This plum cake really is delicious. And it’s such a good recipe that all we did to make it gluten-free was substitute 280 grams of our gluten-free all-purpose flour for the 2 cups of AP flour in the original.
Maybe it’s the shortening I used in place of the butter to make it dairy-free — you could use oil instead, if you want — or the combination of plums, prune juice, and pecans, but this is the lightest fluffiest gluten-free cake I’ve ever made. We took it to a Labor Day picnic with friends and the cake disappeared pretty quickly. Our friend Sam, who runs the great bakery here on Vashon, ate two pieces. I’m always pretty happy when the baker likes a cake.
Prepare to bake. Heat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans.
Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Cream the shortening and sugar. Put the shortening and coconut sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment at low speed, cream the shortening and sugar together until they are light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until they are fully incorporated into the shortening and sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Finish the batter. With the stand mixer running on low, add about 1/2 of the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Drizzle in the prune juice, slowly. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Turn off the stand mixer. Add the chopped plums and pecans and stir them with a rubber spatula.
Bake the cake. Fill each prepared cake pan halfway. Lightly tap the cake pans on the counter to settle the batter evenly. Bake the cakes until the edges of the cakes have slightly pulled away from the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a cooling rack. Let them cool completely.
Feel like playing? You could use any nuts that work for you here. I love the caramel flavor of coconut sugar, but if you don’t have any, you could use 1/2 white sugar and 1/2 brown sugar. Don’t skip the prune juice. It intensifies the plum flavor of the cake without any unexpected results.
You could use any frosting you want with this. However, we especially liked a cream cheese frosting with a touch of prune juice in it. Delicious indeed.