Almond Plum Cake with Amaretto and Whipped Mascarpone
This simple Almond Plum Cake tastes like a cross between cake and fruit cobbler. It is supremely moist and almost custard-like, thanks to the soft roasted sweet plums, almond paste, and a generous amount of Amaretto liquor.
This Almond Plum Cake is made from three of my favorite things – fresh summer fruit, almond paste, and amaretto. It also has this going for it: I feel it is completely appropriate to serve this cake at any time of the day or night. I mean, most cakes just kind of naturally lend themselves to certain situation. A coffee cake for breakfast or brunch. A snack cake for that afternoon pick-me-up. A frosted layer cake for celebrations or dinner parties. Yet, somehow, this cake is right at home anywhere, at any time, for any occasion. (Not that I would ever begrudge you a slice of buttercream covered layer cake for breakfast or criticize you for dishing up some coffee cake for dinner party guests.)
Or, I don’t know. Perhaps, I just want the excuse to eat cake morning, noon, and night and want to offer you that excuse as well. I’m super generous like that.
Plums, Almond Paste, Amaretto, and Whipped Mascarpone
I like to use the very small plums used to make prunes in this cake. Sliced in half, they are the perfect size. Plus, they aren’t quite as juicy as regular size plums. For straight eating, the juicier the plum the better. But, excess fruit juice can wreck havoc on baked goods. If you can’t find the super small plums, go ahead and use regular size ones. Cut them in half, then cut each half into quarters and place them into a colander set over the sink. Let them sit for about 30 minutes so that any excess juice has a chance to drain out.
Almond paste is nothing more than almonds ground with confectioners sugar, almond extract and an egg white to bind it all together. You can find it in most supermarkets, order it from Amazon, or make it yourself by grinding 1 & 1/2 cups of blanched almonds in a food processor then adding 1 & 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 egg white, 1 tsp almond extract and processing until smooth. (Refrigerate until ready to use.)
For such a humble ingredient, almond paste is absolutely magical in baked goods, contributing moisture, flavor, and a level of richness that’s difficult to get from other ingredients. I’m a fan.
You know what else I’m a fan of? Amaretto. Pour me some Amaretto and I’ll love you for life, but honestly, if I had to choose between sipping a glass or eating a slice of Amaretto drenched cake, I’d choose the later. Besides its lovely almond flavor, Amaretto is one of my favorite liquors to use in desserts because it’s so smooth. It adds flavor without any sharp edges. You can add quite a lot (flavor!) without risking any of the “burn” associated with alcohol.
Drenching your slices of Almond Plum Cake in mascarpone whipped with honey is optional.
But, I mean, mmmmmmmmmmm……
If you’re not a huge mascarpone fan (gasp!) or if you can’t find it at your local market, whip some heavy cream with a couple tablespoons of confectioners sugar and a teaspoon of almond extract. A scoop of ice cream would also be divine. Or, serve your cake completely unadorned, because honestly, as delicious as it is to drench cake with cream… this cake doesn’t actually need it.
Used in this recipe:
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- Olive Oil Cake with Mascarpone Cream
- Almond Cakes with Cranberry Sauce
- Berry Lemon Snack Cake
- Strawberry Cake with Pistachio Italian Meringue Buttercream
This simple Almond Plum Cake tastes like a cross between cake and fruit cobbler. It is supremely moist and almost custard-like, thanks to the soft roasted sweet plums and a generous amount of Amaretto liquor.
For the cake:
- 16 small plums (about 16 oz/ 1 lb)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 3 tbsp for sprinkling
- 8 oz almond paste
- 12 tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 3 tbsp + 1/4 cup Amaretto liquor, divided
For the whipped mascarpone:
- 8 oz mascarpone cheese
- 2 tbsp honey
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch springform pan with vegetable shortening. Cut out a piece of parchment paper so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Grease the top of the parchment paper. Shake about 1/2 cup of flour around inside the pan so that it’s coated with flour. Shake out the excess.
- Cut the plums in half and remove their seeds. If using larger plums, cut them in half, remove the seed, and then cut each half into quarters. (If the plums are really juicy, place the cut up pieces in a colander set in the sink and let them sit for about 30 minutes to allow the excess juice to drip out.)
- In a medium size bowl, add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the lemon zest and sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the almond paste to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the butter and beat for 1 minute to combine with the almond paste.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scrapping down the sides of the bowl after each addition and beating for 20 seconds. Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup Amaretto and beat just long enough to combine.
- Gently stir the flour mixture into the batter, mixing just long enough to incorporate. Scoop the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
- If using halved small plums, place them cut side down in one layer on the surface of the batter. If using larger plums that have been cut into chunks, scatter the pieces over the batter in one even layer. Sprinkle the plums with 3 tbsp granulated sugar.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any liquid batter clinging to it. Remove the cake to a wire rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Run the blunt edge of a knife or flat metal spatula along the sides of the cake and then release and remove the side of the pan. Brush the top of the cake with 3 tbsp Amaretto. Let cool completely before serving.
Make the whipped mascarpone:
- Add the mascarpone and honey to a small bowl and whip vigorously with a wire whisk or hand held electric mixer until fully combined and smooth. Serve drizzled over slices of almond plum cake.
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