CinnaVanilla Dimply Plum Cake -- Tuesdays with Dorie

This week, the wonderful Baking group Tuesdays with Dorie took on Dimply Plum Cake, chosen by Michelle of Bake-en -- the recipe for this lovely cake should be available on her site. ETA: I just noticed the recipe is not up on Michelle's site so you can find it here Baking with Dorie: Dimply Plum Cake Serious Eats : Recipes .
Let me start out by saying this is probably my new favorite recipes from Dorie's book, Baking From My My Home To Yours. My first ever Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was Apple Cheddar Scones, I absolutely loved it, and that has been my favorite until Dimply Plum Cake arrived and stole that oh so special 'favorite' spot.

A mini melon baller was the perfect tool to pit the plums.

Going in to this recipe I didn't know what to expect, I certainly wasn't expecting to enjoy this cake as much as I did. I actually made this twice in the past couple of weeks! This is the first TWD recipe I've ever made twice. The first time around I picked up plums at the grocery store and thought I had everything else, but when I checked my spice rack I noticed I didn't have any cardamom. I honestly had no idea what cardamom really tasted like, but was for sure that I had purchased it for some recipe some time ago and there was a 90% full jar on my spice rack, but I couldn't find one. I really wanted to try the plum cake, and the kids were excited about it too since they love plums, so I went ahead and made it with 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of vanilla. Those are two of my favorite flavors and almost never dissapoint when added to baked goods. Considering Dorie says the cardamom is optional I figured I'd be fine without. The first time around I also left out the orange zest. I baked it a little longer than the 40 minutes called for because it was clearly not done. I had no idea how long extra, not too long, a few minutes, maybe 5? I wasn't really paying attention just kind of babysitting the cake so it didn't get overdone.

That first cake was wonderful, I loved to spicy cinnamon which really stood out and went so well with the extra vanilla and brown sugar. It was a touch dry for me, especially around the edges, and as much as I dislike dry cake this plum cake had won me over with the halves of plums nestled on top. The kids loved it as well, and it was gone in no time.

During our next grocery adventure, and yes, taking three little ones grocery shopping is quite an adventure, we passed the plums and the kids begged for more plums and more plum cake! How could I say no? Now I know it's not health food, but having my little sweeties beg for plum cake made me smile. We picked up some more plums and as I made my way down the spice aisle I thought, hey, I'll pick up some cardamom and try it exactly as written. I was a little sticker shocked to see that a little jar of cardamom was almost $12.00 but figured, why not? Now at least I will know that I have a 90% full jar of cardamom sitting in my spice rack should I see it in a future recipe :)

The cake the second time around was just as charming, I used the cardamom and orange zest and the amount of vanilla called for, following the recipe to almost a perfect T -- except for the fact that I could only fit on 3 rows of 3 plums, just like the first time around. I didn't babysit the cake in the oven and just pulled it out at 40 minutes, it seemed slightly underdone after I cut it, even though it 'tested' done...of course no one seemed to mind. Really though, the funny thing is that I could not taste a difference in the cake with the cardamom and orange zest. It tasted almost exaclty as it did the first time around with cinnamon and extra vanilla. Go figure. So if you maybe went looking for cardamom and opted not to spend $12.00 on a spice you will rarely use, you are not missing out.

Tried to get a touch fancy with the caramel drizzle on the second cake, but it really wasn't needed. I think this was more like a cake you want to serve with tea, not as a 'dessert' dessert.

One of the best parts of this whole plum cake was that it is such a perfect treat for this time of the year, using the last of the summer stone fruits, adding some warmth from the spice, just getting ready to settle down for fall. I can see the plum cake being a family tradition with the kids this time of the year, they really had so much fun with it! More than Whopper Drops, or the Chocolate Chunkers, which I loaded with candy coated peanut butter goodies, my sweeties prefer Dimply Plum Cake, those little ones are always full of surprises! And who could resist a cake with such a cute name?