Spiced Plum Custard Cake

Spiced Plum Custard Cake

September is a weird produce month don’t you think?

While we all are yearning for apples and squash, sometimes the warm summer days are still lingering in the farm stands.

I learned this to be true when I received 3 pounds of beautiful plums in a fruit CSA box last week. I was a bit thrown as I kinda had moved on from summer stone fruits, but they were so lovely and just begging to be baked with so I had to make them into something. (Luckily for me Hugo also loves plums! He’s been eating 1 a day!)

This cake is just lovely. It has a buttery base that is just a teeny bit sweet, which is topped with lots of fresh juicy plums, and finally a sweet & creamy custard topping.

The finished product is super delicious and the perfect not-t00-sweet option for breakfast or snacking. It’s great out of the fridge, warm and gooey out of the oven, or room temperature. If you have some late season plums you’re dying to use- this cake is just the thing.

I wanted to keep things semi-fall appropriate, so I tossed the plums in cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. The final result would be just perfect with a warm cup of tea and a good book. (Which reminds me, I’d really like to read one sometime soon!)

So what do you think- are plums still season appropriate? Or has that ship sailed?

Spiced Plum Custard Cake

Spiced Plum Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter- cold and cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups pitted and sliced plums
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the custard:

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray an 9 inch springform pan* and set aside.
  2. Toss the sliced plums with the spices and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and baking powder. Add the cubes of butter and use a pastry blender, knife or your hands to cut the butter in until coarse crumbs form. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons cream and an egg. Continue to stir for a few seconds of until well combined. (But not necessarily perfectly smooth.)
  3. Turn the dough into the bottom of the pain and press in with your fingers. Arrange the spiced plums over the dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes on top of a sheet pan.
  4. While cake is baking prep the custard by whisking together the 1/2 cup of cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, vanilla and egg.
  5. When the cake is done baking, pour the custard over the plums, and return to the oven, baking for another 20-25 minutes or until the custard has set.
  6. Cool before eating, enjoy warm or cold, store in the fridge.

Notes

* I used an 8 inch pan, but 9 inch is fine too, the cake will just be a little thinner! If there is a chance your pan has leaks, the filling will seep out and create a burning steamy mess. It's important to bake this cake on a cookie sheet or wrap your pan in foil to avoid this. Otherwise you may also use a different type of pan.

Did you make this recipe?

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49 Comments

    1. Just made this! Its been an all plum day. Made plum brandy, plum sauce, dried plums and this beautiful cake! Can’t wait to dive in, smells divine!!!! Thank you so much.

      1. Question to anyone who made this recipe . I made it is delicious . My custard after cooking still liquid and running . I used cooking cream ! Did I have to use something else instead ? Or liquidity is fine ? Other wise is delicious

        1. You mean after taking it out of the oven? It doesn’t fully set until it cools :)

        2. This happened to me too. It is a liquidity. What should I do?

        3. My pie was made with frozen plums, after baking the plums made a lot of juice which kinda diluted the custard. I also noticed that the custard wasn’t nearly enough to fill the pie. Maybe that had something to do with the fact I cooked the custard on the stovetop? I did that so I could whisk it and not let it get clumpy, which you obviously can’t do in the oven.

  1. What a beautiful cake! I love the way the plums look, and it looks so soft and yummy :) pinned!

  2. Would sliced peaches work in place of the plums and if so, should I peel them. Have the best sweet peaches this summer, but no plums. The recipe sounds and looks delicious

    1. I’ve used pears as well and it’s delicious! I would hesitate to use peaches. I think they might be too juicy. Think about how to deal with extra liquid, then try. Who knows! Maybe toss peaches with spices that enhance flavor, then add Amaretto to it. Add almond flour to thicken a little?? Yum. I may try it!

  3. This cake looks amazing! I oh so love plums and this little beauty made with butter-y base and cream sounds sooo appealing! Luckily my farmers’ market still has some late plums, so this cake is going to happen really soon!

    xo, Elisa

    1. Would this dough be ok to use for sweet pastry

  4. I am definitely still into plums and seeing locally grown ones at the supermarket! I say bring it on. Custard cake-style.

  5. This looks fantastic! I’ll have to try this for sure!

  6. Making this right now! Just poured the custard in, can’t wait to eat it :)

  7. Rosemary Trierweiler says:

    Excellent pastry I just had my first slice.

  8. Sandi Smith says:

    Served this cake to my neighbors today. They raved about the taste. The plums came from a neighbor and needed to be used. We are fond of plums and are always looking for ways to use them before they spoil. This was simple recipe and was delicious.

  9. Do you take the skin off first?

    1. Lauren Turner says:

      I don’t. Adds to the pretty color I think and tastes great.

  10. Lauren Turner says:

    I just made the cake for the second time this week! It is delicious. Our tree has been supplying us with so many plums and this cake is an excellent way to use them. Thank you for the yummy recipe!

  11. Made the cake today. I added 2tlbs. Strokes rum to the plums a spices . Taste is amazing. Will make again.

  12. Eva Slembrouck says:

    I am trying to make this cake at the moment but I’m a bit confused about the dough/batter: it’s too moist/sticky for dough to be pushed into pan but it’s not liquid enough to pour it into the pan. Also, will it be sweet enough with only 1 tbsp of sugar? Just put it in the oven so exited (and a bit anxious) about the result! ;o)

    1. Just spoon the batter in and press with floured finger tips if needed.
      The custard has more sugar to add sweetness- dont’ worry! :)

  13. I had some very, very late plums I wanted to use up and didn’t feel like pie or crisp or cobbler. Voila!! This recipe appeared. I made it up (my husband kept asking ” is it cool yet? Is it cool yet?”) This custard cake is something special. It came out perfect the first time. My hubby loved it. I’ve never made a cake like this before. What type of cake pastry is the base? Does it have a specific name or technique? I’m taking servings to my boss and his wife, tomorrow. They are well traveled, experienced gourmets. Maybe they can shed some light on its history. I’d love to hear from you, too, Audra. Thank you for a great dessert.

    1. I don’t have the answer to your questions, but I will say that I came across this recipe while looking for plum Kuchen, a German dish. I grew up hearing my dad talk about eating one that one particular woman made, that was heavenly. He had tried several recipes, and none came close. The way he described it seemed just like this lovely cake!

      I just made one, adding a little cardomom to the spices, and using almond extract in place of most of the vanilla in the custard. I turned the broiler on at the end to brown the custard a bit. It smells and looks absolutely delicious – still waiting for it to cool (I’m with your husband on that one – it’s really hard to wait!), but ran a knife around the edge, and tasted what stuck to the knife. So good!! What a delightful recipe – can’t wait to have a big slice of it.

  14. Would I be able to freeze this cake? I need to use up the plums now.

    1. Moosemoon says:

      Custard doesn’t freeze well – it separates

    2. Kate in SoCal says:

      Freeze the plums (slice and freeze the slices separated on a cookie sheet) and store in the freezer until you are ready to make this cake.

  15. I too need to know if it can be frozen,
    Thanks!

  16. The recipe sounds wonderful.It would be good with most fruits, ie. apples. My Mom made an upside down cake with a baking powder type cake, ( not very sweet ) for those looking for another recipe.

  17. Nancy Stagliano says:

    Looks amazing. Is the butter salted or unsalted? Thank you.

  18. Moosemoon says:

    The plum ship doesn’t even arrive where I live until mid-September! Am making this today – the beginning of October- to use up the last of these yummy fruits,

  19. I just made this today with plums from a neighbor’s tree and it turned out beautifully. So delicious! It will definitely become a staple in my home.

  20. What kind of plums did you use? Do you think I could use plumcots too?

  21. Hello,
    I just finished making this cake and I’m sitting here feeling soooo disappointed! It’s a total disaster!!! The custard in step two of the recipe all drained out of the pan and created a HUGE mess and ended up burning and smelling up the kitchen. The cake definitely did not look anywhere near like the photo that was displayed.

    Judging from the comments of other readers, I see that I’m not the only one who had problems with the recipe.

    I’ll never make this recipe again. Too bad I wasted good plums.

    1. I am so sorry. Some Springform Pans seal better than others. I’ll put a note in to make sure

  22. Made this today & served it for dessert tonight. Fabulous!!! I will be making this again. The sugar plum fairies have spoken

  23. Um, you need to place a pan under the spring form as the plum juices leak and the custard will, too. My oven smoked to high heaven. Clarity please.

  24. Maybe reduce volume of cream or use extra egg to set it firmer.

  25. Yolande williams says:

    I have looked for a long time my German mom made this all the time I love it. Thank you so much.

  26. Nancy Dunleavy says:

    I made this today and used a springform pan… Rookie mistake in that a good bit of my custard leaked out the bottom. It was delicious but next time I will use a square cake pan lined with parchment to lift it out for cutting. Very flavorful and a big hit in my house of dessert critics.

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