photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 8 servings.

1  cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2  cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅛ teaspoon salt

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla
12-16 plums, quartered or sliced
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 ̊. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with 2 tablespoons butter.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, cream together 1 cup butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Mix until well blended. Add vanilla.

Gradually add flour mixture and mix until batter is smooth. Do not overmix. Batter will be thick.

Divide batter into each cake pan. Arrange plums attractively on top of the batter.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon together, and sprinkle over plums. Bake for 1 hour, or until edges are lightly browned and center is set. Remove from oven. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, and serve.

Note: We love this recipe for its versatility. Smaller, blue-black Italian plums, available in late summer and early fall, are ideal for this cake. If larger, summer plums are used, fewer fruits are needed. Also, almost any seasonal fruit — apricots, halved and pitted; cranberries or any summer berry; sliced apples, nectarines, peaches and pears — can be substituted for plums. Canned and frozen fruit can stand in for fresh.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.

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