Butter-y and airy, this French coffee cake with plums is one perfect celebration of hot summer days. It’s simple, moist and extra delicious, not to mention kid-friendly too. Perfect for an afternoon snack or even on-the-go healthy dessert. Grownups may enjoy it with a cup of coffee.
HOW TO MAKE POWDERED SUGAR AT HOME
I love the idea of making your own powdered sugar at home – that way you have more control over the type of sugar you consume. Plus, here in Europe, I’ve rarely seen unprocessed powdered sugar.
If you own Vitamix, I highly recommend watching this Video from Dowshiftology on how to make your own powdered sugar. If you are more into reading your way through recipes, then check Cookie and Kate’s article on how to make homemade icing sugar with a blender/food processor.
The original of this recipe (from my French mother-in-law’s recipe notebook) calls for all-purpose flour and white powdered sugar. So, if you run a ‘white’ pantry, definitely feel free to substitute.
LET’S TALK ABOUT PLUMS (prunes)
Here in Europe, we mainly get two types of purple/red plums – the long-ish Italian Damson plums that are actually well known to most European countries – not just Italy. And the Satsuma (dark red plums) that are usually imported. This recipe uses the Europe’s traditional Damson plums that are used also for drying and jams (yum!).
HOW TO MAKE SUN DRIED PLUMS/PRUNES AT HOME (the old fashioned way)
Growing up, my granny had more than 10 damson plum trees in her small farm garden. So, for the sake of not throwing food away, she used to air-dry pounds (kilograms) of damson plums each year.
- Choose well ripen damson plums that do not have dark spots or bruises.
- Wash prunes under cold water and cut in half. Remove pits.
- Place plum halves onto large baking paper sheet (granny used old newspapers) and allow space between them, so air can flow around freely.
- Place sheet with plum halves in dry and warm place where sunlight can shine directly onto them (granny used to place them next to the balcony window). Keep in-house for the night if you place them under direct sunlight in the garden.
- Turn plums every day so that they get dehydrated on both ends.
- Once plums seem wrinkled (but not dry and hard) and soft-ish they can be stored in air-tight glass containers or glass jars.
HOW PLUMS CAN HELP WITH DIGESTION
Did you know that in the olden days people in Europe used plums and prunes (prune juice) for fixing digestion issues such as constipation. Yup! As plums are high in natural fiber and sorbitol they help move water into the large intestine. Thus plums are known for their laxative properties. Eating too much however may cause bloating and discomfort – so consume with caution.
When my now 3 year old boy was just starting on solids (around 6 months) he used to have very irregular bowel movements. So, I used to add one or 2 dried plums to boiling water for about 10 minutes – then give him the water ( around 2 tbsp max). I started with one small baby spoon at a time to see how his body reacts to the water. Soon enough his digestion was back up and running normally (for a baby stating on solids).
MORE TASTY RECIPES TO DEFINITELY TRY:
Easy Carrot Cake with Coconut Frosting – (check recipe here)
3-Ingredient Walnut cookies (aka the Best cookies ever) – (check recipe here)
Ultimate Tahini Brownies (one bowl and 30 minutes only) – (check them here)
Raw Carob Bites with prunes (see them here)
Raw Poppy Seed Cake (print recipe here)
Heavenly coconut macaroons (only 3 ingredients) – (see recipe here)
French Coffee Plum Cake
- 2 sticks butter, 250g
- 4 eggs, medium
- 1, ½ cup powdered brown sugar
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2, ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder, 10g
- 12-15 plums, damsons (or Italian plums), cut in half, pitted
- In large mixing bowl beat butter (room temperature) and powdered brown sugar until foam-y texture is reached.
- Then add eggs one by one – beating each egg after the previous homogenizes perfectly with the butter-powdered sugar mix. After all 4 eggs have been added, gently add the milk. Beat until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl mix whole wheat flour and baking powder until well combined. Then gently add to the flour and whisk to preserve as much air as possible.
- Grease your baking pan with some butter (I use the inside part of the butter’s package) and pour the mix in.
- Then, wash plums under cold water, cut in halves and remove pits. Place halves on top of the batter close to one another (do not press) with inside facing upwards.
- Preheat oven at 200 C/ 400 F and place baking tray in the middle. Bake until toothpick comes out clean out of the batter, not prunes (approx. 25 min in my oven).