Charmed by autumn plums

Welcome the change of seasons with a slice of freshly-baked Norwegian plommekake

plommekaka

Photo: Synøve Dreyer / Matprat
Norwegian plommekake is a buttery, not-too-sweet cake with warming spices, and filled with plums so each bite bursts with jammy goodness.

CHRISTY OLSEN FIELD
Taste of Norway Editor

September is here, which means that it’s plum season! I am utterly charmed by plums, whether they are made into jam, baked, or enjoyed fresh out of hand. I was delighted to learn earlier this year that plums are a favorite in Norway too, grown in backyards and some orchards in Hardanger. Plommekake (plum cake) is a popular way to enjoy the fall-ripening stone fruit.

My take on plommekake is a buttery, not-too-sweet cake with warming spices and filled with plums so each bite bursts with jammy goodness. Use whatever plums you have! 

I learned from pastry chef and cookbook writer Stella Parks of BraveTart that adding spices, salt, and leavening during the creaming process ensures that they are fully incorporated before adding the flour. 

This is my ideal everyday cake: it comes together as the oven preheats, sweet enough for dessert and hearty enough for breakfast or a coffee break. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Are you a plum enthusiast like me? What recipe should I try next? Write to me at food@na-weekly.com. I’d love to hear from you!


Plommekake (Norwegian Plum Cake)

By Christy Olsen Field

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 ½ tsps. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

¼ tsp. nutmeg

1/8 tsp. cardamom

½ tsp. table salt

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup milk

1 pound plums of your choice, pitted and sliced in half

1 tbsp. demerara sugar (also sold as Sugar in the Raw), optional

Specialty equipment:

8-inch cake pan or 8-inch springform pan

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter cake pan or spring form pan and set aside.

With a mixer or by hand, beat the butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt, and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat on low speed until combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, and mix on low speed until the flour is just incorporated.

Place half of the plum slices in the buttered cake pan. Cover with the cake batter, smoothing the top. Add remaining plum slices, cut side down. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let cool and enjoy!


This article originally appeared in the Sept. 18, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

Christy Olsen Field

Christy Olsen Field became the Taste of Norway Editor in April 2019. She worked on the editorial staff of the Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons. She is also a grantwriter for small nonprofits in the Seattle area.

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