As seen in our AUGUST 2012 dinner show, these individual cakes take advantage of the rich variety of stone fruits available this month. The largest producer of plums in the USA is the Pacific Northwest. We buy as many as we can and use them every way we can think of. The combination of spice cake and plum works so well that nothing more is needed. Of course we will find a way to enjoy the vanilla ice cream and pine nut brittle with orange zest that comes with it!

Plum spice cake with vanilla custard ice cream, fresh raspberries, caramel & orange-pine nut brittle


  • As needed butter and flour to coat pans; set aside until assemble

  • 1 recipe of quick caramel sauce (see below) set aside until assembly
  • 6 whole red flesh plums, skin on; stone removed and cut into sixth; set aside until assembly
  • For Cake:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounce melted unsalted butter or olive oil may be substituted or used in combination
  • 5 ounce half and half at room temperature


Quick Caramel Sauce for bottom of the pans: place 6 ounce butter, 1 ¼ cup brown sugar and 3 Tablespoons water in small sauce pan; cook just to dissolve sugar and place in bottom of greased and floured baking pans or tins; place fruit in caramel and batter on top of fruit; bake as directed above.
To assemble pan: Brush 2 each, 8”cake pans or 1 12 cup muffin top pans with butter and then flour – shake off excess.  Place caramel syrup in the bottom of prepared pan before adding plums. Place 3 plums  in bottom of each muffin top pan on top of caramel; or arrange on top of caramel in 8″ layer pan. Place stone fruits in pattern with skin side up .
To make the cake batter: Beat brown sugar and eggs together to a foamy consistency. Sift flour, baking powder, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom and salt together and add these ingredients to egg mixture. Combine butter (and or olive oil) with cream and
add to batter slowly till blended. Divide batter to cover fruit in muffin top tins; or 8″ pan. Bake at 350° F for approximately 20-25 (for muffin tops) to 25-30 minutes for layer pan; or until cakes spring back when touched. Cool only ten minutes and turn out onto cake rack to cool (fruit on top). Serve same day if possible. Serving suggestion: Whipped cream or with vanilla ice cream; add a nut brittle for crunch.

Chef Notes: If you forget to take cakes out of pans after 10 minute rest and the cake sticks, carefully heat the bottom of the cake pan on low to warm caramel and it should come out. Other stone fruit, such as peaches and cherries, may be substituted or combined with the plums. In pear season, this becomes our Pear Upside Down Spice Cake!



  • 2 cups heavy cream

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla


Place heavy cream, yolks, sugar and salt in a heavy sauce pan; whisk to combine; cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly for 10-12 minutes (175ºF internal temp). Custard should coat the spoon without running off; remove from the heat and cool under refrigeration in shallow pan.  Before churning, strain mixture through fine sieve.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions for ice cream machine blending.  When done remove and place in freezer container.  Freeze for a minimum of 4 hours before serving, if you can wait!


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