Friday, June 15, 2012

Plum Skillet Cake

Plum Skillet Cake

Sometimes it's fun to conquer baking challenges -- braided bread, lattice-top pies, croissants -- but sometimes it's nice just to mix together a few ingredients and throw them in the oven. Here a cake batter is easily stirred up, poured into a skillet, and topped with fruit. No fuss, and a stunning and delicious dessert.

Plum Skillet Cake 2

The cake is simple but tasty, and the cast iron gives the edges a nice crust. The plums, which I can find bitter in their fresh form, mellow out as they bake to become lightly sweet and tart, even the peel. A dollop of whipped cream makes a slice even better.

Collage

Some important tips to share: Wait until the cake is halfway done baking before adding the plums.  The top row is the first cake I made, and you can see that the beautiful plums sank into the batter as the cake baked.  Also, the plums were only in the center of the cake, so the outer edges didn't have any of the delicious fruit.  In the bottom row, I added the plums after 15 minutes of baking, and you can see that they barely sank in.  I also increased the number of plums to four, so every slice of cake has plenty of fruit.

Update: This post made the Foodbuzz Top 9!  Thanks for all the buzz!


This post was shared with:
Whatcha Whipped Up Wednesdays
Sweets for a Saturday

Plum Skillet Cake
From Martha Stewart

4 tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for skillet
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for skillet
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Coarse salt
¾ cup plus 2 tbs sugar
1 large egg
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ripe medium plums, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375°. Butter an 8-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron); dust with flour, tapping out excess. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt. Beat butter and ¾ cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk.

Pour batter into prepared skillet, and smooth top with an offset spatula. Fan plums on top, and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly.

32 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous cake! And thanks for the tips. I only have nectarines so I'll have to adapt it a bit and make it a nectarine skillet cake but once I get my hands on some plums, I'll definitely be making this! :)

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    1. What a great idea. I think it would be easily adaptable to nectarines. I love peaches myself, so I think I'd try that variation next.

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  2. I'm in love with my cast iron skillet--and love that you can make cakes like this in them. This looks so cheerful and homey. Funny what you say about plums, I'm more of a fan of them baked than fresh too! I'm in the Boston area myself--and always starving around 10:30 so I'm a fan of the second breakfast concept!

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    1. Cast iron skillets are so versatile. You can't beat the sear on meat, and they're also good for making cornbread or pizza in.

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  3. Beautiful pinwheel. Love that you used cast iron skillet to make this beauty. And thanx for the tip on when to add the plums.

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  4. I don't see plums used in desserts very often, so this is unique!

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  5. Love it! Looks gorgeous! Thank you for the tips on arranging the fruit.

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  6. Looks delicious! I thought that cake looked familiar...I almost gave it a try. Instead I made Martha's Plum crumble...http://inherchucks.com/2012/06/15/pluot-crumble/. This will be next on my list of plum recipes to try, as I have an abundance of pluots right now...

    Thanks for sharing :) I found you through sweets for a satuday.

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    1. I was eyeing that recipe too! Yours looks droolworthy.

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  7. This looks amazing. Can this be baked over charcoal?

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    1. I've never tried that so I can't say for sure. I would assume yes, if you've got a temperature gauge on your grill and the temperature stays constant -- uncovering and covering your grill can lead to too many fluctuations. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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  8. I found this post though Pinterest. The photo was so beautiful that I just had to come here to read the recipe! Love it! And love your site :-).

    I would like to invite you to share this post (and your other posts :-) ) on a new photo based recipe sharing site that launched in May. The idea is simple: all recipe photographs are published within minutes of submission. And, of course, the images link back to the author's site.

    It's called RecipeNewZ (with Z) - http://recipenewz.com

    I hope you get a chance to visit and to share some of your delicious posts with our viewers. It would be a pleasure to have you on board :-)

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  9. Oooh, this looks fantastic - love it! Great use for summer fruit.

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  10. What a delicious cake and soo easy:) I need to give it a try. Thanks for the great post!

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  11. looks so easy to prepare and delicious...mouthwatering!

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  12. Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I just subscribed to your blog feed and can't wait to see what your next post will be!

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    1. Thank you! I'm enjoying exploring your blog also.

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  13. Delicious cake!! I haven't a cast iron skillet, but a nice casserole... will try it soon! Ciao, Francesca - Italy

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  14. Mmmmm, I love plums baked into cake. Baking it in a skillet is such a great idea! I made strawberry cakes on the weekend with the strawberries arranged on top, and on one out of 3 cakes the strawberries sank. I bet that if I'd put them on top after a short while of baking they would have stayed on top, thanks for the tip!

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    1. Yup, baking lets the batter set a little so the fruit doesn't disappear. You're welcome!

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  15. Oh I love plum cakes.. they have that nice sweetness of sugar and sourness of the plum :)

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  16. It's too pretty to eat! I never think about using plums in pastries and cakes, but since they're going to be in season soon, I should put that on my list of things to try. :) This would be such a nice dessert for a summer barbecue!

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    1. Thanks! Since you mentioned barbecue, I'm planning on grilling plums and peaches this summer too. Never tried it before.

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  17. This is BEAUTIFUL! I wish I could have it for my 2nd breakfast!
    Congratulations!

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  18. Congrats on Top 9 Shirley! Whoo hooo! I've never made a cake with skillet before. I always love the picture of the cake in a skillet. :-) Plum looks fresh and delicious!

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    1. It's mostly the same as a cake pan, except the cast iron might make the baking a little faster and gives the edges and bottom a nice crust. Thanks!

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  19. On Fridays, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday - and I love this post so I'm featuring it as part of the roundup (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I look forward to seeing what you create next...

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  20. Thanks for this recipe! I've now made it twice using the plums from our tree, which tend to be a bit sour. Super delicious!

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    1. Aw, thanks for letting me know!! I *love* hearing that somebody actually made a recipe, and even more that they liked it. I'm also envious that you have a plum tree.

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  21. This is such a gorgeous cake - LOVE the color! I *just* bought some plums, so this is going to happen soon!

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