This past Sunday was one grey, rainy day. Fall was definitely in the air. The kind of day where you want to curl up in your pyjamas under a blanket and read the day away. The kind of day where you put together a hearty stew in the crockpot and let it simmer and fill your kitchen with the aromas of a dinner to soon be enjoyed. The kind of day where you find any reason you can think of to bake something.
Sadly, I had to work during the day, so I had to pass on staying in my pyjamas and making stew. But when I got home from work, I knew I was going to get in that kitchen and bake me a cake (after changing into those pyjamas, of course).
Our neighbour had recently gifted us with this box of plums, from their parent’s organic farm in the valley. I’m not much of a plum person, but I knew I had to do something with them so they wouldn’t go to waste. My family can only eat so many plums as is.
I kept thinking that a plum crumble or plum cake would be a nice treat. But what flavours to pair with it?
As luck would have it, my sister’s boyfriend had brought us this jar of raw honey from his uncle’s farm. A honey plum cake? I think so.
I consulted a few cookbooks, calculated some ratios, then assembled my ingredients. I kept it simple, using not only my local plums and honey, but locally milled spelt flour from The Flour Peddler.
I hummed and hawed about whether or not I should add the crumble topping. It seemed like a shame to cover up my perfectly placed plum slices, and yet, I felt it needed a finishing touch. So a simple oat, walnut, and honey crumb topping it was.
What emerged from the oven was a dense, sweet (but not too sweet), homey cake, with jewel toned flecks of plum peeking out amongst the oaty topping.
I like the way the deep purple colour of the plum skin seeped into the cake.
The family’s consensus was that this cake was a keeper. We agreed it would go great with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Mom asked if I had enough plums left to make another one. She even took a piece with her to her hiking group the next day, to give to our family friend (Hi Jo-Ann – I know you’re reading!), who also enjoyed it. I hear it made some of the other hikers jealous ;)
Honey Plum Cake
serves 8 – 10
Local plums and honey combine with hearty spelt flour and a crumb topping to produce a cake equally suitable for afternoon tea or as a finish to a comforting fall dinner. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a more decadent treat.
- 2/3 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 plums, pitted and sliced
- 3 tbsp oats
- 3 tbsp walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp honey
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a 9 inch cake pan.
- Combine honey and egg in a large bowl, and beat until light and creamy. Stir in yogurt and vanilla.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, then add to wet mixture. Mix well, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Pour batter into cake pan, then arrange plums on top as you wish.
- In a small bowl, combine oats, walnuts, flax seed, cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Mixture will be very sticky. Sprinkle evenly across the top of the cake.
- Bake for 30 – 35 min, until cake is set and golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.
Note: Crumb topping could be left off if desired. Whole wheat pastry flour would be a nice substitute for the spelt flour if you wanted a lighter cake.