It’s officially stone fruit season! The market is seriously bursting with fresh peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums. I can’t even believe this many varieties existed, but yesterday I bit into something called a doughnut peach and I was thankful for California farmers making these crazy things happen.
Though I try to stay out of the oven this time of year, the luscious stone fruits make it difficult. Here I decided to use the classic Italian combo of plums and almonds in mini cakes so elegant, I had to change out of my yoga pants just to eat one. The rich almond base is so moist and lovely on its own, but it gets a nice seasonal upgrade from chunks of fresh plum. They’d be great for a garden party, a bridal shower or a late summer picnic. Enjoy!
This cake gets it’s flavor from almond paste, an entire tube of it! Pulse almond paste with sugar in your food processor until the mixture is well incorporated and is the consistency of large crumbs.
Cream the butter with the almond paste mixture and add vanilla, eggs and dry ingredients.
This batter is thick. Use an ice cream scoop to portion off the mini cakes since it won’t exactly pour out of the bowl.
Add a few chunks of plums to the almond batter. This cake will consume them during the baking process, so don’t expect them to stay at the top!
Almond Plum Cakes
Makes 24 individual cakes
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 oz almond paste
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 eggs
- 4-5 plums, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of each cup on standard muffin pan. Line each cup with little parchment circles or, alternatively us cupcake liners.
Sift together cake flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse almond paste with sugar until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a stand mixer using paddle attachment (or hand mixer), beat the butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add almond paste/sugar mixture and beat until well incorporated and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract and add eggs, one at a time until each addition is thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture in three additions, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed until mixture is completely incorporated.
Fill prepared cups about 2/3 full with almond cake batter. Add 3-4 plum chunks to each cup. Bake for about 30 minutes or until cakes spring back to the touch and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow cakes to cool, then remove from pan. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.
*Adapted from The Art of Simple Food