Monday, 25 January 2016

A Plum and Rosemary Cake

Fragrant rosemary loves the Summer heat and, in my garden, just seems to grow taller the hotter it gets (while the rest of us are wilting). Summer is the time too for plump, purply plums. Together, these sweet seasonal stonefruits and finely chopped rosemary make a lovely topping for an afternoon tea cake. 

I made just such a cake on the weekend and it was soooo good! The plums, sticky and sweet from their baking in the oven, and the rosemary, with its herby, savoury notes, were a different and delicious combination. Of course, if you didn't have plums you could use a glut of apricots or peaches instead to justify the baking (and eating:) of this scrumptious cake.

As I searched for afternoon tea inspiration in Emma Galloway's gorgeous cookbook, My Darling Lemon Thyme, it was her recipe for a Peach, Rosemary and Yoghurt Cake that caught my eye. It looked jammy and delicious and I wanted to immediately make one. I had no peaches...

...but I did have four ripe plums! I pitted and sliced each plum. I finely chopped roughly a tablespoon of rosemary leaves and mixed them with just a few tablespoons of light brown coconut sugar. (You could use raw sugar or brown sugar.) This became the topping for the yoghurt cake. But, it's not a topping that sits atop the cake batter. Instead, the coconut sugar and rosemary are sprinkled generously over the base of the cake tin and then slices of plum are arranged there too. This decorative and delicious topping is then ready for you to cover with cake batter and to reveal (with considerable fanfare, of course) when you invert your golden cake after it has baked. An upside-down cake!

 Cake batter hides a delicious topping.

Golden brown and ready to turn upside down.

Soft, sweet plums and flecks of rosemary are revealed. Yum!

While you may not have Emma's recipe, I think this topping would work well with any yoghurt cake (such as this recipe on the London Bakes blog).  The baked plums were as jammy and sweet as they promised to be and the rosemary made its presence felt but not in an overpowering way. Served with a big dollop of thick, fresh cream it was very much a hit with the good friends we shared it with. 

It's a cake I will definitely make again. Perhaps with peaches next time. Or apricots. Or nectarines...



  1. WOW! I would never have thought to put rosemary anywhere near a sweet cake, I'm intrigued, but I will have to wait to try it because my oven has died!! Hubby is going to pull it out this weekend, and see if he can fix it, but if's a new one for us.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I hope you get a new oven soon so that you can try the fruit and rosemary combo. It is unusual but, as always, the proof was in the eating and it was really delicious. Good luck with your oven. I hope your hubby can fix it so you don't need to buy another one.