Plum Cake

A quick recipe post because I was asked. This recipe is from Judith Cullen’s in A Treasury of New Zealand Baking.  (Well worth getting hold of – there’s lots of great recipes) For her version, the cake is accompanied by a spicy plum sauce which I’ve never made because it requires 1kg of plums as well as brandy, cassis and vanilla beans. None of which I ever have in the house. Her cake is also made with fresh plums and up until now I’ve always made it with tinned Doris plums. 

It’s a batter cake so has a soft, very moist texture. It can be eaten warm with cream, ice cream or yoghurt or cold but it is best eaten day of baking. It does freeze pretty well. 

Makes a 26cm round cake but I frequently use a 30 x30 square tin. Prepare tin by greasing and lining.

Preheat oven to 180degrees centigrade 

If using fresh plums 

  • 500g plums – stoned and halved
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar

Toss plums in sugar and set aside
If using tinned plums – drain plums and set aside. I usually use a large Tin of Black Doris plums.

For the cake 

  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter 
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of fresh or powdered milk
  • Zest of 2 lemons 
  • 2.5 cups of self raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder


  • Cream sugar and butter
  • Add eggs slowly. Beat after each addition
  • Stir in milk and lemon zest
  • Fold in flour and then baking powder.
  • Pour into the prepared tin
  • Top with the plums 
  • Bake for 30-40 mins until form to touch. 
  • Allow to cool in the tin before turning out 

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