Four Little Plum Cakes

prebakefeaturedHubby is about to board a plane home to visit the family, and I decided to make a little something out of the plums I harvested from my brother and sister-in-law’s plum tree. The goal–aside from a something celebratory, summery and sweet–was to avoid being left alone in the house with the rest of a large cake.

This recipe happens to be gluten-free. It’s basically this recipe with plums and few tweaks.

These should be eaten sooner rather than later. They will last a day or two, but are best about 20 minutes out of the oven when they’re still warm.

Four Little Plum Cakes

1/2 stick (56g) unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, room temperature
1/4 cup (60ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
Pinch salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (195ml) almond flour or almond meal*
2-4 plums, depending on size–you want 5 slices per cake
1 tablespoon (15ml) sugar
Dash of cinnamon

*Almond flour and meal are both 100% ground almonds. Almond meal was ground with the skins on, so the product is darker and your baked goods will be browner.

Preheat the oven to 350F/175c degrees.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners. You don’t need the liners, but with gluten-free baking things can get a little sticky and the liners help get things out of the pan. If you don’t use liners, use a non-stick muffin tin.

Pit and segment the plums. In a small bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon of sugar and cinnamon. You can add other spices. Ginger, nutmeg, etc. Something that adds a really interesting savory note to plum cake is bay leaf–but just a smidge.

Using a stand or electric hand mixer and the whisk (not paddle), beat the butter and sugar on high for a few minutes until lighter, stopping to scrape down the sides. This isn’t a lot of butter or sugar, so you’re not going to get a lot of volume. Add the egg and continue to beat until light in color and increased in volume, about 5 minutes. It will look a little like fluffy scrambled eggs. Add the vanilla, salt and lemon juice and continue beating until everything is incorporated. Add the almond flour/meal and mix gently until combined.

Spoon the batter a tablespoon at a time into the muffin cups. Top the batter with 5 slices of plum. If the fruit has released juice I would not add it to the cakes; they are very moist as is and the juice might make them soggy. Do add a good amount of fruit though, because it cooks down and is mostly swallowed up by the batter.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes until brown on top and mostly set. If at 15 minutes the cakes look raw in the middle and dark around the edges, tent with foil and continue to bake until set.

These are great plain, but even better with a little vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.