The Classic Plum Torte




This has been a fantastic summer for stone fruit in Ontario. The peaches, nectarines and apricots have never been sweeter, plumper or juicier, and the later maturing plums, still in season, are incredible too, perfect for snacking, making preserves or baking. And if you’re going to bake with them, you should definitely have a go at one of the best, and easiest desserts to showcase this wonderful fruit, the Plum Torte.


press the plums into the batter

press the plums into the batter


The New York Times first printed Marion Burros’ Original Plum Torte recipe in 1983, and it was such a hit that they reprinted it every fall until 1989. Ms Burros’ torte is a variation of the classic German plum cake pflaumenkuchen,  a super simple recipe that is most often topped with streusel or just sprinkled with sugar.


drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar


The wonderful thing about this cake is you can use just about any fruit you want to, even combinations of fruit, to suit your fancy. We first made the recipe using plums only; the number of plums you need depends on their size, of course. The plums we used were prune plums, about the size of large eggs, so it took nine plums, halved, to make the torte.





It was so good, and easy to make that we tried it again, a week later, only this time we only had 2 plums, some concord grapes, some wild blueberries and one peach. Why not? The results, as you can see, were fantastic, and just as delicious as the original.








If you have a chance, pick up some beautiful Ontario plums and try out this dessert. It’s destined to become a fall classic in your house!

Plum Torte

1/2 cup butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6-12 plums, depending size, pitted and halved
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter the inside of a 9-inch springform pan. Cream together the butter and 1 cup sugar in a medium bowl until light. Beat in the eggs then the cup of sifted four, baking powder and salt. Mix until just combined. The batter will be quite thick, don’t worry!

Spread the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Arrange the halved plums cut-side-down, pressing them halfway into the batter. Drizzle the lemon juice over the fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar over top. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for about half an hour before removing springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream.

comments powered by Disqus