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Plum Cake (Gluten-Free + Paleo)

This Plum Cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with fresh summer flavors. Ripe plums add the perfect level of sweetness to this summer dessert, so there’s no need to add granulated sugar. Healthy, light, and delicious.

Getting ready to eat a slice of plum cake

Why You Need to Make This Plum Cake Recipe

I can’t stay away from the farmer’s market when those beautiful summer plums come into season, so I grab a bag full every chance I get. I’m always afraid that I’m getting too many and they’ll go to waste, but my family inevitably eats them all before there’s any risk of that happening. So, when I decided I wanted to bake a beautiful summer dessert featuring plums, I knew I had to bring home a surplus.

Summer desserts are meant to be sweet, light, and airy. If you agree, be sure to only use perfectly ripe plums for this recipe. If your plums aren’t ready yet, the cake can be more tart than sweet and won’t be as flavorful. You can tell your plums are ripe by applying gentle pressure with your fingers. If the skin feels soft, your plum is perfect!

This gluten-free, dairy-free plum cake is moist, flavorful, and perfectly sweet. We let the sweetness of the plums do all the heavy lifting and only add a bit of coconut sugar to the top. If you want a sweeter cake, feel free to add a little coconut sugar to the cake batter.

Ripe summer plums

How to Prepare Your Plums

Plum recipes are always a little more challenging to make than other fresh fruit. This stone fruit has a smaller pit than peaches, and the flesh likes to stubbornly cling to it.

Here’s how I prepare my plums to get nice-looking slices:

  • Run a paring knife (a small, sharp knife) around the plum from top to bottom.
  • Continue this pattern, cutting at least six to eight times. The fruit should now pull easily away from the pit.
  • If you’re still struggling, wiggle your knife around the cut area to help the flesh release.

What You’ll Need

This gluten-free cake tastes like a bite of sweet, summer sunshine. With the exception of the fresh plums, you’re likely to have everything else on hand in your pantry if you’re familiar with gluten-free baking. Scroll down to the recipe card for actual amounts.

  • Almond Flour: This will be the base of our gluten-free cake; we’ll lighten it up with tapioca and coconut flours.
  • Tapioca Flour/Starch: Tapioca flour is extremely smooth and adds a nice chew to this cake.
  • Coconut Flour: The mixture of coconut, almond, and tapioca flours produces a lighter crumb that rises well and is nice and moist.
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cardamom: This warm spice perfectly complements the sweetness of the plums.
  • Maple Syrup
  • Eggs: Bring your eggs to room temperature; I recommend using large eggs for baking.
  • Coconut Cream
  • Coconut Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Almond Extract: I love the mixture of vanilla and almond extracts in this cake. The almond adds a nice depth of flavor.
  • Plums: Look for ripe, sweet plums for this cake.
  • Coconut Sugar: We’ll sprinkle this on top for a little added sweetness and crunch.

How to Make Plum Cake

Even though this cake has a few more ingredients than non-gluten-free variations, it comes together quickly. This fresh plum cake will fit the bill if you’ve been looking for easy summer desserts.

  • Prepare for Baking. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 350° F. Grease a 10-inch springform cake pan. 
  • Combine the Dry Ingredients. Add all the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together until combined, and then set aside.
  • Combine the Wet Ingredients. Whisk together the maple syrup, coconut cream, coconut oil, vanilla, and almond extract in a small bowl. If your coconut cream or oil is solidified, you can heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds. This mixture will come together easier if everything is in liquid form.
  • Make the Cake Batter. Add the coconut cream mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir everything together with a spatula until the batter comes together, and no lumps remain. You can use a whisk to smooth things out if you see a few stubborn bumps. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

A bowl of sugared plum slices

  • Prepare the Plums. Cut the plums down the center and remove the pit. Slice each plum half into thin pieces and place them in a small bowl. Once all the plums have been cut, gently toss them with coconut sugar. Add the sugared plum slices to the top of the cake batter in a decorative circle. Press them gently into the batter so the tops are even with the cake.

Plum slices arranged over cake batter

  • Bake. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes. It should be golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center should come out clean.
  • Cool. Allow the cake to cool in the pan. When you’re ready to serve, release the springform and slice.

Baked plum cake

Serving Suggestions

This Plum Cake is one of my favorite summer desserts. It doesn’t need too much to dress it up, but a cold scoop of natural vanilla ice cream would be pretty tasty. Suppose you want to keep it dairy free. In that case, you can make an easy coconut whipped cream using full-fat coconut cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Try pairing a slice of this cake with my Plum Pop Cocktail for an extra treat.

How to Store Plum Cake

Any leftover plum cake will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Wrap slices in plastic and store them in an air-tight container to prevent the cake from drying out. Let it sit on the counter for an hour to come to room temperature before eating.

A slice of plum cake with a bite taken out

Can I Freeze It?

Yes, you can freeze the plum cake for up to three months. Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then add them to an airtight container or freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve, thaw them in the fridge overnight.

Getting ready to eat a slice of plum cake

Plum Cake (Gluten-Free + Paleo)

This Plum Cake is gluten-free, dairy-free, and packed with fresh summer flavors. Ripe plums add the perfect level of sweetness to this summer dessert, so there's no need to add granulated sugar. Healthy, light, and delicious.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins
Servings: 10 Slices

Equipment

  • 10" Spring Form Pan

Ingredients

Cake:

    Dry Ingredients

    • cup almond flour
    • 2/3 cup + 3 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch
    • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

    Wet Ingredients:

    • ½ cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 large eggs
    • cups coconut cream
    • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

    Topping:

    • 3 plums halved, pitted, and cut into eighths
    • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar for topping

    Instructions

    • Place a rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 350° F. Grease a 10-inch springform cake pan.
    • In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Set aside.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, eggs, coconut cream, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract.
    • Add the coconut cream mixture all at once to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no lumps remain. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.
    • In a small ball toss together plum slices and coconut sugar. Top batter with plum slices in a decorative circle, gently pressing into the batter.
    • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve.
    • Cake will last well wrapped in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

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    23 comments on “Plum Cake (Gluten-Free + Paleo)”

    1. Avatar photo
      Kerry Mizrahi

      This cake was the best thing my girls and I have made in a long time! We’re dairy free and gluten free and we really try to be mostly sugar free…..this cake barely lasted two days at our house. Then we went back out to buy more plums to we could make it again. The texture of the cake is to die for – moist, crumbly, and it’s super sweet – I think next time I might cut back on the coconut sugar and add a few more plums. Mine were super ripe and that may have added to the sweetness a bit. THANKS for the recipe and the website, we’ll be coming back here a lot!

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