This plum and almond cake is super easy to make and would be perfect with a warm cup of tea or coffee. Soft, moist and spongy bake studded with sweet and juicy plums, topped with fragrant and crunchy toasted almonds.
Once baked, plums turn soft and jammy, adding heaps of flavour to this lovely, late summer cake. Because some of the flour is replaced with the ground almonds, the cake has firmer texture with an extra bite. Ground almonds in cake batter add lovely texture and is what keeps this cake so moist. It's a perfect everyday bake, ideal for an after dinner treat!
In September we are transitioning from late summer into early autumn, and there are plenty of delicious, sweet and juicy plums available this time of the year.
Plums are one of the best stone fruits to bake with, and this plum cake is a fantastic way of using them, and comes together in less than 20 minutes! I'm a huge fan of plum and almonds combination, and if it's something you enjoy too, you may want to check out my recipe for Plum Pie with Almonds.
One of my favourite things about this almond cake is the ease of it. You will only need these 9 ingredients to make it:
Dry ingredients - sugar (I like to use golden caster sugar, but white caster or granulated sugar will also work), ground almonds (or almond meal, depending on where you live), couple of tablespoons of flaked almonds and flour (plain or self-rising).
Wet ingredients - unsalted butter, eggs almond extract, fresh plums and a little bit of plum jam or conserve.
Which plums are best for baking?
When choosing your plums, it's best to go for firm, ripe fruits. The perfect plum for baking is neither too soft nor rock hard, but somewhere in between.
The ideal plum should have a fragrant smell and feel firm, yet springy when gently squeezed. They will be easy to slice and will become tender during baking, but without loosing their shape or releasing too much juice.
You can use any plum variety you would like, I used Simca plums. They are large, heart-shaped, with deep reddish skins and golden-yellow flesh. You can read this handy guide from Leafy Place to learn more about different plum varieties.
If your plums are very firm, and a bit on an under-ripe side, place them in the paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. This will speed up the ripening process.
Start with the plums. Chop 200g of fresh plums into roughly 1cm chunks. The rest of them will need to be cut into wedges, they will decorate the top of the cake. Set the plums aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and ground almonds with pinch of salt and set it aside. In a separate, large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add almond extract and eggs, then fold dry ingredients into this mixture until just combined.
Don't worry if the mixture curdles a bit. Spoon out a little bit of the cake batter into the baking tin, enough to cover the base of the tin.
After that, add the chopped plums into the remaining cake batter and fold them gently to combine.
Transfer the batter with plums into the baking tin and spread it evenly. Smooth the top of the cake with spatula or the back of the spoon. Finish it off by arranging the plum wedges on top.
Bake the almond cake for 50- 60 minutes, or until the toothpick or a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
Hint: If the cake starts browning too quickly in the oven, cover it loosely with kitchen foil.
After that, release the cake from the cake pan and transfer it onto cooling rack. Brush it with warm plum conserve and sprinkle with toasted almond flakes.
Hint: You can also use apricot jam instead of plum conserve. Brushing the top of cake with jam will add beautiful shine to the cake, and it will create an extra layer of sweet and sticky surface, ideal for flaked almonds to stick to.
- Make it gluten-free - Ground almonds are naturally gluten-free. To make this recipe completely gluten-free, use gluten free flour. I have tested this recipe using gluten free self-rising flour, and it was just as delicious. Almond flour can also be used instead.
- Make it vegan - You can experiment with turning this recipe into vegan version. Replace the butter with vegan alternative (if you in UK, Stork works very well). Eggs can be replaced by an apple sauce or vegan egg alternatives. I have not tested this version of the recipe, but if you do, I would love to hear about the results!
- Use apricots instead of plums - although this is a plum cake, you could also use different stone fruits instead. Apricots will work really well, and so will peaches, nectarines or cherries.
You can experiment with this plum almond cake recipe even further, by adding some extra flavours to it. Here are some ideas that you may want to explore:
- Add a dash of amaretto - This traditional, Italian almond-flavoured liquor will elevate and enhance the almond flavour in the cake even more.
- Make it spicy - Adding spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger work really well with plums and will compliment their flavour (just like it does in my Pumpkin Loaf Cake)
- Bake it into mini-cakes - Use muffin tin lined with paper cases and divide the cake batter between them. The baking times will need to be reduced to about 20 minutes.
- Add some blackberries - Blackberries are also currently in season, and will work very well in this recipe! Simply replace a portion of plums with equal amount of blackberries.
- Add cream, crème fraiche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and dusting of powdered sugar, to serve the cake.
I recommend using hand-held electric mixer in this recipe. If you don't have hand-held mixer, use the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment. You only really need the mixer for creaming the butter and sugar part of this recipe. The rest can be folded by hand, using a spatula or a whisk.
You will also need a 20cm round springform pan or loose-bottom cake tin. Alternatively, you can also bake this cake in a standard, 2lb loaf tin. Make sure to grease it and line it up with baking parchment for easy removal of the cake.
This almond plum cake will always taste best fresh, on the day it is made. However, you can store any leftovers of the cake in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Thanks to the ground almonds, the cake will remain moist and soft.
You can also freeze this cake for up to 3 months. Wrap it into double layer of clingfilm, then into a layer of kitchen foil. Thaw it at room temperature for 3-4 hours, or in the fridge overnight.
If you tried this Plum and Almond Cake or any other of my recipes, feel free to leave me a comment or a recipe rating below. I love hearing from you!
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Plum and almond cake
- 20 cm loose bottom, round cake tin
- baking paper
- mixing bowls
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- 170 g butter softened
- 300 g plums halved
- 150 g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 125 g self-raising flour see notes for the alternative
- 100 g ground almonds
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon flaked almonds
- 2 tablespoon plum jam or conserve or apricot jam
- Pre heat the oven to 170°C (160°C fan). Grease the 20 cm round cake tin and line the bottom of it with the baking parchment. Chop 200g of plums into a 1 cm dice, slice the rest into wedges and set both aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, almonds and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat the eggs, one at a time, until combined, then add the almond essence. Add the dry ingredients and fold together until combined.
- Spoon some of the cake batter into a bottom of the cake tin, just to cover it. Add the chopped plums to the remaining batter and mix to combine. Transfer the batter into the baking tin, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top with spatula or back of the spoon. Arrange the plum wedges on top and bake for 50-60 minutes until risen and golden, or until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. When ready to serve, toast the flaked almonds in a pan, until golden. Add plum jam into the pan with 1 tablespoon of water, heat it up and stir to combine it. Brush the cake with plum jam then sprinkle with toasted almonds. Enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- You can swap golden caster sugar for traditional caster sugar or use granulated sugar instead.
- Self-raising flour can be replace by plain, all-purpose flour. Simply add 2 teaspoon of baking powder for each 150 g (1 cup) of plain flour.
- You can replace plums with apricots, peaches, nectarines or cherries (in the same quantities).
- If the cake starts to brown up too quickly during baking, cover the top with some kitchen foil or baking parchment.
This post was originally published in September 2019. It has been updated with with new photos, tips and revised recipe in September 2021.