‘Plumb’ Cake: Monday Morning Cooking Club

Plum crumble cake home baking

It is plum time here in Australia. And the season is short and hopefully still has a couple of months left in it.

This quite old fashioned but still modern plum crumble cake has a heartfelt story. It comes from my good friend Lyndi, who got the recipe from her mother Lily who brought the recipe with her to Australia from Czechoslovakia. I was at school in Melbourne with Lyndi and I still remember eating it at their place – and doing so often. And then I recall so fondly when we both coincidentally moved to Sydney, Lyndi would make it for me when each of our kids was born – such a generous, soothing and uplifting gift. The joy of finding a few minutes to sit down with a cup of tea and a slice of that cake is still with me.

For Lyndi, it was always written as ‘plumb’ cake, and it wasn’t until she was well into her teenage years that she realised her mother had spelled it incorrectly. I am so honoured that we have this recipe in our collection and we still smile as we write it as ‘plumb’ cake. It is one of the most wonderful cakes in the MMCC collection and we are transported back to another time and another place when this one is baking.




Plum crumble cake home baking

'Plumb' Cake

The base of the cake - a dough which you roll out - needs to rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before using.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Sweet Things
Cuisine International
Servings 8


Base (dough)

  • 115 g plain flour (4 oz) (all purpose)
  • 115 g self-raising flour (4 oz) (self-rising)
  • 125 g butter (unsalted) (1 stick), chopped
  • 115 g caster sugar (4 oz) (superfine)
  • 2 small egg yolks
  • 75 g Sour Cream (2 ½ oz)


  • 150 g plain flour (5 ¼ oz) (all purpose)
  • 175 g caster sugar (6 oz) (superfine)
  • 95 g unsalted butter, chopped (3 ½ oz)

To assemble

  • 6-8 whole plums (blood) washed, halved, stones removed
  • 1/4 cup Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling


  • To make the dough, put the flours and butter in a bowl and use your fingertips to mix them together, until the butter is evenly dispersed and the mixture forms crumbs
  • Add the sugar, egg yolks and sour cream and mix together using your hands or a wooden spoon. When a soft, sticky ball of dough is formed, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • To make the crumble, use your fingertips or a food processor to combine the flour, sugar and butter until crumbs form. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 180C (350 F). Grease a 24 cm springform cake tin.
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough thickly, to fit the base and halfway up the side of the tin. Line the base and side of the tin with the dough, then place the plums on top, arranging them very close together.
  • With your hands, squeeze the crumble mixture together, then break it up over the top of the plums. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the cake is golden on top and cooked through.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.


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