Plum Torte

by Carrie Fehr

It is not surprising that the most requested recipe from The New York Times dining section is the plum torte by Marian Burros. This classic cake is a perfect way to highlight the summer’s beautiful harvest from my backyard Santa Rosa plum tree. It combines everything I crave in a summer dessert: luscious fruit baked into sweet, tart perfection. The tangy plums, surrounded by buttery cake taste like soft little pillows of sweetness that are intensified by the oven’s heat so the flavor of the fruit comes shining through. This torte is a wonderful way to use fruit in season and can be prepared in minutes. The last remaining slice featured in the photo below, will be breakfast tomorrow!

Plum Torte

Adapted from Marian Burros.The original recipe calls for Italian prune plums, but feel free to swap them out for Santa Rosa plums, or any other seasonal fruits such as berries, apricots or peaches and you’ll see why it’s so loved.


1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

¾ cup sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

10 to 12 plums, pitted and halved lengthwise

2 teaspoons sugar and ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon for sprinkling


Heat the oven to 350° F.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the dry ingredients and the eggs all at once, and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice.

Spread the batter into an 8 or 9-inch spring form pan. Arrange the plum halves, skin side up, on top of the batter in concentric circles. Mix together the 2 teaspoons of sugar with ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the batter and fruit.

Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in its pan on a rack for 10 minutes, and then release the spring and let it finish cooling. Serve.