Even though the plum cake is well known due to Christmas carols, not many people actually know where it came from. The traditional plum cake is a yummy holiday treat with a long, important history.
Plum cakes are typically made with dried fruit but are ideally moist and tender. Plum cakes are traditionally from England, where various types of fruitcakes were produced. In the 1600s, different types of dried fruit were simply referred to as plums. Plum cakes were common during teatime and were only later eaten with coffee or during dessert.
Later, plums were also made in Italy, although they were much spongier and lighter compared to the thick plum cakes native to England. Italian plum cakes are eaten for breakfast or dessert but aren’t typically eaten during tea time or coffee time.
Various types of fruits were used because such a large cost was incurred importing fruit. The cheapest fruit had to be used, so plums were not always available.
Nowadays, we make plum cakes only with plums. You can use either fresh plums or frozen plums in your Plum cake recipe, depending on your tastes and on what’s available during the specific season in your area.
Every plum cake has flour, sugar, and of course, plums. A plum cake can be made in a long loaf pan or in a round pan. Depending on the recipe, plum cake is eaten for breakfast, during tea time or coffee time, or for dessert. Some plum cakes are even eaten during appetizers or cocktail hour, depending on the texture of the cake.
When you’re baking your plum cake, you will also need to decide if you want to use more or less sugar. Much of this will depend on when you intend to eat the plum cake. You also have the decision to include nuts or keep the plum cake smooth.
Italian plum cakes tend to be smooth and fluffy while English plum cakes are more likely to have nuts. Again, this will depend on exactly when you intend to eat your plum cake.
Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk together buttermilk and eggs in a 2-cup glass measuring cup. With mixer running on low speed and beating until just combined after each addition, add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 70 to 80 minutes, covering top of pan with aluminum foil after 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around outer edge to loosen sides; remove sides of pan, and let cake cool completely on wire rack, about 2 hours.
If you’re looking for a delicious plum cake recipe, you will find plenty on the internet as well as in traditional cookbooks and even Christmas carol books. A good plum cake is a must-have for any holiday season, but you will enjoy a yummy plum cake recipe even during the summer!