Last month I posted a summer cake that I adapted for raspberries, cherries and blueberries. It had a buttermilk batter and a light crumb. This month, we have plums among other stone fruit that it stouter than the berries, calling for a somewhat stronger cake base. This is pretty classic as a basic cake and, just as with the berries and cherries, you simply place the fruit on top and it sinks into the cake. This is a cinch to make and takes almost no time at all. The recipe has been in my notebook for a long time and was originally based on a 1991 recipe from the New York Times that I altered.
½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
¾ c granulated sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 c sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Italian prune plums, halved, enough to fit in one layer on top of the cake batter without touching the edges or each other (I used 6 for this but have used 12 or so if the plums are small)
Topping: 1 tbsp sugar combined with ¼ tsp ground cinnamon and 2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the butter, add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift the dry ingredients together and fold into the batter, mixing well. Add the vanilla and spoon the batter into a greased cake pan with a removable bottom or spring-form pan (8”, 9” or 10”). Arrange the plum halves on top. Sprinkle with the topping and bake for 50 minutes (or longer) until a cake tester comes out clean.