Autumn treat: Plum, almond and olive-oil cake

Plums are at their best right now - make the most of your harvest with this recipe from our kitchen garden cook.

Delicious purple plums are falling off the trees in the kitchen garden – halve and roast them with butter and rosemary for a super-speedy pudding.

Plum, almond and olive-oil cake

Serves 6


  • 20g butter
  • 125ml light olive oil (heavier or extra virgin will overpower the balance of flavours)
  • 2 eggs
  • 120g caster sugar (plus a little extra)
  • Quarter of a teaspoon of almond essence
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 100ml-150ml whole milk
  • 3 plums
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4. Butter a 25cm (about 9in) loose-bottom tin and line with greaseproof paper.

Recommended videos for you

In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, caster sugar and almond essence until pale and fluffy. Add the lemon zest and juice and whisk again.

In a separate bowl, mix together the self-raising flour, ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine. Add the milk a little at a time, mixing well after each addition, until you have a loose cake batter. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.

Quarter the plums, remove the stones and cut each quarter into four even slices, fanning them out. Arrange them decoratively on the cake mixture. Dot the plums with butter and sprinkle over the flaked almonds and some caster sugar. Bake for about 30–35 minutes or until lightly browned – a skewer should come out clean.

Remove the cake from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving warm with vanilla ice cream.

More ways with plums

Plum, almond and olive-oil cakeBalsamic-glazed plums

Bring 300ml of balsamic vinegar to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes over a medium heat, until it reduces down to a thick syrup. Add slices of plum – or quarters, if you prefer – and toss them in the balsamic for about 8–10 minutes, until they soften. Serve alongside duck pâté and sourdough toast, with a few lightly dressed salad leaves.

Plum sorbet

Halve and stone 750g of plums. Sprinkle with a little sugar and dot with vanilla-bean paste, then roast at 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4 for about 30–35 minutes or until the fruit starts to break down. Allow the plums to cool, then pass through a sieve into the bowl of a food processor, discarding the skin. In a pan, bring to a boil 150g of cold water and 150g of granulated sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes to make a sugar syrup, pour into the plums and process until smooth. Transfer to a container and freeze overnight. Process and refreeze again the following day, after which it will be ready to serve.

Plum-and-tomato salad

Mix together 4 tomatoes, cut into wedges, 2 thinly sliced plums, half a thinly sliced red onion, 50g of crumbled feta, a handful of freshly chopped basil, 2 toasted wholemeal pittas cut into 2cm pieces and a couple of handfuls of mixed salad leaves. Make a classic vinaigrette, using extra-virgin olive oil and red-wine vinegar, season well and toss everything together. Serve with a dollop of hummus and extra toasted pittas.