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Italian plum & almond cake

26 June 2022
Photo: Rose Langbein

Annabel Langbein shares her recipe for a wonderfully tender cake that is perfect for a summer picnic or celebration. The tartness from the plums balances out the sweetness from the cake perfectly. Recipe Annabel Langbein

SERVES 10 –12


• 180g/6oz butter, at room temperature, plus extra
for greasing
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• finely grated zest of 2 lemons
• 3 large eggs, at room temperature
• 1½ cups ground almonds
• 1 cup self-raising flour
• 2 tablespoons plain yoghurt or buttermilk
• 8 large semi-firm plums, halved, stones removed
• 1 tablespoon amaretto liqueur (optional)
• 2 teaspoons icing sugar, to garnish

img 8255 2
Wild plums from Annabel's property in Dublin Bay.


  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC/320ºF fanbake. Line the base of a 24cm/9in springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest until pale and creamy. Next, beat in
    the eggs one at a time. Add the ground almonds, flour, and yoghurt, using a spatula to mix until
    evenly combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, smooth the top with the spatula, and arrange the plums
    halves on top, cut-side up (if you press them in, they will sink).
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre
    comes out clean (about 1 hour 15 minutes). Remove from the oven and, if using, brush the
    amaretto liqueur over the hot cake. Allow to cool completely in the tin before removing and dusting
    with icing sugar to serve.
  5. If you’re not serving this the same day it is made, cake will keep in the fridge for up to two days. Simply bring back to room temperature before serving with the dusting of icing sugar.

NOTE: If you want to take this to the next level, grind your own almonds to a fine crumb in a food processor.

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