Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Edith's Perfect Plum Dessert Cake


(Monday Morning Cooking Club, 2017) 


Perfect for morning tea and for dessert as well, I adore baking and eating this plum cake. The cake batter after beating, has a light and fluffy creaminess to it, and then when taken out of the oven, the tart yet sweet cooked plums taste heavenly in this nostalgic style of cake. Surprisingly, it is also delicious eaten cold out of the refrigerator, in fact that is how Mr. HRK prefers it, with thickened cream on the side of course. For dessert we prefer it with ice cream.


Serves 14-16 (18 at a stretch)

180 g (6 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

345 g (1 1/2 cups/12 1/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

4 eggs at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

300 g (2 cups/10 1/2 oz) self-raising White Wings Flour (A good quality flour must be used)

12 medium plums, or 25 sugar plums, halved and pitted

Icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), for dusting

double cream or ice-cream, to serve


Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. C/Gas 4) 

Line a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9 inches) rectangular baking tin.  Leave an overhang of baking paper up the sides of the tin to make lifting the cake out easier. (I bought a new baking tin from Woolworths supermarket just this morning ($11.00), to cook this cake in as my other one this size is very old and has other uses now in Mr. HRK's man shed!)

Cream the butter and sugar in your electric mixer on quite a high speed, around 6 on my Kitchen Aid, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

By hand, use a large spoon to fold in the flour gently until just combined.

Now spoon the cake batter into the lined baking tin and spread it evenly with the spoon. Lay the halved plums cut side up in rows on top of the batter, trying not to press them into the batter.

Bake for 1 hour, and test after 45 minutes by inserting a skewer lightly into the centre of the cake. It should come out clean when the cake is cooked. It took exactly 1 hour in my oven. Even though it was browning nicely on the surface, it still wasn't cooked through at 45 minutes.

Cool the cake completely in the tin, and lift out using the baking paper. It is much easier to cut into slices when cool.

This recipe was tried, tested and loved by the Monday Morning Cooking Club sisterhood before being published in their third cookbook, "It's always about the food." Sliced apples or berries could be used instead of plums, but stone fruits work so well in dessert cakes don't they?

I made this for afternoon tea yesterday when my group of friends came to play our weekly game of Mahjong. I dusted slices with icing sugar and we ate it with some thickened cream. For dessert, I  would serve this warm or cold with ice-cream, and with more fruit on the side if you like. 

This cake should keep well in a tin for up to 4 days in a cooler climate, however in the North Queensland tropical heat that we have been experiencing when I baked this, I store leftovers in a covered container in  the refrigerator. Reheat gently if you wish in Winter, but as I said above, it is also delicious cold. Needless to say, the leftovers didn't last long this time.

Black and Red Plums are in season and plentiful in the fruit shops so it's the perfect time to make this cake right now. I used the black plums for this recipe at $3.50 a kilo, which is a pretty good price for here.

So who was Edith? This was her family cake recipe, and I love a good cake story and to share the importance of continuing it's legacy. Edith wasn't a relation of mine, but was Garry Enston's mother, and Garry contributed her recipe, to be judged along with 9 other plum cakes for inclusion in this book. This particular one was chosen and I know why, it's simply marvellous. Edith and her husband emigrated to Perth, Australia from Prague, in 1939 during the German occupation and she loved good food and loved to entertain although Garry says she wasn't a passionate cook herself. She had several wonderful cake recipes from her Mother and her uncle who was a pastry chef at the Palace Hotel in Prague, and reading between the lines, this is one of those recipes, laced with Czechoslavakian nostalgia.

Hope, my Mother, was also a very good cook, particularly sweets, which I really appreciate now,  and she loved to serve good food within the confines of our budget, so my love of cooking and eating good food is definitely genetic. If you are reading my blog and this story, I think you must love quality food with traces of nostalgia as well. Is your love of food genetic or acquired and is there a nostalgic element to some of your cooking?

Happy baking,



  1. I would love a huge slice! Whenever I bake such a cake, I always cut the crispy brown edges to eat first. I find that they taste the BEST.

    1. Thanks Angie, the crispy edges do taste great but the plums in this one taste amazing.

  2. What a nice, homey cake! Love recipes like this. I'm with Angie -- I always cut off the crispy edges first, too! :-)


    1. Thanks KR, that's the beauty of cooking this at home, you can cut off the edges and eat them.

  3. Another yummy recipe. I don't think I have eaten any plums this season.Talking about nostalgic recipes tapioca ones and junket come to mind.

    1. I rediscovered plums a couple of weeks ago Chel and they are so good right now, particularly the Queen Garnets. They are too special to cook with though.Thanks for visiting.

  4. i do love quality food and a bit of nostalgia. mum used to make things like roast beef, and pea and ham soup and other meaty dishes. since hubby prefers vego dishes, i don't get to make these things. and also i find them a bit old-fashioned to be honest. but good memories nonetheless...

    1. I wouldn't have realised from your recipes that your hubby prefers vegetarian Sherry. We love a good roast, and nostalgic food really comes into its own I think on unwell days, or rainy days although they are few and far between at present. However I do love trendy dishes as well.

    2. oh he does eat meat but never when we go out to restaurants. he always picks the vego dish. and we still cook a lot of vego meals even tho we gave up vegetarianism many moons ago:) We don't eat pork or steak or such things tho.

  5. I love the way this looks when it's baked. Plus, plums are so fantastic in a cake. Nice recipe!

    1. Thanks Jeff, yes this recipe is definitely a keeper. Hope you try it because I know you will love it.

  6. I'm not used to plum desserts, but this recipe is a must-try! :)

    1. Thanks so much Food Trotter for taking the time to comment. Plums in desserts and cakes are delicious. I wish you had been around to take photos of this cake for me though, it would have really topped off the whole experience.

  7. All food to me is nostalgic, even a simple slice of toast. Sugar plums are in season right now so I could be baking a cake soon enough :)

    1. Thanks so much Tandy, I adore sugar plums and will definitely make this cake using them one day.It's the weekend, so it is time to make cake:)

  8. Thank you for your comment, I'm glad you like this recipe.

  9. I read blog thoroughly; it’s quite informative and well written post. You covered the topic very well. Thanks for sharing.



(c)2014-2024 Copyright on articles and photographs by Hope Pauline McNee.
Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I love hearing from you.
If you would like to receive follow up comments, simply click the "Notify me" link to the right of the "Publish" and "preview" buttons.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.