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The Annual Grandma’s Plum Cake Post

August 11, 2011

This is it, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Grandma’s Plum Cake! In case you’re wondering, no I haven’t yet reached the first anniversary of Mrs. Duck’s Domestic Doings, that will be August 26th (get ready for a celebratory give-away!!). Anyway…

This is Grandma and I at a golf outing a couple years ago. Doesn't she just look fun?!

Grandma is a real cool lady. She has a lifetime’s worth of excellent stories that I never tire of hearing. As she would say, she’s been around the block! I love hearing about how her and my grandpa met on a plane while she was a flight attendant, back when you could smoke on the planes. And, I love hearing about the time my half aunt, who she didn’t know about, showed up on her doorstep a couple years after she married my grandpa. As it turns out, I have a half aunt and a half uncle, who are awesome (Grandpa has his own set of stories, haha). And I love hearing the story of how the band that was playing at her wedding reception tried to steal the wedding gifts during a set break. Like I said, she’s got a lot of good stories, which can only be a sign of having lived an excellent life so far!

Of course, I think about my Grandma often, but at this time of year I always think about going to her house for plum cake. I didn’t even know it was Grandma’s family recipe until I moved out to Pennsylvania. Last year August rolled around and no one invited me for plum cake… So I made my own! I suppose you could make it any time of year, but August is usually when local plums are at their peak. So, with her permission, here it is:

Grandma’s Plum Cake


1/4 lb butter or margarine (I use butter)

1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling on top

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 to 1-1/4 cup flour

2 lbs stanley prune plums, but any kind will work (I usually only need 1.25-1.5 lbs)

Juice from half a lemon (my addition)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg


1) Pre-heat oven to 400°. Grease 8″x10″ pan ( I actually use a 9″x9″ because that’s what I have).

2) Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Cream lightly. Add flour and combine; dough should be a spreadable, definitely not drippy consistency, so you may need to add a little extra flour – thus the range listed above.

3) Spread dough into the bottom of the greased pan. It will be a fairly thin layer, probably about 1/2 inch thick.

4) Quarter the plums, or cut into slices if they seem too big. Layer the plums on the dough. Sprinkle lemon juice over the top.

5) Combine the remaining sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle on top of the plums.

6) Bake at 400° for 12 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° and bake another 20 minutes, or until the fruit is softened and the edges of the cake are golden brown.

I just pulled mine out of the oven, and if I could only convey the smell filling the house right now… it’s heavenly. I imagine that you could also use peaches, or other fruits on the same dough base and it would be equally delicious, but I haven’t tried it yet. If you try this recipe, I’d love to hear from you and if/how you changed it to suit your taste. Enjoy!


Please do not reproduce this recipe and claim it as your own, that’s not nice.

If you would like to reference it, please include a link to my website and give proper credit.

Thank you.


I joined the party at:

36th Avenue

Thirty Hand Made Days

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary Kay permalink
    August 11, 2011 10:16 am

    Can’t wait for my half of the cake!

  2. Ann Marie permalink
    August 11, 2011 2:11 pm

    I can’t wait for my half of Mary Kay’s half!
    We are going to LOVE this cake, I can tell!

  3. Rose permalink
    August 11, 2011 8:24 pm

    Melissa –
    Yummy! This looks fresh, pretty, and delicious and I’m envying the aroma in your house!!
    I’ve made something similar with whole wheat flour for the AP, peaches, and instead of putting the sugar on the peaches before the baking, I sprinkled it on the peaches right after they come out of the oven – the sugar dissolves in the juice from the peaches when they are super hot out of the oven. I learned that trick in France. I am also thinking that some almond in the cake part with AP flour would be pretty tasty too.

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