Table of Contents
  1. What is a cornmeal cake?
  2. Will this recipe work for any stone fruit?
  3. Watch how to make this plum cornmeal cake
  4. Plum Cornmeal Cake Recipe

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.

Two hands holding cake plate with cornmeal cake topped with slices of plums with slice cut out and sitting on white plate in front

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.

Side view of yellow colored cornmeal cake with a plum layer topping sitting on white plate with rest of cake in background

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!

Top down close up view of slices of baking plum sitting on top of cornmeal cake with bright reds and light yellows

Watch how to make this plum cornmeal cake

Top down view of plums laid out in an overlapping pattern on the top of a cake sitting on a cake stand with a towel underneath

Plum Cornmeal Cake

5 from 4 votes
This plum cornmeal cake is a delicious pairing of stone fruit with a more savory base layer. But when baked, the two work so well together, creating a not-too-sweet combination that speaks to the flavors of the summer season!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 55 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 4gFat: 9.6gSaturated Fat: 5.5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 53.6mgSodium: 39.1mgPotassium: 331mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 18.6gVitamin A: 92.9IUVitamin C: 2.6mgCalcium: 129.2mgIron: 1.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Baking

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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9 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Recipe is perfect and delicious! I love that it’s not an overly sweet treat. We topped it with a dollop of whip cream and enjoyed dessert first! Thanks!

  2. Looks great! Can I substitute Gf flour here? How about almond flour?

    Hugs to Kipster.
    Marcia

  3. I thoroughly enjoy your YouTube channel! I’m a fellow Iowan as well! I made this cake and my batter came out runny like a cake batter, not thick like yours in the video. I had so much batter, I had to use two cake pans. I’m fairly confident I followed the recipe correctly, so what do you think went wrong? I enjoy your recipes immensely, but this one threw me for a loop. Thanks in advance for any solutions that I may incorporate next time I want to make this.

  4. I’m so sorry these comments come back-to-back, but I figured out my issue. I’m an idiot; I forgot the cornmeal!! I had the cornmeal with my ingredients, but I was in a hurry, overlooked it, and forgot to add it. I used the last of our mulberries in place of the plums. It’s not a total loss, it tastes good sans the cornmeal! Thank you for your patience!

  5. Followed the plum cornmeal cake recipe but it ran over the pan in my oven. Used 8 inch pan as the recipe said. Also I tested with a tester in 4 places and tester came out clean but after I took cake out at 50 minutes it was not at all done in center. Was absolutely runny in center. I dumped the whole thing into the garbage can. Not one of my better experiences …for sure. Can’t figure what was wrong. Made a pie this week and it baked ok.

  6. 5 stars
    Goshen, IN -made this cake this evening and it is perfect!!! wonderful texture and amazing flavor. This is going into my favorites collection. I am so happy to have this recipe! Thank you Kaleb!!

  7. 5 stars
    I made this cake last week. It came out perfect, cake was so moist. Loved that it isn’t too sweet. I will definitely be making this again.

  8. 5 stars
    I made yesterday but with peaches. Love the cake; my husband thought a bit dry. Nonetheless I will make again.