Purple Plum Torte

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Cakes / Fruit

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Sometimes simple can just blow you away.  While I spend most of my days dreaming of elaborate, multi-layered concoctions to share with you every week sometimes the most basic recipes leave a mark.  While you may doubt the undeniable greatness of this cake after seeing how simple the recipe is, how quickly you make it and how long you really should wait to eat it I am here to tell you that this cake, more plum then batter, more moist then you can imagine and more juicy then you thought possible is what legends are made of.

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I’ve always wondered what is the difference between cake and torte.  I mean, they both taste like cake to me.  Well, in case any of you were pondering this as I was this past weekend you’ll be jazzed to know I can tell you the difference.  There’s a few differences and they are as follows:  Cakes are lighter, tortes are usually (although not in this case) more complicated and all tortes are cakes but not all cakes are tortes.  Easy, right?

Regardless, all you really need to know is there are 8 total ingredients.  It uses one of my very favorite and already mentioned underrated fruits and is best left to sit at room temp for 24 hours upon completion to allow the juices to all meld together and really let it shine.  Kudos to you if you can wait that long, while worth it we were absolutely incapable.

*recipe from Smitten Kitchen


1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder (the aluminum-free kind, if you can find it)
Large pinch of salt
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoon (depending on sweetness of plums)
1/2 cup (115 grams or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
12 smallish purple Italian purple plums, halved and pitted
2 teaspoons (10 ml) fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

This is ideal with purple Italian prune plums, but if you can’t find them, other plums will do.


Heat oven to 350°F

Sift or whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. In a larger bowl, cream butter and 1 cup sugar together with an electric mixer until fluffy and light in color. Add the eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl, then the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-inch springform pan (but if you’re worried, you can always lightly coat it first with butter or a nonstick spray) and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up, all over the batter, covering it. Sprinkle the top with lemon juice, then cinnamon, then remaining sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into a center part of the cake comes out free of batter, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on rack.

Once cool, if you can stand it, and I highly recommend trying, leave it covered at room temperature overnight as this cake is even better on the second day, when those plum juices further release into the cake around it.


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