Buttermilk, Lemon & Plum Cake

Saylormade | Buttermilk, Lemon & Plum CakeSaylormade | Buttermilk, Lemon & Plum Cake

Happy Tuesday! I’m starting a new blog series called Sunday Baking, so welcome to the first one. Many of you are aware of my love for baking/cooking/devouring. If I could choose my ideal Sunday, it would be spent in the kitchen with my mom and Mamaw back home in Tennessee. Mamaw would be cooking soup beans and cornbread, mom would be sautéing the collard greens, and I would be baking some sort of fruit cobbler or chocolate cake.

I’m starting this series because it would be unrealistic for me to have any kind of personal/lifestyle blog without sharing some of my favorite recipes. I chose Sundays because it’s my favorite day for some extra-special kitchen action, and I chose baking because I’d like any excuse to do more of it! This series won’t be limited to sweets – you’ll also see yeast breads, quick breads, biscuits & pies, and whatever else I can dream up.

I love baking cakes and I do it quite often for birthdays and other special occasions, though they’re usually of the frosted variety. For my first Sunday Baking post, I wanted to make a not-too-sweet cake. No buttercream or ganaches, just a simple wholesome cake that you can eat on a Sunday afternoon without feeling too awful about it. I chose this Buttermilk, Lemon & Plum Cake from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day cookbook. It’s a wonderful cake made with whole-wheat pastry flour & natural cane sugar (I actually used lower-glycemic palm sugar), that’s also yummy for breakfast the next morning with some yogurt.

The recipe instructs the cake to be baked in an 11-inch tart pan which I didn’t have. I used a 10″ round cake pan instead, which I can now say I wouldn’t recommend. The outer edges of the cake baked up quickly, but the inner third took much longer to cook through. She says you can bake it in a 9×13 pan as an alternative, but I guess I missed that part. It was delicious anyway! Buttermilk + lemon zest are one of my favorite combinations, and the plums were a fantastic addition.

Buttermilk, Lemon & Plum Cake

adapted from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson


2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 cup fine-grain organic palm sugar (or natural cane sugar)
1/2 t sea salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled a little
Grated zest of 3 lemons
5 to 6 plums (ripe nut not overly ripe, thinly sliced)
3 T large-grain turbinado sugar


Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Butter and flour an 11-inch round tart/quiche pan. Alternatively, you can make this cake in a 9 by 13-inch rectangular baking dish, just keep a close eye on it near the end of the baking time.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, palm sugar, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in the melted (but not hot) butter and the lemon zest. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir briefly, until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it out toward the edges a bit. Scatter the plums across the top, then sprinkle with the large-grain sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake has set. A toothpick to the center should come out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 10 to 12.

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