Dorie Greenspan’s Dimply Plum Cake

Dorie Greenspan’s dimply plum cake is a high summer snack cake that can be made with any variety of plum, pluot, or aprium. It’s a simple old fashioned one bowl cake that you’re going to love!

Dorie Greenspan's Dimply Plum Cake on a board

dimply plum cake wins late summer breakfast

One bite of this gloriously simple plum cake with its crunchy butterscotch-y crust and juicy interior reminds me of two things: why I bake, and why I love plums. This cake is unique, gorgeous, and super delish. You really can’t go wrong with plums, they have such a lovely tart berry-like flavor. I snacked on one piece immediately after my photo shoot, and have a few more under my glass dome for our breakfast tomorrow (which I’m already looking forward to!)

Dimply plum cake, cut in squares

This kind of simple fruit forward daytime cake is a favorite of mine here in the Great Island kitchen. From my Easy Rhubarb Breakfast Cake and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake to my Honeycrisp Apple Cardamom Cake and Cranberry Orange Cake, I’ve got one for every season. They’re not too sweet, and focus on the bright flavor of the fruit itself.

what’s a dimply plum cake?

I first spotted this one over at Smitten Kitchen. She got the recipe from Dorie Greenspan, who published it in her cookbook Baking: From my Home to Yours. This cake is a rustic plum cake in the Italian tradition, so it’s nothing new, but Dorie coined the cute name for the way the batter rises up around the plum halves while it bakes.

making Dorie Greenspan's Dimply Plum Cake

which plums to choose for dimply plum cake?

Damsons, Elephant Hearts, Dinosaur Eggs, Apriums, Cherry Plums, Dapple Dandies ~ ooh the world of plums and all their hybrids is utterly amazing. The colors and flavors will stun you, but pull yourself together because we want to get baking!

You can literally choose any stone fruit for this cake, but plums in their infinite variety are really special at the end of summer. Depending on the size of the fruit you choose, you may need more or less of them than I did.

  • I used classic black plums, but you can also use smaller varieties like Italian prune or Damsons. I was disappointed in the pale interior of my plums when I cut into them, but as you can see, the color blooms when they bake thanks to that gorgeous peel. Plums are one of those fruits that blossom when you bake or roast them.
  • Pluots, which are a cross between plums and apricots. They skew a little more toward the plum parent.
  • Apriums are also a cross between plums and apricots, but they skew more toward their apricot parent.
Dimply plum cake squares, stacked

how to get those dimples!

Spread the cake batter into a 9×9 pan. Nestle your plum halves into the batter in a grid pattern, cut side up. Nine halves fit nicely in my 9 inch pan, but your plums might be larger or smaller than mine, so just adjust accordingly. I push them down ever so slightly into the batter and give the whole thing a sprinkle of sugar before sliding it into the oven. The cake puffs up around the fruit as it bakes for that ‘dimply’ appearance.

Dimply plum cake, sliced into squares

why you’ll love this plum cake

It’s fun to serve and share because the plum halves make a dramatic presentation. They make it easy to slice into squares, too, everybody gets their own sweet little plum half.

The outer crusts is crisp and has that blondie/butterscotch flavor from the brown sugar.

The plums become extra juicy as they bake. Some of the juice pools on the surface of the plum, and some seeps down into the cake so the bits right around the fruit are extra soft and moist.

Plums are actually quite tart so they balance the sweet dimply plum cake beautifully.

A slice of dimply plum cake on parchment paper

more summer bakes and cakes

Taking a bite of dimply plum cake

Dorie Greenspan's Dimply Plum Cake, cut in squares
4.80 from 10 votes

Dorie Greenspan’s Dimply Plum Cake

Dorie Greenspan's dimply plum cake is a high summer snack cake that can be made with any variety of plum, pluot, or aprium. It's a simple old fashioned one bowl cake that you're going to love!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 43 minutes
Total Time 53 minutes
Yield 9 servings
Calories 324kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 9×9 inch square baking pan


  • 6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature if possible
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, or you can use cardamom
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 5 plums, sliced in half, pit removed. Note: you may need more or less than I did, depending on the size of your plums.
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar for sprinkling on cake before baking.


  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9×9 square baking dish and line with a sheet of parchment paper with long ends. This will allow you to remove the cake from the pan later for easier slicing and serving.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time, allowing the first to get completely incorporated before adding the second. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary to get everything well blended.
  • Blend in the oil, spice, and extract. Then the salt and baking powder.
  • Fold in the flour until smooth, but don't over beat. Spread into your prepared pan and smooth out evenly.
  • Arrange the plum halves, cut side up, in a grid pattern across the surface of the cake, pushing them down just slightly into the batter.
  • Sprinkle the surface with the granulated sugar. Bake for 40-43 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted into the cake (not the plums!) near the center comes out without wet batter on it. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly toward the end of baking lay a loose piece of foil over the top. Note: this cake is moist, especially right around the plums, so use your judgement and don't over bake.
  • Let the cake cool for 15 -20 minutes in the pan before using the parchment paper sling to lift it out to a cooling rack to finish cooling. I like to loosen the edges first with a thin offset spatula to help it come out easily.
  • Slice the cooled cake into squares when ready to serve. Store leftover loosely covered on the counter.

Cook’s notes

*recipe very slightly adjusted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From my Home to Yours.


Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 188mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 420IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 11, 2022 at 11:29 am

    3 stars
    made this,,, the plums sunk and dissappeared, What did I do wrong? I did push them down a bit like it said to do, Maybe pushed them too deep?

  • Reply
    Laurie LaConte
    August 17, 2022 at 7:11 am

    5 stars
    This was a fantastic recipe. It was easy and it came out so delicious and maintained its freshness and moisture for the few days that it took the two of us to eat it! My plums were large and stuck out from the batter when I first place them but the batter rose and filled in beautifully.

  • Reply
    August 17, 2022 at 6:56 am

    5 stars
    Love this recipe, Sue! I’ve made it several times and each time it was delicious. Tried it using gluten-free all-purpose flour and it came out great. Also cut the recipe in half and used 2 nectarines and a smaller pan. It was a real favorite! Thanks for this recipe!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 17, 2022 at 7:10 am

      I’m so glad Linda, and thanks for the variations, I know some readers will want to make this gluten free.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    If I use almond flour would I increase it by how much? Do you think it would work with almond flour? Looking forward to your answer.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 9, 2022 at 5:05 pm

      I think you could sub some of the regular flour for almond flour, but not all. You might try 1/2 cup almond flour.

  • Reply
    August 6, 2022 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Sue, Love, love this! This is a beautiful plum snack cake. Perfect with a good cup of coffee.

  • Reply
    sue bond
    August 6, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Loved this made it yesterday delicious , everyone enjoyed them thank you

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 6, 2022 at 9:55 am

      Oh good, I’m glad, thanks!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2022 at 6:30 am

    I only have an 8 x 8” pan, is that ok? Just adjust the baking time, I assume?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 6, 2022 at 7:41 am

      Yes, the original is in an 8×8 pan, so it will work.

      • Reply
        August 6, 2022 at 11:37 am

        5 stars
        Made with some very soft plums I had on hand-delicious! Thanks for another great post.

  • Reply
    August 5, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    It looks like the peel is left on. Is that correct? Is it tough after baking?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 5, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      The peel stays on, it gives great color and flavor to the cake. It’s not tough at all.

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