Red Plum Torte

Red Plum Torte

Did you hear the Farmers’ Almanac forecast for this winter? I’m trying to pretend like I didn’t. But with the days getting shorter, all this talk about the end of summer (even though it really doesn’t end until 9/21, people), and impending wintry doom, I can’t. I can’t pretend.

My brain is drifting back to those polar vortices. I don’t want any more polar vortices. I am not mentally or physically prepared for them.

According to the Almanac, we should expect more “shivery” and “shovelry.” I want to say what do they know, but last year they were pretty right on. However, I’m not sure how much faith I want to put into a publication that’s making up words.

Red Plum Torte

Our local meteorologist said after a record breaking cold winter, it would be unlikely to have a record breaking warm one. To that I say there is a first time for everything.

For now, I’m clinging to summer, particularly summer fruit. And I’m using it in delicious recipes like this Red Plum Torte. It’s an easy to make and perhaps a bit unassuming treat, but Mom declared it one of her favorite desserts after just one bite. I’m inclined to agree with her.

Red Plum Torte

It helps that I used the outstanding plums from Goldbud Farms that one of my local markets carries, but any ripe, juicy plums will work. Then there’s the buttery cake. Oh, and don’t forget the cinnamon sugar on top that adds just enough crunch. Because it’s loaded down with plums, the cake is a bit messy, but messy food tastes good. Hurry up and make this cake before summer officially slips away.

Red Plum Torte

Red Plum Torte

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 slices


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 large eggs

5 medium-large red plums, quartered

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom only with parchment. Butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and 1 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the vanilla bean paste. Beat in the eggs one at a time until once again light and fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

Arrange the plums on top of the cake batter, placing them as close together as possible. Sprinkle cake with cinnamon and then the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few mist crumbs. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake may be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen in quarters wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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  1. Oh how gorgeous is this?
    Don’t you love those gold pans from Williams Sonoma? I am in love with them

    • Yes! I also love my old gold baking sheets. They no longer make them and mine have seen better days, but I can’t find anything I like as much. Not even close.

  2. This sounds delicious.

    Unfortunately, the almanac has also predicted more dry weather for my part of the world (California – there’s a severe drought here). I’d welcome shovely because it would be WET, but it never gets shovely here 😛

    • Maybe that pesky almanac will be wrong on all counts. We’ve also had a very wet summer, and I’d love to send some rain your way.

  3. We have to hold onto warmth for as long as we can! I feel you girl! Bring on the summer fruit!

  4. Naaaah I don’t want winter to come. Let’s just ignore it and maybe it’ll stay away. But this torte can stay… because it looks awesome!

  5. Debbie Eccard says:

    What a weird summer too with the Polar Vortex even invading summer! No one has been in the pool for a month! Let’s hope the almanac is not correct this winter. As to this Torte! Scott is a plum lover so I should make it for him. I’ve never used vanilla bean paste. Where is it located in the grocery? With spices or butter or where. Novice baker here…LOL!

    • Yes! Fingers crossed about winter. Vanilla bean paste is with the spices in the store, just like vanilla extract. You can always order it online too.

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