Brown Butter Plum Cake

It’s not often that I see a recipe, print it off and then make it immediately. But when I saw Julie’s post on what she has called Browned Butter Bliss, I was intrigued.

Not only had she raved about this baked dessert, but it sounded delicious and ridiculously easy. If that doesn’t tempt someone (namely me) to try it out, what will?

Brown Butter Plum Cake

Plus, making such a fantastic looking dessert also meant I would have to purchase a pie plate. Any excuse to buy new kitchen goodies! Of course, now I might actually have to learn how to make pie.

A cake/cobbler type of dessert, its flavour is heightened by browning the butter before making the dough, adding a nice nuttiness. But, other than the added step of watching and swirling the melting butter to make sure that it doesn’t go from browned loveliness to black, this recipe is a cinch.

I ate a piece as soon as it had cooled enough for, you know, scientific, recipe-testing purposes. And then I ate another piece a few hours later when it was well and truly cooled to room temperature for, you know, comparison purposes. And I have to say that while Julie seemed to prefer it fresh from the oven, I had different feelings. Once it had cooled, the purply plummy juices had soaked more into the cake, which had solidified slightly.


Plums and spices

Ready to bake

Plum Cake and Ice Cream

This recipe is adapted from Julie (see her post here), which in turn appears to be adapted from elsewhere. That’s one of the things I love about cooking: it’s about taking something and making it your own.

Brown Butter Plum Cake

  • 8 or so plums, thickly sliced (or try peaches, apples, apricots)
  • 3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a pie plate.

Toss the fruit in a bowl with about 2 tbsp. of the sugar, the cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread into the plate.

Melt the butter in a saucepan or small frying pan and keep cooking it for about five minutes until it turns golden. (Swirl the pot occasionally and watch it carefully; it goes quickly from brown to black.)

Pour the butter into a bowl and add the 3/4 cup of sugar, then the eggs and flour. Pour over the fruit and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden and the juices are coming up around the edges.

Delicious with vanilla ice cream.

  25 comments for “Brown Butter Plum Cake

  1. September 9, 2008 at 6:42 am

    this is gorgeous, and clearly, vanilla ice cream is required. nicely done. :)

  2. September 17, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Anything with browned butter in it is superb in my book, so I’ll take a slice or two!!

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  3. gkbloodsugar
    September 17, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    The only people not in love with a pile of plums wrapped in cake, and bolstered with Ice-cream, are those with sooooooouls!

    Nice one!

  4. September 18, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I too had to try the cake after seeing Julie’s post. With a bunch of peaches getting over-ripe, that’s what I used… yum!

  5. September 18, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    oh, shit yes. this is getting MADE in my kitchen.

  6. Mallory
    September 19, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Do you have to let the butter cool before adding the eggs?

  7. patentandthepantry
    September 19, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Good question, Mallory. I let it cool a little bit because I didn’t want the eggs to scramble. A few minutes should be enough.

  8. Newell
    September 21, 2008 at 6:29 am

    Made this last night for my birthday dinner. AMAZING! And, it’s just as good for breakfast this morning. This is a dish you’ll find yourself dreaming about.

  9. patentandthepantry
    September 21, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Michelle, that is one of the best comments! Thanks for making me laugh.

    Newell, Happy Birthday! I totally ate this for breakfast too. It’s fruit, right? That’s healthy.

  10. little sister
    September 21, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    the canada food guide recommends that breakfast consist of fruit, grain and dairy. i guess you just forgot the ice cream.

  11. Tara
    September 24, 2008 at 11:54 am

    It took me three days before I had a chance to make it, but I think I thought about it every day. :)

    It was so fabulous!

    I am wondering though, what is the point of browning the butter. I am pretty sure I have only ever had burnt butter so I was skeptical, but I went ahead and browned it. I thought it tasted ver good, but what woudl the difference be if I had jsut melted it? (I thought about making another one with just melted butter to try it, but haven’t had a chance yet.)

  12. patentandthepantry
    September 24, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Tara, I’ve also wondered about trying to make this again without the browned-butter step to see what happens. If you do that, let me know how it turns out and I will do the same.

    But, I’m glad you liked it.

  13. Anknitwit
    October 6, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    Made this last night with apples from the tree…added some grated lemon rind….not as moist as the plum version .. lovely flavour! Next time will add a slosh of liqueur to the fruit…or use plums.

  14. Leslie
    October 12, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    I made this the first time with exactly your recipe. It was delicious! The second time I used cherries instead of plums and added a dash of vanilla and a dash of salt to the batter. Also fabulous. I think the teeny bit of salt helped enhance the brown butter flavor.

    Thanks for adding to my dessert repertoire!

  15. Rachel
    November 14, 2008 at 11:30 am

    Did someone make this recipe substituting cranberries for the plums?
    For Thanksgiving. Or even Christmas would be nice.

  16. patentandthepantry
    November 14, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Rachel, I haven’t heard anyone trying that yet, but it sounds fantastic. Or even a combination of apples and cranberries would probably be delicious. Let me know how it turns out if you decide to experiement.

  17. July 29, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I made this cake last night, and it was delicious! We’ve already eaten more than half of it.. I love your blog! I initially saw the recipe on Julie’s blog and then saw it here as well. I love your blog!
    I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the plums. :-)

    I’m going to post it on my blog and link back.

  18. July 29, 2009 at 10:52 am

    I made this cake last night, and it was delicious! We’ve already eaten more than half of it. Love your blog! I initially saw the recipe on Julie’s blog and then saw it here as well.
    I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla to the plums. :-)

    I’m going to post it on my blog and link back.

  19. ngoc diep
    August 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I’m not an English native speaker and I’m not sure about this sentence
    Stir the 3/4 cup of sugar into the butter, then the eggs, then the flour. Pour over the fruit and sprinkle with the last tablespoon of sugar.

  20. ngoc diep
    August 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    does it mean ” stir it gently” ?
    thank u

    • patentandthepantry
      August 15, 2009 at 2:25 pm

      Yes, stir it gently and good luck!

  21. August 24, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I’m making this for company tomorrow night and going to throw some blueberries into the mix. Looking forward!!!!

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