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First and foremost, anytime I receive or pick fresh fruit, I always have to enjoy it untouched. There’s no cooking, baking, or alterations required when the best of in-season produce is available.
But do you think I only eat raw fruit? I’m not a heathen! I also have to make all of my favorite fruit-inspired desserts throughout the season. And this plum cornmeal cake is my unsung hero. Crumbles, crisps, and pies are always forefront of my mind when thinking about what to make, especially with those bubbling streusel toppings.
This cake has an amazing texture and flavor, all courtesy of the cornmeal. The result is a perfectly balanced cake, just sweet enough to enjoy as dessert, but savory enough to truly taste the fruit.
What is a cornmeal cake?
At first glance, this cake looks similar to cornbread: a combination of flour, cornmeal, butter, eggs, and buttermilk. The main difference in this recipe is the ratio of all-purpose flour to cornmeal and sugar. This cake has more all-purpose flour than a traditional cornbread, to give a cake-like crumb and a soft texture. The cornmeal cuts through just enough to be noticed while not overpowering.
Unlike many cakes, this is not overly sweet. But it has the right amount of sugar to create a dessert and aid in a soft crumb.
Will this recipe work for any stone fruit?
This recipe is designed for plums. The subtle, corn-like flavor melds perfectly with the soft plums. The deep color of the plums’ skin enhances the appeal of the cake once turned upside down and creates an eye-catching presentation. That said, almost any stone fruit will work. Peaches, nectarines, and apricots will all work. For a second option, I especially enjoy apricots as a swap-out for plums.
No matter what you choose to pair with the cornmeal, I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
Watch how to make this plum cornmeal cake
Plum Cornmeal Cake
- 4-5 plums cut into ½-inch slices
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- 8 tbsp melted butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Lightly brush butter inside an 8-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment and brush with butter. Lay pieces of sliced plum around the pan covering the bottom. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Whisk until smooth and add to the dry ingredients.
- Whisk until just combined with a few dry streaks remaining and pour over the prepared plums. Smooth to an even layer and bake in preheated oven until a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, 40-55 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto serving dish and discard parchment paper. This can be served warm or at room temperature.