweet confection of a dessert that your kids will love, but when made with fresh-picked in-season fruits (I've made it with both peaches and plums many times), it gives the adults an excuse to enjoy dessert, too!

  • EWjunk 2 Jul, 2008

    I didn't care for this cake. It reminds me of a german plum cake my mom made that was too dry for my liking. The texture is like a cakey cookie. The cake layer is very thin (1/2" of batter in pan) and since it has no butter or flavorings, it just doesn't taste like anything. If you're looking for a nice, moist, buttery cake, this isn't it. Also, test the cake for doneness at 25 mins - by the time the cake gets "dark golden" it will be ruined - mine were light brown and yet quite done!

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