This vegan plum cake with almond flour is the perfect dessert for late summer and autumn or anytime during plum season. The almond and plum flavors are perfectly balanced, and the cake is moist and delicious!
Whether you're hosting a special event or want something sweet to enjoy at home with a cup of coffee or tea, this vegan plum and almond cake is sure to please. Plus, it's easy to make - you need a few simple ingredients.
This vegan cake has been a long-time favorite of mine that I recently veganized. To learn about the inspiration for this cake, read more below.
If you're looking for a new cocktail to try, take a look at my Plum Ginger Gin Sour!
When are plums in season?
Plums are in season typically from late June through September. Most of the USA's plum crops are grown in California and are in season from May through October.
There are around 300 varieties of plums grown within the USA. The two main types of plums grown commercially are European and Japanese. European plums have thick skins and typically have freestone pits, meaning the pits are easy to remove. These plums are usually grown to be dried plums, or prunes.
Japanese plums come in different colors and varieties, have thin skins, and usually are clingstone fruits, meaning the fruit clings to the pit, making it hard to remove (like the plums I used in this recipe).
How to choose plums
Buy plums when they are in season for the best taste. Try to shop for them at farmers markets. They should be firm to the touch and slightly soft, not very soft. Avoid plums that are hard to the touch, have punctures, broken skin, or brown spots. If you need to ripen them, place them in a paper bag loosely closed at room temperature.
Once the plums are ripe, eat them or put them in the fridge to slow down any further ripening. If your plums are too soft, put them in a smoothie instead.
My vegan plum cake recipe was inspired by Jacques Pépin's Quick Almond and Plum Cake recipe I found in Food & Wine magazine years ago. However, I was making it long before I went vegan, so I have adapted it to be egg-free and dairy-free, as well as making other changes to suit my preferences.
Since I have super-fine almond flour in the pantry, I used that instead of grinding whole almonds in the food processor.
I sliced the plums and layered them on top of the cake instead of placing whole pitted plums on the cake batter, as the original recipe did.
Since I don't have plum jam, I used the fruit preserves I picked up at Costco, four fruit preserves. I added a sprinkle of crème de cassis (blackberry liqueur) to loosen the preserves for brushing the top of the cake after it cooled slightly out of the oven.
Here are the simple ingredients you will need to make this simple vegan plum almond cake with a light texture:
- Fresh ripe plums - I used Japanese black plums, which have a balance of sweet and tart flavors. These plums are clingstone which means the flesh clings to the pit. You can use which ripe plums you can find, including Santa Rosa, Black Friar, and other varieties.
- Flaxseed meal - This is mixed with water to create an egg replacement in this cake recipe. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes to make flax eggs.
- Extra-fine almond flour for a light texture.
- Spelt flour - Spelt is an ancient grain and is related to barley, rye, and wheat; this slightly nutty flour contains gluten and is similar to all-purpose flour.
- Grapeseed oil - I like using this oil in baking since it is neutral and tolerates heat.
- Vegan butter - I used Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks. Use whichever one you like.
- Vanilla extract and almond extract for flavor.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make this vegan plum cake
It's easy to make this delicious plum cake; let me show you how!
First, you must wash and dry the plums and remove the pits. How to remove the pits if they are clingstone? I slice each plum into two halves, just past the middle of the plum on either side. Cut each half into thin slices.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the cake tin with vegan butter and line the bottom with parchment paper, greasing both sides of the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and creamy.
Add flaxseed meal mixture and beat until incorporated.
Add the remaining liquid ingredients, and beat for a minute until mixed.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix on low speed until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
Layer plum slices in a circle, starting outside and moving toward the middle. Sprinkle with sugar - place the cake pan in the oven and bake.
Bake until the cake is slightly puffy and brown on top, about 50 - 60 minutes. Insert the tip of a clean wooden toothpick in the center - it should have a few crumbs on it.
Once the cake has baked long enough, let it cool on a cooling rack for 20 to 30 minutes. After that, I recommend removing the parchment from the bottom of the cake to avoid sogginess.
Mix the fruit preserves and crème de cassis (if using) in a small bowl and brush the top of the slightly warm cake with the mixture, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with vegan ice cream or coconut whipped cream if desired!
Hint: If you bake this cake in a round pan as I did and not in a springform with a removable bottom, you can still flip the cake out of the pan without too much fuss. Here's how:
- Cut around the baked edges of the cake with a small sharp, flexible knife.
- Then, cut another circle of parchment the same size as the cake pan. Place it on top of the cake once it has cooled.
- Then invert the cake on a small cooling rack. I recommend removing the parchment from the bottom of the cake to avoid sogginess.
- Flip the cake right side up on another cooling rack (or plate) and remove the parchment paper from the top of the cake.
Here are a few simple swaps you can make for this delicious cake:
- Almond flour - Instead of almond meal, try hazelnut flour or a mixture. If you have whole almonds, you can grind them up in the food processor; however, the cake's texture will change slightly.
- Almond milk - I went with an almond theme for this cake, but you can use the milk of your choice, such as organic soy milk or oat milk.
- Spelt flour - Use all-purpose flour instead.
- Grapeseed oil - You can use another oil of your choice, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
- Organic cane sugar - Try coconut sugar, brown sugar, or a mix.
- Four fruit preserves - You can use any preserves you like. Plum or apricot preserves would be lovely!
Here are a few options to vary the recipe to suit your preferences:
- Gluten-free - Use a gluten-free 1:1 flour blend instead of spelt flour.
- Deluxe - Add slivered almonds on the cake before baking for extra crunch.
- Kid-friendly - Skip adding the crème de cassis to the fruit preserves. You can skip brushing the cake with the preserves as well. It's a nice touch for presentation and adds even more flavor, but it is not essential.
- Plums - If you don't have fresh plums, try other stone fruit such as pitted apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, or a mix. Or try pears!
- Spices - Add spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
- Citrus - Add lemon zest or orange zest to the cake batter.
If you use a springform pan, place it on a baking sheet before you put it in the oven in case there is any leakage from the plums.
I used a 9-inch round cake pan. If you like a slightly taller cake, choose an 8-inch round or square cake pan. You will have to adjust the baking time and bake the cake a bit longer.
Check with a wooden toothpick every five minutes until baked crumbs cling to the toothpick.
This vegan plum almond cake is best served the day it is made. That said, it makes for a nice snack or breakfast the next day.
Refrigerate: Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for two to three days.
Freezing: This vegan plum cake does not stand up well to freezing because the fruit will get mushy when defrosted. If you want to freeze the cake, do not top it with fruit. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing it, then defrost it in the refrigerator while still wrapped.
Use ripe plums, but not overly ripe plums, since they would be too juicy for the cake.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! If you make this recipe, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star rate it and leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Vegan Plum Cake
- chef's knife
- mixing bowls
- hand mixer
- Cooling rack
- 4 tablespoons vegan butter, softened plus additional for greasing the cake pan
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal mix with 5 tablespoons water
- 5 ripe plums approximately 1 ¼ pounds
- ⅔ cup organic cane sugar
- ⅓ cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup super-fine almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons four fruit preserves optional, or plum preserves
- 1 teaspoon crème de cassis (blackberry liqueur) optional, or brandy or plum brandy
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the inside of the cake pan with vegan butter and line the bottom with parchment paper, greasing both sides of the parchment paper.
- Combine flaxseed meal with water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, wash and dry plums, cut into thin slices and remove pits.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and creamy. Add flaxseed meal mixture and beat until incorporated.
- Add almond milk, grapeseed oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Beat for a minute until mixed in.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift spelt flour, almond flour, and baking powder. Add to liquid mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated, approximately one minute. With a spatula, be sure to include the batter on the sides of the bowl. Pour batter into prepared cake pan.
- Layer plum slices in a circle, starting at the outside and moving toward the middle. Sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of sugar. Place cake pan in oven and bake for at least 50 minutes.
- Place the cake on a cookie sheet and bake for up to 60 to 65 minutes, or until cake is slightly puffy and browning on top. Insert the tip of a clean wooden toothpick in the center - it should have a few crumbs on it, not uncooked batter. Cool on a rack for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Mix the four fruit preserves and crème de cassis in a small bowl and brush the top of the slightly warm cake with the mixture, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.