Plum Cornmeal Cake

I love that we have a plum tree. I really do, but every year I have the hardest time keeping up with it. The plums turn ripe all at once and then our kitchen is filled with buckets of plums. It kind of stresses me out because I don’t want good fruit to go to waste. So, I go plum crazy. I try to incorporate plums into everything we eat.  Luckily, Caleb has been helping us out this year. He loves plums and would have eaten the entire tree if we let him.

This year I made our favorites-roasted plums, muffins, and crisp, and I also made a Plum Cornmeal Cake. After one bite of this cake, I was wishing we had 5 plum trees. I could make and eat this cake all summer long.

I love this Plum Cornmeal cake because it is simple to make and the results are outstanding. The cake is light and fluffy in texture and dotted with tart juicy plums. The cornmeal and turbinado sugar add a pleasant crunch to the cake. We served the cake for dessert, but because the cake isn’t overly sweet it would also be great for breakfast or teatime.

Enjoy plum season by making this delightful Plum Cornmeal Cake. It is the perfect vehicle for eating up those ripe summer plums. I know I will be making this cake as long as our tree is producing plums. It is a new favorite plum recipe at our house.

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Plum Cornmeal Cake

A light and fluffy cornmeal cake with tart plums. This cake is great for dessert, breakfast, or teatime.
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  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose Gold Medal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse cornmeal
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 4-6 ripe plums cut into pieces, pit removed
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top of cake


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Set aside.
  • 2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a large bowl. Add ½ cup of the cornmeal and whisk together to combine.
  • 3. Put the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until light-colored and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix until combined. Add in the vanilla extract and mix.
  • 4. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the mixer bowl in additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat just until all the ingredients are combined.
  • 5. Spread about half of the mixture into the springform pan, spreading evenly. Place about half of the plum pieces over the batter. Spread the remaining batter into the springform pan and top with the rest of the plums. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of cornmeal over the top of the batter. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over the entire cake.
  • 6. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Gently remove the cake from the pan and serve.

Have you tried this recipe?

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I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. This looks incredibly delicious. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚ Haven’t made anything with plums yet, but I may need to do this the upcoming weekend.
    Greetings from Hannover, Germany!

  2. Your post made me miss all the plums, apricots, peaches, apples, pears my parents’ house had in Provo…. Now, I have to buy them and they don’t even taste nearly as good as the ones at my parents’ house. Happy plum eating for you guys!

  3. Your plum cake sounds amazing. It’s weird that I love plums, yet I never thought of making a cake with them. This is such a wonderful idea!

  4. plums are my favorite! this cake looks amazing. last night we had friends over and i had an absolute plethora of quickly overripening plums and nectarines, so i chopped them all up, added some mint and pitted dark cherries and made sangria with them (i used rose, it’s what we had on hand). we ended up going through 5 bottles of wine with it – it was delicious. so next time you have extra plums, give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I am trying this soon — someone gave us a big bag of cherry plums from her tree. I made peach and plum crisp again last night, but I have enough left for this cake — thanks!

  6. We have a plum tree too. My grandmother just told me to freeze the whole plums on a baking sheet (in a single layer so they don’t stick together!). When they are frozen place them into a freezer bag. Now I don’t have to stress out about using all of the plums up right away.

  7. I am ALL about corn anything. Especially if it resembles corn bread. Crazy crazy love for it. Great addition with the plums!

  8. So amazing looking, I adore cornmeal cake but with plums…awesome. I grew up with a plum tree…my brother and I used to just sit in the backyard and eat:). I recently roasted plums with thyme for a savory taste with pork tenderloin…so good! And a plum-nectarine crust with almond paste….there is just nothing better than a ripe, juicy plum.

  9. This is a wonderful recipe, I will try to bake it at home, I like the crunchy taste cornmeal gives to cakes. Not sure if I will use plum as it is not the season here in Peru, but I guess I can use another fruit, right?

  10. Sounds delicious and looks gorgeous! My Grandma had a plum tree and an apricot tree while I was growing up. It was so much fun to go out and pick them and I have yet to find plums or apricots in the store that taste like those I remember. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I love plums! My grandma had a plum tree growing in her backyard and I had buckets of them. A neighbor down the street is giving away sacks of them (love it) – I think I’m going to have to go grab one and try this cake. Cornmeal in baked goods is soooo good.

    Last year I made a plum cake with greengage plums, adapted from a Dorie Greenspan recipe … yeah, pretty much heaven.

    Have you thought about making and canning some plum jam? Might be a good use for all those extras … of course it’s tough to find the solid block of time it takes to can things with a little one underfoot, I know that well! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week!

  12. I so envy you the plum tree! This cake reminds me of something my Grandma always made for Sunday get-togethers. Ohh, the memories ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’ t wait to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing, Maria!

  13. Oh my goodness Maria, this look so hearty and satisfying for a cake! Who needs dinner first?

  14. I totally hate watching good fruit and veggies go to waste! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a baked good with plum in it- sounds delicious

  15. I know what you mean, we have a peach tree which has broken branches due to the weight of the fruit hanging from them and I hate to see it drop to the ground and spoil, although I’m sure there’s some happy bugs around! Great looking cake and could be used for so many dishes..

  16. Cornmeal cakes are divine and these plums just tip it right on over the edge of fabulousness! I know it is amazing!

  17. This cake sounds so delicious! It is so different from any cake I’ve made. I really must make it! Thank you for the recipe. 4 – 6 plums, are they the large ones like I will have to use from the grocery store?

  18. Buckets of plums…what a challenging problem to have. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your plum posts. Mmmm. Keep ’em comin!

  19. Awwww I used to love eating plums as a little girl……this brings me back ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. This reminds me of a cherry cornmeal cake I made last year! But I bet it’s even more delicious with big juicy plum slices inside.

  21. Oh this does look so good! Whenever my mom asks me what kind of cake I’d like for my birthday, I ask for her plum tart ~ not a traditional birthday cake, but I love it! Yours like it would be a fave for me too!

  22. haha, you’re so cute. plum crazy ๐Ÿ™‚ i would be stressed out too trying to incorporate plum into everything! looks like you did a great job with this cake!

  23. Despite your plethora of plums problem, I am still quite jealous of your plum tree! And this cake looks scrumptious! I loveee cornmeal cakes. I think I may make this with the last of the plums I have hanging out in my kitchen.

  24. Looks delicious! I love cornmeal cakes, and Joe loves plums, so I have a feeling we’d adore this cake.

  25. So pretty , Maria. I love baking with cornmeal and love your cake! I’ll trade you some of my mangoes for some of your plums:)

  26. I have been eyeing (sp?) the luscious plums at the market and thinking what I could do with them. This is the perfect solution!

  27. I just discovered your blog and I am hooked! This recipe is great. It’s easy and a sure crowd pleaser. I think I am going to try it with blueberries tonight. thanks again!

  28. I love cornmeal cakes! And your version looks like SUCH a winner – with plums! I love it. Thanks for the lovely recipe!!

  29. This cake is like deliciously fancified cornbread. And I LOVE cornbread. Can’t wait to try this!

  30. I’ve never had a cornmeal cake, but I think that needs to change. Love when there’s an excuse to eat cake for breakfast ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. I am craving a piece of this with my coffee! I wish we had a plum tree…. currently I grab one or two of the ones dangling over our fence from our neighbor’s tree. Dont’ tell ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. If you have a crazy amount of plums, try Chicken Plum Pie – the plums are juicy enough to keep the chicken moist – so good!!

  33. My first thought when I saw this recipe was, “Hey, didn’t I buy cherries two weeks ago?” Sure enough, they were dying in the back of my fridge. They worked wonderfully in this recipe, which-by the way-turned out exactly as you said it would. I so appreciate recipes that turn out like they say they will. I am thinking this would be a good treatment for my way-too-prolific rhubarb patch, as well. Thanks for sharing, I think this will become a regular for me.

  34. I’m making this the first time a few days in advance for a party. Does anyone know if it will keep alright on its own, or should I freeze it?


  35. Plums come all different sizes! I usually use the Italian prune plums in baking, which are very small. Poundage would help in a recipe like this to ensure the correct quantity.