If you visit any foodie blogs at all, you have probably run into mention of Dorie Greenspan’s Dimply Plum Cake. It’s a marvelous creation and one I had been planning to try. We live in tantalizingly close proximity to the Cornell University Orchard Store and spend each fall drowning in the fruity goodness they are famous for. Right now, they have a half dozen different varieties of plums and I love them all.I decided to switch things up just a bit and make cupcakes. The only other change I made to the orginal recipe was substituting lemon zest for orange, only because I had no oranges.
1 1/2 C AP Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
Scant 1/4tsp ground cardamom (optional)
5 Tbsp Unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 C Packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 C flavorless oil, such as canola or safflower
Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 purple or red plums (in the fall, use Italian prune plums), halved and pitted
Getting Ready: center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degress F.
Butter an 8-inch square baking pan, or 12 muffn tin and dust the inside with flour, tap out the excess and put the pan on a baking sheet.
Whisk the flour, baking powder; salt and cardamom, if you’re using it, together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until soft and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a mixture after each addition. On medium speed, beat in the oil, orange zest and vanilla. The batter will look very light and smooth, almost satiny. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only till they’re incorporated.
Run a spatula around the bowl and under the batter, just to make sure there are no dry spots, then scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top, or divide evenly between the 12 cups in the muffin tin. Arrange the plums cut side up in the batter-I usually make 4 rows of 4 plum halves each-jiggling the plums a tad just so they settle comfortably into the batter, or sink halves three quarters of the way into each cupcake.Bake for about 40 minutes for cake, 25 minutes for cupcakes or until the top is honey brown and puffed around the plums and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 15 minutes-during which time the plums’ juice will return to the fruit-then run a knife around the sides of the pan and unmold the cake. Invert and cool right side up.I sprinkled the tops with some powdered sugar. So yummy – I will make this again and again, in cupcakes and the full cake.