Blackberry-Plum Buttermilk Cake

Blackberry-Plum Buttermilk Cake

A few weeks ago, I tried traditional German plum cake for the first time. This further confirmed my decision to make a plum-forward late-summer coffee cake.

Based on this recipe, I altered a classic buttermilk cake formula to include swirls of blackberry preserves and thinly sliced late-summer plums.

I chose a few varieties of fruit, for the customizable recipe, and ended up using one of the more ripe black plums that came home in my basket. Plums will forever remind me of summers spent working at an orchard farm stand, back home, reading Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and eating Santa Rosa, black, and Italian prune plums fresh-plucked from trees 100 yards away. Santa Rosas will always be my favorite variety, with the sweetest, deep-red juice out of all of the varieties.

This Is Just To Say

"I have eaten

the plums

that were in the icebox

and which

you were probably


for breakfast

Forgive me

they were delicious

so sweet and so cold."

-W. C. Williams

The recipe was simple enough, yielding a hearty breakfast option for a crowd. Not too sweet, but layered on top with a buttermilk glaze and fresh late-summer plums, the slices were cut pretty thick, and were gone pretty quickly. 

Glazing is always the most fun, so go crazy -- though my cake did start to develop something of a crater in the center, where the plums converge, collecting glaze from the outer edges of the cake into a pocket of gooey, sugary goodness.