It was the end of summer. We were finally headed out of the woods. We were headed into the woods. We needed something sweet. We needed something new. I had a pile of miniature deep purple French plums. I had a cherry pitter. I had a craving for a crumb topping. I had a new summer cake. I took a deep breath and channeled my inner-Caroline. The cake was dense and sweet, studded with the occasional tart-sweet surprise of a mouthful of plum, and the kind of fat, addictive crumb that is impossible not to pick right off the cake. It went into the woods with us. Very little of it came back.
Late Summer Plum Crumb Cake
adapted from Food52
For the cake
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
- 2/3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups plain greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 8-10 small French plums
For the crumb
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the lower third. Butter a 9 x 2-inch round or 9 x 9 x 2-inch square cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
- Pit the plums and cut in half, if using the very small French plums. Mix the plums with a 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (depending on their sweetness and how many you use). Set aside.
- Make the crumb by melting the butter in a small sauce pan, then mixing in flour, sugar, and cinnamon until crumb forms. Do not overmix. Set aside.
- Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light, then mix in the eggs, one at a time.
- Beat in the yogurt, then the vanilla.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture just until combined.
- This is a very thick batter. At this point, gently fold in the plums so they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
- Spoon batter carefully into cake pan, being careful not to break up the plums.
- Top generously with the crumb topping.
- Bake until the cake is golden and pulling away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted near the center tests clean.