When I was a kid, I used to read books from a bygone era where the characters eat lots of plum desserts: plum pudding, plum pie, plum cake, plum tart. I always wondered what that would taste like. Could it really be as good as it sounded?
Turns out, it is! This tart is dessert gone retro, the kind of treat people used to eat in the dark days before peanut butter cups existed. But there’s a lot to be said for the sweet, buttery crumbs that contrast so beautifully with the plums.
While I went ahead and called this a tart, that was really for lack of a better word. It’s very dense and kind of like a cross between a giant sugar cookie and a yellow cake. The hybrid works, but I still have no good word for it. And there’s a gentle sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on the top that is reminiscent of a Snickerdoodle. So you could call it a cookie cake if you like. Either way, it tastes happy!
The number one goal when making plum tart is to make sure that plums are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Apparently, it’s all too easy for them to sink to the bottom, so I very carefully pressed the plum pieces into the top of the dough. That way, they stayed on top.
Result? A crumbly sweet treat with a springlike touch of plum consistently throughout. It’s a lovely way to beckon in a new season, one full of warmer weather and better fruit.
This dessert feels very civilized. Like you should be eating it with classical music playing in the background while attending a garden party. But I ate it at the kitchen table while my three kids threw Play-Doh at one another instead. I still managed to have a moment to myself, and it felt good.
It’s always fun to think of beverage pairings to cut the sweetness of dessert a bit. In this case, if you’ve ever had Constant Comment tea, that’s my drink of choice with this tart. The flavors in the tea complement the cake’s spices perfectly.
Go hide wherever you can and grab a slice of this. Just eat it within the first few days (unless you freeze it), since that’s when the freshness of the plums are at their peak!
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 and 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4-5 plums, cut into small chunks
- cinnamon sugar (equal parts sugar and cinnamon)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and then treat the parchment with cooking spray.
In the stand bowl of a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat again.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Gradually, beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.
Press the batter into the greased pan. It will be thick and sticky, so you might want to spray your hands with cooking spray first to make the process easier. Press the plum pieces into the top of the batter, being sure to cover the surface area with plums.
Sprinkle the tart liberally with cinnamon sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden and a toothpick comes out of the middle clean.
Let the tart cool, and then transfer it to a wire rack. When you’re ready, cut into wedges and serve.