perfect plum torte

perfect plum torte

This purple plum torte is one of those recipes you see floating around the internet from time to time and always wonder if it really can be as good as its made out to be. I mean it’s a basic cake batter plus plums. Anyway, its been at the back front of my mind to make soon as stone fruits started coming into season.

perfect plum torte

I spotted these super small plums last week which looked perfect for the recipe, but in my over eagerness I didn’t stop to question their ripeness. Sadly they were not yet in their prime. It would be ideal to use ripe Italian prune plums, but if you can’t find these then use whatever ripe plums you can find. Do what I didnt do, and eat them first to see what  they taste like. 

perfect plum torte

Despite this, its absolutely sensational and I can immediately see why it became so famous and probably regarded as the bestever plum torte ever made. You can read the back story of the origins of the recipe where I first potted it on the fabulous Smitten Kitchen.

The batter is ridiculously easy to make especially if you have a stand mixer. Halving and pitting the 12 or so plums becomes the hardest part of the job. The plums turn into gooey, jammy pools in the cake and the cinnamon sugar topping adds a lovely flavour and texture. I made it the day before which is advised, the flavour develops overnight and I cant wait to bake it again as soon as I find riper plums. I also have a few recipe variations to this perfect recipe up my sleeve. This one is a keeper.

Marian Burros’ Famous Purple Plum Torte ~ from Elegant but Easy and The Essential New York Times Cookbook,

  • 3/4 cup / 150gms granulated sugar plus 1 to 2 tablespoons for the topping (depending on sweetness of plums)
  • 1/2 cup (115 gms) butter, at room temperature (add a pinch of salt if you are using unsalted butter)
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup /125 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 12 small Italian prune plums (or other small plums), halved and pitted
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp or a little more ground cinnamon for the topping

Preheat over to 18-C / 350°F.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time making sure each is well incorporated before adding the next. Add the dry ingredients and mix briefly until just combined.

Spoon the cake batter into a greased 23 cm / 9-inch springform cake tin with the bottom lined with baking paper and smooth the top. Arrange the plums, skin side up evenly over the batter. Sprinkle the top with the lemon juice, then the cinnamon and remaining two tablespoons of sugar

Bake until the cake is golden and a sharp knife inserted into a center part of the cake comes out clean, about 45 to 50 minutes. If your cake is over browning, loosely cover with foil from about ¾ of the way through the baking time. Cool on rack.

Once cool, leave at room temperature over night before taking it out of the tin. You could serve this with whipped cream dolloped on top or with a light sifting of icing sugar.

a perfect plum torte recipe

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  1. i make this cake quite a lot as it works just as well with tinned plums as fresh ones. It is always well received and given how easy it is to make, it looks like you have gone to a lot more trouble than you actually have!

  2. Sam

    Hi Peta – thanks for sharing. We dont get tinned plums in South Africa, so fresh all the way for us.

  3. Looks like my kinda party. Will def try it soon! x

  4. Ingrid Wilson

    Could one use apples instead of plums?

  5. Rosemary Smith

    I made this recipe last night and substituted flour with gluten free flour for a dinner party with 2 wheat free guests. It was so delicious the crust is crunchy and the fruit is slightly tart. Everyone loved it! I still have some plums and am now baking another for a friend who is coming for tea…

  6. Sam

    Glad to hear it went down well Rosemary – what flours did you use?

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