Author Notes: This recipe is an adaptation of Dorie Greenspan‘s Dimply Plum Cake (doesn’t the name itself just make you smile?) that I discovered via Smitten Kitchen.
I use lime zest and rose water instead of orange zest and vanilla. I know this is not a drastic adaptation, but the lime and rose combination is so spectacular that I can’t help but share it here. You can find rose water in Middle Eastern or Indian grocery stores. My favorite brand is Cortas. One of my friends thought she could taste a hint of ginger – she hates ginger, but said that even if there were ginger in the cake (which there is not), she would have eaten it anyway. This is great for dessert, and pretty special for breakfast.
I used a stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, just use a whisk and some muscle and everything should turn out great. —zahavah
Makes: 1 8×8 cake
tablespoons unsalted butter (or margarine to make a non-dairy cake) – make sure to bring to room temperature
cup brown sugar
cup flavorless oil (e.g., canola)
lime for zest
teaspoons rose water
teaspoons baking powder
very small plums (3 or 4 should fit comfortably in your hand; if you want to be exact, they should just shy of 2 inches in diameter)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour an 8×8 square pan.
- Using a stand mixer, beat the room temperature butter until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition for another minute. So, that’s 8 minutes total so far. Add the oil, lime zest, and rose water and beat until satiny and creamy.
- You’re supposed to first whisk together the dry ingredients, but I cheat. Here’s how: Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl. Don’t mix it into the wet ingredients yet. Use a spoon to gently mix together just the dry ingredients so that there are no big lumps of baking powder in one spot and a pile of salt in another. Then turn the mixer back on until the dry ingredients are just incorporated with the wet.
- Slice the plums in half. I actually sliced on either side of the pit so you don’t have to twist the halves to get the pit out. And, as a special bonus, you get a leftover slivers of plum to snack on while baking.
- Use a spatula to help pour the batter into the pan. Use the spatula to spread and even out the batter. Arrange the plums, flesh side up in a 4X4 matrix. Gently push them down into the batter.
- Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes until the cake puffs up and turns golden. When you stick a toothpick in, it’s OK for a few crumbs to cling, as long as the batter is not still liquidy.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edges to help remove the cake from the pan.
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