Food & dining

Recipe for plum cake

food styling/Sheryl Julian and Valerie Ryan; Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff

Makes one 9-inch square

“Here’s a recipe from my stylish 88-year-old mother, Louise Berlin (originally from Marblehead, now in Newton), that’s one of my favorite desserts for summer,” writes Lisa Sazer of Waban about her mother’s plum cake. “The flavor of the rich, dense cake contrasts with the tangy-sweet topping of fruit. Serve alone or with a dollop of whipped cream.” Berlin specifies Santa Rosa plums but any other red flesh variety also works. Toward the end of summer, try this with small Italian prune plums.

Butter (for the pan)
Flour (for the pan)
2cups flour
1teaspoon baking powder
½teaspoon salt
½cup (1 stick) butter, at room
2cups granulated sugar
2teaspoons vanilla extract
7red fleshed plums, each sliced into
6 pieces
Cinnamon-sugar made with 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (for sprinkling)
Confectioners’ sugar (for sprinkling)

1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.


3. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and
granulated sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time,
followed by the vanilla.

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4. With the mixer set on the lowest speed, blend in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick. Pour it into the dish and smooth the top.

5. Place the plum slices, overlapping slightly, in rows on batter. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

6. Bake the cake for about 45 to 50 minutes until the cake pulls away from the sides and a toothpick comes out clean when pierced in the center.

7. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Cut into squares.
Adapted from Louise Berlin