I adore plums. Each seductively hued fruit is a lesson in balance, with the tart and slightly bitter skin giving way to sweet flesh — a perfect harmony of flavor. Among summer stone fruits, they are perhaps the most challenging, with much of their flavor contained in the skin and ripening being a bit of a moving target. Cooking plums performs a sort of alchemy where the flavors of skin and flesh meld into a rich harmonious jam. It’s a rare fruit that I prefer cooked.
Every Sunday lately, I am unable to resist picking up a carton of squishy little plums at the farmer’s market. Are they lining the farmer’s market stalls where you live? They are decidedly different than the plums sold at grocery stores — small, ripe and deeply flavored. They are the perfect adornment for these Little Plum Cakes…or are they muffins…or cupcakes? I’m still debating the proper name, but whatever you call these, they are a delightful celebration of late summer and plum season. The plums intensify in flavor and color as they cook, and complement the sweet, moist cake.
I used millet in these cakes on a whim, because I had some lurking in my pantry that I wanted to use up. I love how the millet adds a nuttiness and texture reminiscent of cornmeal. Feel free to swap in cornmeal or more almond flour for the millet if you don’t have it on hand. I used whole millet that I ground to a flour in my blender. Olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extract round out the flavors here and yield a very moist and flavorful cake. I finish the cakes with a sprinkle of turbinado (raw) sugar to give the tops a pleasant crunch.
Grab a carton of those squishy little plums and make these cakes for a week of late afternoon snack time bliss. Note: if tiny plums are unavailable, sliced regular plums will do just fine.
Enjoy! Xo Maggie
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup ground millet (see note)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup sugar (I used fine raw cane sugar)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2/3 c plain full-fat yogurt or kefir (or milk of choice)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 6 mini plums, halved and stones removed, or 2–3 regular sized plums, sliced
- 2 tbsp turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together flours, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, maple syrup and olive oil until smooth and creamy. Add eggs, yogurt, almond extract and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just combined.
- Divide batter among muffin cups and place a plum half (or a plum slice) in the center of each. Sprinkle the tops with the turbinado sugar.
- Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until the edges are ever-so-slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.
- Serve with a dollop of yogurt or whipped cream and enjoy!
I used whole millet that I ground to a flour in my blender. Feel free to swap in cornmeal or more almond flour for the millet if you don’t have it on hand.