A delicious plum cake, perfect for Mother's Day.

A Plumb Cake from the Old World Shows Gratitude and Love.

A brown box is on your doorstep. Something smells good. You peek inside. You see a crumble-topped cake bursting with red plums. Four words are on a small card. I love you Mum.

I can’t think of a better way to show love than to bake. To cream butter and sugar. To sift flour. To whisk eggs. To roll dough.

It’s not about what you are making, it is about showing someone that you are grateful. You can write a heartfelt note or pick up a bunch of flowers. You can also take a few minutes to choose a recipe and to buy the ingredients. And use your most precious resource – time – to produce a cellophaned and ribboned bag of home baked goodness.

In our kitchen,we would choose something from the Monday Morning Cooking Club book. An airy chocolate chiffon cake, a slab of pumpkin seed brittle or a jar of nana’s nuts, almonds roasted golden with sugar. But at this time of year we love making use of the last of the season’s plums. What better way to use them than in a delicious cake for mother’s day?

This plumb cake has a heartfelt story. It comes from my good friend Lyndi, who got the recipe from her mother, who brought the recipe with her to Australia from her mother and home country, Czechoslovakia. 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. It is now fondly remembered by all of us as ‘plumb’ cake.



'Plumb' Cake
Votes: 4
Rating: 3.5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 30 minutes
Cook Time
90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 30 minutes
Cook Time
90 minutes
'Plumb' Cake
Votes: 4
Rating: 3.5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 30 minutes
Cook Time
90 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 30 minutes
Cook Time
90 minutes
  1. Start this recipe the day before serving. 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
  2. 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 overnight.
  3. To make the crumble, use your fingertips or a food processor to combine the flour, sugar and butter until crumbs form. Refrigerate until needed.
  4. Remove the dough from the fridge 30 minutes before using. Preheat the oven to 180C (350 F). Grease a 28 - 30 cm springform cake tin.
  5. 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.
  6. With your hands, squeeze the crumble mixture together, then break it up over the top of the plums. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
  7. Bake for 11/2 hours, or until the cake is golden on top and cooked through.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with cream or ice cream.


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  1. Eleanor Hoh

    I wish I lived closer so I might be a recipient of one of your plumb cakes but I know I’d have to earn it. I just realized that’s a ‘crumble’ and cake combo? I’m useless at baking, sticking with cooking. O.K. it’s given me an idea which direction to go with my gratitude post!

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Hi Eleanor – nice to see you here 🙂
      This is a great cake for even the least practised bakers to try – the dough base is so simple and the crumble topping is quick and easy!
      Looking forward to reading your #LetsLunch post…

  2. Ally LIpman

    I notice that there is no quantity for the ‘plumbs’ in the above recipe – also as plums are not in season at the moment can you used the tinned ones? Cant wait to try this one:)
    Thanks Ally

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Hi Ally, how funny…the plumb line disappeared from the recipe for some strange reason. Anyway, it is back now (thanks to you) and I have added in that you can use canned/bottled plums but just drain them really well on paper towels before using. Happy baking!

  3. Pain au levain « GrongarBlog

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  4. charissa (zest bakery)

    I couldn’t agree more. Baking feeds my soul.
    And hey… did I read you are working on a book!? That’s fantastic! Congrats.

  5. Rashda/Mina Khan (@SpiceBites)

    I too wish I lived closer… (mass exodus to the Australia!). Thanks for a lovely post…can’t wait until your book hits the U.S. 😀

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks so much! Yes, we can’t wait to get to the U.S…..soon soon….(fingers crossed)…

  6. Lucy

    Lovely story and recipe. I’m intrigued by souhariki, will have to research that one. I’m grateful for #LetsLunch!

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks Lucy. Souhariki are honestly one of my favourite biscuits (cookies) from our book, only probably is you can’t stop at 1, or 10….they are ridiculously more-ish.

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks Linda, yes I agree – and I also love being on the receiving end of home baked goodies from time to time.

  7. Renee

    That is truly a beautiful way to thank people. It looks very tasty! 🙂

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks Renee! It is a lovely cake and I am so happy my friend shared the recipe.

  8. Joe Yonan

    Wowee. I’m on this like, well, flour on plums. Thanks so much for the post and the recipe. It’s gorgeous.

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Thanks Joe! I first had this cake made for me about 20 years ago…and I can still remember that first taste.

  9. dirtgirl

    I am presuming that crumble mix ingredients start after the sour cream. Also am I not reading recipe correctly, but it gets to Step 5 and states to put plums onto dough base and then to Step 6, bake in oven. Should crumble mix go on at this stage (Step 1 refers to putting crumble mix over plums?) Are instructions out of order? I want to make this, but confused with above instructions.
    Also what temperature should oven be, what sort of pan/tin do you use?

    1. Lisa Goldberg

      Oohhh so many mistakes (how embarrassing!). Goodness knows how this recipe got so jumbled! Thanks so much for your questions, I hope they are now all answered in the recipe. But yes, you are right! You need a 28 – 30 cm springform tin, it bakes at 180 C and the crumble instruction was indeed point number 1.
      I’m glad someone is paying attention….
      Enjoy the cake – let us know how it goes. Just test to make sure it is cooked through, it is a really large cake!

      1. dirtgirl

        Thanks Lisa. After sending this question I checked if it was in my MMCC book and found the correct instructions. But recipe certainly makes sense now that you have corrected it above…. Hoping to make this at weekend and yes it sounds as though I will definitely need others to help us eat it!! Reminds me of cakes my Mum used to bake when we were kids (5 of us) as well as neighbourhood kids who were always happy to participate in Mum’s home cooked delights!

  10. Carole

    Lovely dish! Would you be happy to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is all about plums? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

  11. Linda Kugel

    Lisa or Merelyn

    Have you ever made this cake and substituted margarine for butter and coconut cream for sour cream? If I wanted to make dairy free version?

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