Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cake Slice Bakers Do Summer

Summer is such a great time for fruit with pits like plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots and cherries. Sweetie and I have been really enjoying fresh cherries unadorned and the season is drawing to a close, so eat those cherries!

This month one of the selections for the Cake Slice Bakers, as we continue to bake from Roger Pizey's book World Class Cakes, was Plum Madeira Cake.

What could be more summery than a cake with fresh plums? The Santa Rosa plums are almost finished on our tree, so I used some of the last ones, plus a peach from the market for this little cake. I say little because it's baked in a 6-inch diameter cake pan. I recently purchased a 6-inch diameter, 3-inch tall springform pan, so that's what I used. You can see that the red of the plums and yellow-orange of the peaches makes a nice pattern on the top of the cake, although most of the fruit has sunk into the body of the cake. Since I'm out of Madeira and since peaches go so well with bourbon, I substituted bourbon for the Madeira. Otherwise I followed the ingredients list, except for using margarine instead of butter due to my dairy allergy.

This cake was a real hit at the dinner party. Our host guessed that it had cornmeal or semolina flour, but that was the oatmeal texture he was noticing. In general it is very moist with an open crumb and a bit of extra texture from the oatmeal, but not the crunchy bite you get with cornmeal or millet. The flavors of plum, peach, oats and oranges went really well together. I think that the bourbon really didn't make much difference in the flavor. Next time I might just use more orange juice for the liquid.

I did make a slight change in the process of making the cake. I added the orange zest and juice and the bourbon directly to the margarine/sugar/egg mixture and incorporated them well before adding the flour/baking powder/oatmeal dry ingredients. The dry ingredients were folded in with a rubber spatula, then the batter went right into the prepared pan and into the preheated oven.

Although this made a wonderful dinner dessert, I think it would be equally as good as a morning coffee cake. I'm going to try it with fresh apricots and some pecans next time.

Be sure to check out the posts of the other Cake Slice Bakers. Remember, we have four cakes to choose from, so it's fun to see which ones they made and to see what their baking experiences were.

Plum Peach Madeira
Serves 8

7 oz. fresh ripe plums (I used less plums and added in a ripe peach, which I peeled)
7 tablespoons butter, softened (I used margarine)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 tablespoons Madeira (I used bourbon)
finely grated zest of 1 orange and 4 tablespoons of juice

Preheat the oven to 310 degrees F. Grease a 6 1/4-inch x 2 1/2-inch deep cake pan and line with parchment paper. (I used a 6-inch x 3-inch springform pan and only put parchment on the bottom.)

Cut the plums into quarters, removing the pits, and set aside. (I cut the peeled, pitted peach into 8 slices, too)

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add half the beaten eggs, then the other half once the first half is incorporated. Mixture may look curdled. That's OK.

Mix in the orange zest, orange juice and bourbon.

In another bowl, whisk together the self-rising flour, baking powder, and oatmeal.

Fold the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and stud with plum quarters on top. If using peaches, too, make a nice pattern.

Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and cool on a rack in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a dull knife around the edges of the pan and turn the cake out onto a wire rack and strip off the parchment, turning the cake right side up for serving.


  1. I love seeing your fruit on top - mine sunk almost down to the dang bottom (but still good!). Good job!

  2. What a lovely take on this bake. I enjoyed your commentary on the texture and it has intrigued me into possibly baking this cake soon. I may have to try your suggestion of apricot and pecans as well! Delish!

  3. Oh wow!! This looks just fabulous! A perfect summer bake and just reminds me so much of my Nana that I have come over all nostalgic! :)

  4. Welcome back, Elle! A lovely post to go with an equally lovely 'little' cake!

  5. Lovely cake! I like your take on using both the plums and apricots!

  6. This is one of the selections that also tempted me. I love your helpful hints and the cake is beautiful@

  7. Your cake must have been even better with the use of fruit straight from your own trees. It looks fantastic!