Buckwheat plum cake & early fall

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For the past three weeks, I’d been out of town, and now fall has fully settled in.  I was back at Castello di Potentino, birth site of Not Yer Granny’s Granola, Pappa al Pomodoro, and my undisputed favourite home-away-from-home. There will be plenty (and I mean plenty) of tales, recipes, and photos from the trip coming soon, but first I wanted to share this little recipe while plums are still in the markets.


I made this simple buckwheat plum cake a few days before I left, and served it at a going-away dinner alongside another plum cake. This one was the clear winner for me — simple, elegant, and a dark nuttiness from the buckwheat, which paired beautifully with the tart-sweet plums. As far as cakes go, this one came together so quickly and easily, I was surprised by the richness of the result.

You could make it with any red plum, but the Italian prune-style plums are my favourite, so I used them here. It’s always better to bake with plums that are a little underripe, too, as they soften up a lot in the oven.


You could serve this for dessert, but as it’s not overly sweet, it would also make an excellent afternoon snack, or — dare I say it? — breakfast treat.



Buckwheat plum cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: One 8- or 9-inch cake

Serving Size: 8-10

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.


  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 scant cup sugar + 1 Tablespoon for the topping
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 12 small (Italian if possible) purple plums, halved and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 350F and grease an 8- or 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the two flours, the baking powder, and the salt.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, and then add the eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients gently into the wet ones, until just barely incorporated. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan, then set the plum halves (cut side down) into the batter, pressing them in slightly.
  5. Mix together the remaining Tablespoon of sugar and teaspoon of cinnamon, then sprinkle the mixture overtop of the plums and batter.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes (you'll need more time for the 8-inch pan), or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.


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One Response to “Buckwheat plum cake & early fall”

  1. Claire October 8, 2014 at 10:07 AM #

    I can vouch for the deliciousness of this cake! I will definitely be making it soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!