This is an old-fashioned cake reminiscent of sticky gingerbread with pockets of jammy plums that melt in your mouth. Blissful.

When I came across the recipe, I was reminded of many summers’ end when my mother-in-law and I made Damson Plum jam.  Nana, as all four generations of the family call her, is now a sparkling 86 years of age, as sharp as a tack and remains filled with warm humour and tolerance for human stupidity frailty that so amply demonstrates human compassion Gotta love Nana! I went to visit her recently and brought her one of these cakes, knowing she would love it. She did.

Plum Cake-8727

Spiced Plum Skillet Cake
Serves 8
A deliciously moist, old-fashioned spice cake with pockets of juicy plums.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
45 min
  1. 1 c all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 1/4 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  7. 1/2 c buttermilk
  8. 1 tsp vanilla
  9. 1/4 c unsalted butter, softened
  10. 3/4 c firmly packed light brown sugar
  11. 1 large egg
  12. 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  13. 1/2 lb plums, halved and pitted
  14. 2 tsp raw sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F convection bake or 375º F regular bake.
  2. Butter and flour a 10" cast iron or other oven-proof skillet.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a mixer combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat at high speed until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg and grated ginger and beat well until fluffy.
  6. Add the half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the buttermilk mixture and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the remaining half of the flour mixture and beat until combined.
  7. Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet, smoothing down the top. Push the plums, cut sides up, into the batter about 1/2" apart. Sprinkle the top with the raw sugar.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a wooden topic inserted near the centre comes out clean.
  9. Cool in the skillet for 10 minutes before inverting onto a large plate, and invert back onto a serving platter so it comes out right side up.
  1. I used a combination of Early Golden and Blue Damson plums. They were quite small (about 2").
Adapted from Victoria Magazine July August 2011 edition
Adapted from Victoria Magazine July August 2011 edition