Easy Plum Cake for When You Have A Lot of Plums

I know, everyone adds easy to recipes these days. But this is actually a surprisingly easy plum cake recipe. It’s a great way to use up ripe plums especially if you have many of them. But it also works very well with unripe sour plums. I’ve tested in both ways and the sugar in it takes care of any sourness concerns you might have.

Jump to Recipe
Easy Plum Cake close-up


This is based on the famous NY Times Plum Torte recipe published in the New York Times in 1983. The recipe, known as “Original Plum Torte,” quickly became one of the most popular and enduring recipes in the newspaper’s history. It was originally created by Marian Burros.

Why this easy plum cake works

One of the highlights of making this plum cake is its ease and convenience. That’s why it’s perfect to use when there’s a lot of plums on your hands. All the ingredients are simply mixed together in a bowl, making the preparation process quick and straightforward. Whether you’re an experienced baker or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is accessible to everyone. You don’t need any complicated techniques or fancy equipment.

When is Plum Season?

This depends on variety and your location but it usually begins in July and can last until October. Plenty of time to enjoy this cake.

Use other fruits if plums are not in season

Sure you can use frozen plums but I highly suggest to keep this cake in mind throughout the year and try it with any fruit that happens to be in-season.

Common questions answered:

What pan to use for this plum cake?

This is written for a 9inc / 22cm springform pan but the beauty of this recipe is that it works in almost any shape and material pan you have!
I tried it in sheet pans, a cast iron pan or even ceramic. The important thing is to mind the surface area, as it will affect the height of the end result. So scale it up if you’re using a larger pan or keep it the same if you want a thiner result.

Do I need to remove the skin of the plums?

No, unless you have any medical condition, there’s no need to remove the skin. I’d say that keeping it is a big plus as it helps with hold it’s shape for a very beautiful end cake.

Can I bake this using frozen plums?

Yes, ideally the plums were pitted before freezing. No defrosting is necessary, just add them still frozen on top and follow the same steps as with the fresh ones. The cooking time might be a bit longer due to the moisture so check for that.

What is the best type of plum to for baking this?

The italian or plum prunes are the ones I normally use but any type of the darker colored ones like black amber are preferred. They are firmer and keep their shape until the end. I’d avoid the smaller ones simply due to the effort needed to pit them.

Can I substitute plums with other fruits?

Sure you can, this recipe works with any kind of fruit – I especially like to use apricots and sour cherries.

How should I store leftover plum cake?

Store it in the fridge in the pan covered with plastic wrap. Or if not much is left just take it out and wrap it in plastic wrap.

Can I freeze plum torte for later consumption?

Well, this easy plum cake freezes very well. So if you had a lot of plums to use up you can make a large batch and put in the freezer for later enjoyment. Just wrap it well in plastic wrap and place in a ziploc bag or airtight container. It can keep for as long as 3 months.

Easy Plum Cake for When You Have A Lot Of Plums

Ever wondered what to do with those ripe plumbs going to waste? This super quick dessert inspired my the classic New York Times recipe is my go-to.
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour


  • 115g (1 stick) unsalted softened butter (82% fat)
  • 150g + 30g (¾ cup) sugar the 30g goes on top of the plums before baking
  • 150g (1 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste optional
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 400g (2 cups) plums depends on the surface area of your oven tray
  • 2 tbps lemon juice or about half a lemon's worth


  • Firstly, you'll need softened butter so take it out of the fridge at least 1h before starting or use a microwave on the lowest power to soften it.
  • I like to start first by halving and pitting the plums. Do this using a small petty knife. I recommend doing more than you think you need to be safe that you have enough.
  • Preheat your oven at 350℉ (175℃)
  • In a mixing bowl add the softened butter and the sugar and use a hand mixer to cream them together – start slow and then increase the speed. You'll know you're done once the mixture becomes pale white instead of the usual yellow tint that butter has.
  • Do this add all of the other ingredients(except the reserved sugar and the lemon juice). Yes it's that simple.
    Now mix using the hand mixer until well combined – should take just a couple of minutes
  • Take a 9 inch (22cm) diameter springform pan and grase it with a bit of butter. Transfer all the batter and even it out as best you can – doesn't have to be perfect but try to not have big level variation.
    Add the plum halves on top in a circular patter, cut side up. Start by laying the outer ring and make sure they don't touch the sides of the pan – this way they won't burn in the pan sides.
    BONUS TIP: after placing the plums, if there are big gaps between them I like to cut small piece of plums and add them in there for the ultimate coverage.
    Once all the plums are in take a spoon and add a bit of sugar over each plum. Then follow that with lemon juice, 1-2 drops per plum is enough.
  • Place the pan in the preheated oven and let it make for about 1 hour. This can depend if you use a larger/smaller pan so once that time is up insert a toothpick in the batter, if it comes out clean then it's done.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, plums, Quick & Easy

Try these sweets too:

Cheesecake Bars with Blueberry Compote Swirls
Make cheesecake bars with blueberry compote swirls and a lemon-flavored cookie crust. A cheesecake recipe for which you don't need any water bath
Check out this recipe
The ULTIMATE Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes
How much lemon flavor can you pack in one cupcake? These are the ultimate lemon blueberry cupcakes. It's lemon on top of lemon on top of lemon flavor!
Check out this recipe

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below, or tag me with @solozaurcooking on Instagram and hashtag it #solozaurcookin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

Cooked & written with ❤️ by Alex Pricop.