Saturday, July 07, 2007

A Plum Cake for Mercedes

Much as I might want to, it's not possible to post something for all the birthdays that Daring Bakers have. Time for baking is limited and will be more so soon due to job pressures. Even so, today I baked a nice coffee cake for sweet Mercedes for her birthday tomorrow. If you haven't seen her blog, Desert Candy, do yourself a favor and do so. She has some incredibly good recipes and lovely photos, too.

This cake is a bit unusual since it combines yeast and biscuit mix. I found it when I was sorting out my card file the other day. There is no indication of how old it is or where I got the recipe. I don't actually remember making the cake, but there were juice stains on the card, so I probably baked it a dozen years ago or more. That's a shame because it is a tasty coffee cake and delicious with the fresh plums that are falling off the tree in the yard right now. The original recipe didn't say to peel the plums, but I did because Sweetie found out recently that he doesn't dislike plums, but he doesn't care for the plums with the skin still on them. The dough is tender, but not terribly moist and that is a good foil for the tangy, juicy plums and sweet, spicy streusel.

Since this is a sweet dish and uses fresh, seasonal fruit from my own yard, it is also a good fit for Jerry's of Food and Photo's summer challenge, Summer Flavor.

Despite having yeast in the dough, this recipe doesn't take too long to make. If you have fresh plums (or peaches, nectarines, cherries, blueberries) this is a wonderful coffee cake for breakfast or a snack.

Fresh Plum Coffee Cake

1 pkg (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
¾ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F.)
½ cup sugar
1 egg
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 ¼ cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
1 ½ pounds fresh sweet plums (Santa Rosa, Laroda, Nabiana, prune plums, etc.)
Streusel Topping (see below)

Dissolve yeast in the warm water and proof (let sit 10 minutes to make sure yeast is active)
Combine sugar, egg, butter, lemon zest, and extracts. Beat until thick and lemon colored, about 5 minutes. Stir in dissolved yeast and 3 ¾ cups of the biscuit mix. Knead until smooth, kneading in the rest of the biscuit mix as you go, about 25 times of kneading. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Roll out and place in a buttered 10” X 13” rimed jelly roll pan, pulling an pressing the corners to form a rim of dough.
Cut plums into ½ “ slices (I peel mine first, but unpeeled is fine, too.)
Arrange the plum slices on the dough in a pleasing pattern. Sprinkle with the streusel. Let rise in a warm place 35 minutes. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 40-50 minutes. Cut in squares to serve. Serve warm or cooled.

Streusel Topping
Mix ½ cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon cloves and ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Cut in ½ cup cold butter with pastry blender or two knives.


  1. You are so lucky to have plums from your own backyard.

  2. I haven't had plums in so long and I just love them. You have inspired me to get some at the store today. It looks beautiful.

  3. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Plum cake...that sounds like something I would love! I'll have to give that a try. It sounds delicious!

  4. Happy Birthday Mercedes and lovely cake Elle :)

  5. Cynthia, we have plums this year, which is great, but last year none to speak of.

    Cheryl, they are a wonderful fruit in summer.

    Kristen, do give it a try.

    Kelly-Jane, thanks! HB Mercedes!

  6. I love plums, Elle, and have never baked with them - this looks delicious!

  7. You're so lucky to have a plum tree! It's so very nice of you to bake a cake in honor if Mercedes' bday. =)

  8. You are such a nice DBer, making us birthday treats(I have been craving bread pudding ever since your post!)
    The cake is devine and I think I might make it with a spin using the plumelo(I spelled that wrong I am sure)....just as soon as we cool down!

  9. Elle, I am so flattered, no, honored, no, speech-less. No-one ever bakes me cakes. Not only did you make me a cake, but it even had yeast in it. Thank you so much! (Now if only I could find a way to eat a piece...)

  10. Patricia, plums are great baked.

    Mary, yes, but the plums are now gone for the season. I like birthdays :)

    Peabody, hope it cools soon before the plumelos are too ripe. Plums would be good in the bread pudding instead of cherries, too :)

    Mercedes, wish I could send you a piece. Everyone should have a cake made for them for their birthday...or cookies...or muffins...or something. Happy Birthday again!

  11. I have peaches, peaches, and more peaches~ I wonder if this would work?