August 30, 2012

Fresh Plum Cake

plums_DSC0088_DSC0090_DSC0093_DSC0094_DSC0096_DSC0111I have four great loves. The first two are Andrew and Julia OF COURSE. And then the other two are books and food. And cookbooks. Wait, that goes under books. And chocolate. But that goes under food. Ok, books and food and Downton Abbey. And tea. And sleeping.

Alright I have many great loves. Don’t judge me! Judging is wrong. Except that I do it all the time…

OK seriously. I should have Andrew write this for me since I am unable to form coherent thoughts today…

Y’all know that I really want to be a food blogger. And a book blogger. And talk about my kid and my cats and funny videos and have inane conversations with my husband. So I’M GONNA DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS. We’ll have our home food posts, our booky posts, our home life posts and kitty cat posts. And everything else will get squelched in that I find amusing, hilarious and awesome. Is that cool with you? Would you like it if I talked about all of those things? Because my feet will fall asleep if I only talk about books. (I’ve been basically doing that stuff anyway, but I’m Making It Official.) Are you with me?

Let’s talk about Plum Cake. Please ignore the fact that this cake looks like someone put their insides on a plate and basically looks like open heart surgery gone terribly awry. It’s SUCH A GOOD CAKE you simply have to believe me or I’ll cry. What I really like about plain cakes like this one, is that you can eat some and feel like you didn’t just ingest 15 tons of sugar and now you feel really ill, and upset at yourself and the cake and it just all is BAD NEWS that makes you unhappy.

No, no, no. This cake isn’t like that. It’s basically upside-down plum cake and it will only make you happy. The first time I made it last year, we ate it all in under two days and then I immediately made another one. And when I just made this one, I was like, OH YEAH, I forgot how flipping awesome this cake is! Hot dog! And I’m so AWESOME for making it!

Also, it’s really easy, like, for real.

I found the recipe on Stephanie Nielson’s food site, Cuisine Nie. Thank you Nie Nie!


  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick, plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 4 red plums, (about 1 pound), halved and pitted, each cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin-pie spice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (I left these out.)
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 3 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch round cake pan; melt in preheating oven, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle melted butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Arrange overlapping plum wedges in a circle around edge of pan; repeat in center, covering bottom of pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together remaining 6 tablespoons butter, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and egg. Beat in sour cream until blended. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, pumpkin-pie spice, and walnuts. Stir flour mixture into sour-cream mixture until just combined (batter will be thick).
  4. Spread batter evenly over plums. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (CHECK AFTER 40 MINUTES, mine was done at 43 minutes.) Cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan; invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, with whipped cream if desired.
Go get yourself some plummy plums and make this plum cake and we can all congratulate ourselves on being awesome!


  1. I love it! Are you going to change your bloggy name as well? Or keep it as-is? I must admit, it felt good to finally allow myself to blog about other things. I'd come to feel a little stifled by my old blog's limitations and wanted grow beyond just blogging about sewing... even though I still love it!

    1. oh no, no name changey, even though everyone gets confused and thinks that I'm Julia...Plus I think it's easy to remember -- I've seen some cool blogs and for the life of me when I clicked away I could not recall the name of the blog! I still like the name and have always thought that a bookbag can contain everything wonderful in life -- even our cats :)

      And I'm still obsessed with finding unique and cool books and great stuff for kids!

  2. Ewww! at the surgery description. I didn't see anything gross-looking about the cake until you wrote that. ;o) It looks - er, sounds - good, though.

    1. ha ha, I found a good way to ruin it there huh? But trust me, it is soooooo good and there are so many great plums right now!

  3. Did you mention that this is also a humor blog? I've always wanted to taste me some open heart surgery ;) oh my! what a comparison! SOOO- I finally got on board with Downton Abby (took me long enough, I know) now I get all the hype! I'm loving it.

    1. thank you darling, I think Andrew would want to put air quotes around the word "humor" -- I just can't stop being a silly pants....I've tried...and failed...:)

      oh WOW! I envy you having your first Downton experience! I wish I could go back in time and have that again! wait until tomorrow, I have a hilarious link that Leanne from Vintage Books for the Very Young sent me, it is soooooooo silly and funny about Downton.....

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  5. Hello Miss Melissa!

    Your sunshiny post made me laugh again!

    That plum cake looks so good! I would love to try the recipe though I am rather a poor cook and an even worse baker.

    I am looking foward to your future posts!!!!

  6. It looks so delicious! I am craving something really sweet now and I am dieting!! We share a lot of the same loves. You are very funny (in a good way!) Great post!

    1. You'll love it Julia (I hope) -- it's sweet but not overly so -- great for breakfast too! And thank you, I make myself laugh, but I'm a very strange audience...:)