Vegan Plum Almond Cake

An extremely fluffy plum almond cake that’s perfect for late summer/early fall plum season. This Vegan Plum Almond Cake a light, tender cake with a fine crumb, it’s not too sweet, and is dotted with juicy, tart plums.

When I posted a photo of this plum almond cake on Instagram last week, the most common description referred to in the comments was FLUFFY. So, here is a fluffy plum almond cake. It is a light, tender cake with a fine crumb, not too sweet, and dotted with juicy, tart plums. It makes the perfect snack cake to savor with an afternoon cup of herbal tea. 

I came up with this recipe after several recent trips to the farmers market left my kitchen overflowing with a half dozen pound of plums. I ate a few pounds of those plums, but after one too many trips to the ladies room (TMI?), I decided I needed to stop shoveling the plums down my throat and start baking with them. I was lucky enough to find some red-flesh plums for this cake so it looked extra pretty, but any plum variety will do, and Italian plums would be perfect.

Vegan Plum Almond Cake
plum almond cake 2020 edited (8 of 8).jpg

That’s because there is a traditional Italian cake called Torta di Prugne e Mandorle, which translates to plum almond cake. I had no idea such a dessert existed when I baked this, but I was delighted to later learn that my culinary instincts to combine plum and almond flavors was spot on. Also, I consulted the Flavor Bible, as I often do when I am developing new recipes, and it told me that plums and almonds go really well together, so there’s that.

I use almonds in two forms here: first, almond flour or fine almond meal, which lends that fluffy, light texture; and second, almond extract. I really love the strong, cherry-like flavor that almond extract brings, but if you don’t have it, you can substitute pure vanilla extract. I also add a bit of orange zest to the cake batter, as it adds a pop of freshness and a pleasant sweetness, while simultaneously enhancing the plum flavors. 

Vegan Plum Almond Cake
Vegan Plum Almond Cake

I made this cake in a 7-inch springform pan, which helps give it that tall, fluffy look. If you use an 8-inch springform pan or 8-inch cake pan, you’ll want to bake the cake for slightly less time, as the batter will be more spread out and require less time in the oven. 

Plums are in season only through October, so be sure to bake this unknowingly Italian-inspired plum cake before the season ends. Bon appétit

Vegan Plum Almond Cake

Vegan Plum Almond Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup almond flour or fine almond meal

  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 2/3 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, stirred

  • 3/4 cup organic cane sugar

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral-flavored oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

  • 4-6 plums, pitted and halved (my plums were miniature, so I used 8-10)

  • Optional garnishes: nondairy whipped topping or coconut whipped cream

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° F. or 180°C.

  2. Line the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, you can use an 8-inch springform pan or an 8-inch round cake pan, but you’ll want to reduce the bake time by 5-10 minutes.

  3. Place a large sieve over a medium bowl and sift the flour, almond flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together.

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, sugar, lemon juice, oil, almond extract, vanilla extract, and orange zest until well combined.

  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.

  6. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.

  7. Arrange the sliced plums evenly on top of the cake batter. Even spacing helps with even baking.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  9. Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack before serving with nondairy whipped topping or coconut whipped cream.

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28 comments on Vegan Plum Almond Cake

  1. Cordelia Smith

    One Hundred Stars!

    This is one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten…and I’m not even vegan! I modified a bit. Doubled the recipe and made 3- thin 8″ rounds. Then I frosted it “naked cake” style with a simple vegan buttercream frosting. Seriously, so so so so good. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Cordelia, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  2. Yamit

    Dear Nisha, I made this cake today in a 7inch pan. I followed the instructions and my cake didn’t rise up. From the beginning there was not much batter but I assumed it will rise up. It didn’t. I don’t want to give up, it’s a good cake!! and I really want to succeed. Is there any reason you can think – why I failed? Thank you :-)

    1. Yamit

      OK, so I think I didn’t mix well the dry ingredients. Lucky me, I can blame it on the flu I got. I’m making it now, again, mixed realy well this time and it rised better. Thank you for the great recipe ❤️

      1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

        I hope this time around it worked out better for you, Yamit!

    2. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Yamit, did you use the correct amount of both baking powder and baking soda? Let us know!

  3. Gretha

    I’ve just made your recipe and it smells divine, fresh from the oven. The only thing is, that all the plums sunk to the bottom. Could I dust them in flour to prevent this from happening?
    Lovely recipe though! Can’t wait to taste it later.

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Whoops, sorry to hear about that Gretha! Yes, a light and gentle toss in flour could work! I haven’t made this cake in a while, so I can’t say for sure, but I know this technique works to prevent berries from sinking in muffins and cakes.

  4. Kerry Collins

    We love this cake.
    I am making 2 more today with our abundance of plums,I will pop in the freezer.
    My daughter says it is like a cake you would buy in a cafe,and I’m no chef so it must be the recipe.
    I did not have organic cane sugar so I used half a cup of raw sugar-this time I may even use a little less.

  5. Katie

    A friend had given me a bunch of plums from her farm, so I thought I’d give this cake a try. It is delicious! It also looks beautiful with the plums bursting with color on the top of the cake. It was sweet enough without the coconut whipped cream added on top, but I’m sure that would make for a decadent treat.

  6. Anthony

    I followed the recipe to a T aside from trying to place the plums in a fan design around the sides but every piece of fruit sunk to the bottom of the cake. It’s absolutely delicious but I didn’t get the same texture or pretty photos lol

  7. Bryn Dineen

    I would love to try this cake – it looks delicious, but I am not allowed to eat coconut milk or oil – is there anything I could substitute that would work instead? Here’s hoping!

    1. Marie B

      Bryn,
      You could try subbing applesauce for the oil and cashew milk for the coconut milk. It may change it a bit, but should still be lovely.

  8. Linda

    Plum season it is and I was searching Pinterest for the best recipe and my oh my, found this excellent recipe! Just ate it – still hot in the inside (I love hot food) and my word for the cake would be moist ;) and I love moist cakes (remembering your banana bread mmm..)I don’t know have it would taste cold but it is already excellent, so thank you again for tasty recipe! :)

  9. Biota

    This is one of my default cake recipes because it’s a crowd pleaser and so easy to make.
    I can never seem to remember to make this during plum season so I’ve adapted this recipe to a blueberry almond upside-down cake! Basically sub in blueberries in place of plums and then when it’s done baking, just flip the cake upside down and the blueberries will have sunk to the bottom and marbled beautifully.
    Also my family is very sensitive to too much sugar so I double this recipe (for the perfect height in an 8-inch springform) but only add a cup of sugar instead of the 1.5 cups and we find the sweetness level to be perfect.

    1. Nisha Vora

      I had no idea it was your default cake – that’s so lovely to hear. And blueberries might be even better than plums. I am excited to try it with blueberries when the season returns. Good to know that you can reduce the sugar quantity and still have a delicious, crowd-pleasing cake :)

  10. Nina

    We made this cake with home-grown plums. It was superb!! One of the nicest vegan cakes we’ve tried

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Nina! That’s so nice to hear :) I would love to be able to grow my own plums! So happy you all enjoyed it!

  11. Diana

    Hi, can I use canned plums instead of fresh ones in this recipe?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Diana,
      Sorry for the delayed reply! I have never tried using canned plums. My guess is that they have a lot of liquid in them so it might weigh down the cake. If you can wash them and remove the excess moisture, I think it should work just fine!

  12. Anna T

    I made this last weekend and it was amazing! Loved the plum/almond combo :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Anna! So glad you tried it out and enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know :)

  13. Suzanne

    HI, what temperature should I preheat oven at, please?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Suzanne! Oops, can’t believe I forgot to include that in the instructions. I updated the recipe to indicate the oven temperature should be 350 F / 180 C.

  14. Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet

    Oh my gosh Nisha, the texture here is unreal! And your photography is so clear, I can taste how good this is. Everyone needs plum cake in their life, haha! Take care, Dee xx

    1. Nisha Vora

      So glad you like the texture and the photography! Means a lot to me :)

  15. Noelle/Too Precious For Processed

    I’m in love with this cake! Fluffy and full of plums. I had my fair share of plums this summer as well- those babies are so tasty! I bet the combination of plums and almonds tastes fabulous. Can’t wait to bake one of these beauties!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Yesss, plums are so tasty! And so underrated. The plum-almond combo is so good, definitely a new favorite!

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