I’m not going to lie: in the past two weeks I have barely even entered my kitchen. I’ve been having way too much fun being busy, catching up with friends, spending time with my parents, shuffling together recipes for a new project, and taking weekend trips. Oh right, there’s that whole day job thing too.
I was tempted to keep up this whole busy body, kitchen avoidance thing when I came across our CSA stash of plums, all of which had managed to ripen at the same time. Moments later a recipe for Dorie’s Dimply Plum Cake fell into my lap, and people, if there are two things I’m powerless in the face of, it’s Dorie Greenspan and perfectly ripe stone fruit.
Not too sweet with a light but sturdy crumb and crisp lacy edges, the cake truly compliments the tartness of the plums. Plus it’s cinch-city to throw together. It’s a perfect cake for breakfast or served as an afternoon snack or, if your name is Sarah (and this should surprise exactly no one), it makes a very suitable dinner option. Don't mind the crack in the middle of mine, but be warned: best to let it cool completely prior to transportation... or photo shoots.
It also really adds to the baking experience if you sing along to the Fleet Foxes off-key in the kitchen while your husband grimaces one room over as you are slicing plums and mixing batter. Just so you know.
We ate our cake with a hefty dollop of whipped cream but I'll bet this would go swimmingly with a scoop of ice cream. It also does just fine on it's own if cream products aren't your thing.
Dimply Plum Cake
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan via Serious Eats
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Scant ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom or cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise or 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 plums, halved and pitted
Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish, dust the sides with flour, tap out the excess and put the buttered dish on a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom/cinnamon.
Working with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it’s soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is incorporated. Beat in the oil, zest, and vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing until they are just incorporated.
Scrape the sides of mixing bowl with a spatula to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the plan and smooth the top. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter and then jiggle the pan just a little to make sure the plums settle into the batter.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is light brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up on a wire rack.