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July 14, 2010

Cultured Kiddos

Fresh Plum Cake.


My kids love to be in the kitchen. I don't blame them! The aromas wafting from the oven are hard to beat! There's not another room I'd rather be in...

The other morning we woke up and shuffled downstairs to our usual summer morning routine. A couple cartoons while mommy shakes off the sleep...oatmeal or scrambled eggs. Then we stare at each other and in unison ask, "What are we going to do today?" Sometimes its the pool. Sometimes the park and bike riding. This particular day the munchkins wanted to BAKE!

We didn't even bother changing out of our jammies or brushing our hair. We headed straight for the pantry to assess our options. Chocolate chips? No. Shredded coconut? No. Peanut butter? No. What was this kitchen coming to??? All the essential elements for our favorite go-to treats were missing! We took a breath, regrouped and pulled out an old cookbook.

Ah-Ha! Here we go, a fresh plum cake. We had plums. We had butter, sugar and flour. We were on our way to greatness!

Plenty of "kiddy treats" make their debut at our house. You know the kind, rice crispy treat variations, cookies decorated like zoo animals, candy suspended in jello. You should see some of the things we crank out around Halloween! But it's nice to teach children some classic, and slightly more sophisticated recipes. They pick them up quickly and appear to enjoy them just as much! Plus, these are recipes they can take with them throughout life--a spring board to greater meals and ideas! A little token of mommy. Why, just the other day my little girl was whipping up some imaginary souffles! It brought a tear to my eye...sniff, sniff.


This particular cake is great for summer stone-fruits such as plums, peaches and apricots. A rustic, yet elegant cake that needs no cream or sauce to perfect it! The plums add a juicy tang to this dense buttery cake, so it's flavorful enough to stand alone. That makes it a perfect dessert to take to a BBQ or party. This is just the kind of dessert I'd wrap up and put in my picnic basket for an evening concert at the park. No hassle, big impact!

Sommer

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Desserts, from the New Healthy Kitchen Series.

Fresh Plum Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (7 oz.)
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (could use shortening)
1 cup sugar + 1 Tb.
2 extra-large eggs (or 2 large + 1 egg white)
6-8 plums

Preheat the oven to 350* F. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the bottom disk of an 8-9 inch spring-form pan. Fasten the ring around the disk with the parchment paper secured in between. Cut off the excess paper. Grease the sides of the pan.


Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and ½ tsp. of pumpkin pie spice.


In the electric mixer, cream 1 cup of sugar with the butter. Add the eggs one at a time. Slowly add the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and mix again.


Can you tell which one is my methodical recipe-follower, and which is my spatula-licking prankster??? Excuse our mess in the background...how embarrassing!

Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.


Slice the plums into eighths. The easiest way I’ve found to do this, is to run a knife around the plum to half it, then do the same to quarter it. Split each quarter in half. Then the little sections should pop off the pit with your knife. Place the plum slices around the top of the cake in a pretty pattern—make sure they are close together. Sprinkle 1 Tb. of sugar and the remaining ¼ tsp of pumpkin pie spice over the plums.


Bake for 50-55 minutes—until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Make SURE not to over bake! Cool for 15 minutes in the pan, and another 10 minutes out of the pan before serving!


Serves 8-12. * Try with fresh summer peaches, nectarines or apricots!


Fresh Plum Cake on Foodista

45 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! We use to make this when you were a tiny little thing living in San Diego. I know you don't remember it Sommer, but we made it with delicious California grown plums. We also made it with the local peaches or blueberries. It was a family favorite. I am so glad my precious grandbabies got in the photo shoot today.

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  2. Plums and prunes are about in season here...love to use them make the coffee cake. Recipe bookmarked! Thanks!

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  3. Oh your kids are so cute with their little aprons! what a beautiful cake, especailly with the plums that are in season, I wish I could taste a slice right now, I am craving for something sweet!

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  4. looks delicious! My kids love the kitchen too - it's always a great way to spend time together.

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  5. That looks seriously good and your cut out circle is so neat!

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  6. I love plums. I could so see this with Plums, peaches and nectarines.

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  7. Tell the kids they did an awesome job! I've never made anything with a plum. You've all inspired me.

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  8. Your kids are adorable, I cant wait for Indy to really bake with me.

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  9. This looks like a great plum cake! I'd love a slice right about now, please :)

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  10. What fascinates me so about raising children is to notice the kinds of things they retain out of the mountain of concepts and information we try to pass on to them; cute that your child was impressed by souffl├ęs!
    This photo shows the most adorable kids ever!
    As for your cake, I will be making it soon as we are getting a bounty of peaches, nectarines and plums from our orchard.

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  11. What a delicious cake and sweet helpers you have in your kitchen!
    I love any plum cake that doesn't ask for a yeast dough. Pumpkin spice sounds great in it.

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  12. Gorgeous photos, cute kids and lovely cake.

    I'll be making this soon, as we are just about to be buried under a mountain of ripe plums from our trees. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  13. Cake looks yummy! So good to see pics of the kids. Maybe I'll make this with their cousins here

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  14. This plum cake looks fantastic!

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  15. wow great cake and so nice helpers.
    Regards
    olga.

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  16. How cute are you kids?! I can definitely figure out the prankster from the exacting one. That cake is beautiful. Tell your kids they did some really nice work!

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  17. OMG! What beautiful kids you have, they are adorable. And kitchen helpers...how lucky you are. This cake looks beautiful When I saw the first picture I was just wondering how the plum slices were all on top. Then thanks to your step by step, now I know. Its awesome.

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  18. That plum cake looks amazing - well done you and the kids! I chuckled when I read about you feeling emotional that your daughter was making imaginary souffles. My son (4) is my sous-chef and when I told him yesterday that he would be a great cook one day, he replied "Oh THANK you for saying that Mommy!" like it was the best compliment he could get. Awwwww... aren't kids the best?! :-)

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  19. Lovely treat. No wonder why your kids love to be in the kitchen.

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  20. Your kids are so cool, yeah!!

    Your plum cake looks outstandingly beautiful!!

    MMMMMM,..I so love fresh plums!

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  21. Your kiddies made one beautiful cake! It looks so tasty and light. How fun... and so wonderful that they are budding pastry chefs!

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  22. Oh, your children are so adorable - they will forever be indebted to your culinary genius! ( ; The plum cake cake sounds so delicious, Sommer!

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  23. What a lovely cake. What beautiful assistants. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  24. Wonderful cake. Love the use of pumpkin pie spice. Lucky you have many willing helpers.

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  25. OMG your kiddos are goregous!!! imaginary souffles, oh I would have cried also...I love plum cake..it's s perfect summer treat..great recipe..
    sweetlife

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  26. that is one beautiful cake!! I love plums and you really don't see them much in baked goods....I am always torn about leaving the skin on, but I think you just made up my mind to leave it on...your cake is perfect....
    and your girls are so precious, I am so happy to hear they enjoy cooking with mom!

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  27. Sounds like a fun time with the kids. The plum cake looks amazing. Would be great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream too!

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  28. The plum cake looks delightful. It's great to have kids that enjoy cooking and baking too.

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  29. Beautiful Plum Cake. Great to see your kids spending time with you in the kitchen.

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  30. So sweet, kids and the plum cake, what a nice post, your plum cake looks amazing!

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  31. Sommer,I swear in that picture they look just like you. They are beyond adorable:) What a wonderful cake...and what a fun morning!

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  32. The good things in life are basic recipes like this that just make every memory that more special. Your special bakers are adorable !

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  33. Sommer...that plum cake looks amazingly scrumptious. I make a similar apple cake like this too. Isn't it great how this cake lends itself so well in versatility.
    So...you actually seem to have a few more cute hands in the kitchen...no fair ;o) They are such adorable little elves ;)

    Have a great weekend and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

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  34. Hey Sommer, your little boy looks just like you-very cute! Oh, and the cake looks great too. That's a buttery, decadent cake!
    p.s. red wine vinegar serves as an acid reacting with the baking soda causing for rise (hence my domes). Baking powder is baking soda added to a dry acid, so vinegar or lemon juice is not needed when using powder. The acid can lose it's effectiveness though, hence all the warnings about using old powder and such. You may already know this, but, if not, it's a 'foodie fact' worth knowing I think (smile)...

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  35. This looks delicious and you have some great little helpers there!

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  36. Wonderful cake, beautiful photos and adorable kids :)

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  37. That is a work of art. I also just love your kids' aprons!

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  38. ooo! That does look wonderful. I keep forgetting to buy plums but after looking at those pics of the plum cake I don't think I'll be forgetting them this week. I can't wait to bite into some plum cake!

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  39. Great photos and I love the plum cake. It wreaks of summer.

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  40. The cake looks so pretty! And your kids are adorable! Great little helpers.

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  41. What a great looking cake! Fresh fruit is always a good baking go to plan :)

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  42. Awww! I love it when kids get into the kitchen :)

    Plums are just gorgeous to cook with - I love how they bleed so beautifully into everything, especially cake!

    Your potos never disappoint and I just love that white washed table!

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  43. Your cake looks so delicious with the pretty design of plums on the top. This would be perfect for my Sunday brunch. Your photos are lovely and your kids are just precious.

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  44. How about clafoutis? That's a great kid-friendly recipe!

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