Week 26: Raspberry-Plum Corn Cake

Before I get in to this week’s cake and the inspiration and anecdote behind it, I want to take a moment of celebration and reflection to recognize my progress in the project. 26 cakes marks the halfway point, and to be totally honest, I’m surprised I’ve kept the momentum. Like many of us, I’ve began and abandoned too many passion projects to count.

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Last year when I was conceptualizing the best way to capture and make something of my culinary passions, my biggest concern was continuing the momentum. Week after week, was I going to get sick of baking cake?

Yes.

However, I would equate my time spent laboring in the kitchen and crouching over cakes with my camera over the past 26 weeks to the that of a really great workout. As much as I’ve dragged my feet and grumbled about making a cake when I didn’t want to, each time I step into the kitchen, I’m over come with a sense of peace and vocation.

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The muscle memory of creaming butter with the sugar, watching the transformation of raw batter into browned rounded tops and the immense sense of accomplishment in each cake I’ve had the opportunity to make and share with the people I care about, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life.

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I want to thank everyone that has followed along here and on Instagram. You all are the best for thinking that this silly idea that came to me 8 months ago is actually kind of cool. Everyone that’s followed this project (from total strangers to my mom) has been my biggest inspiration for continuing.

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Now onto this week’s cake. If you read last week, you’d know I’m in the middle of a move. While I’m usually very open to expanding my baking pantry, I’ve been trying to use up some of my fridge, freezer and dry goods. I developed my Raspberry-Plum Corn Cake with exactly that in mind.

Of course the raspberries and plums I didn’t have sitting around, but you get the idea.

A sprinkle of corn-meal, some almond flour,some butter and eggs from the fridge, a mixture of sugars I had on hand–and I had myself a mighty fine cake. My inspiration behind this recipe came from a gateau basque and the more classic american cornbread. I’ve always eyed the little almond cakes tucked with fruit in coffee shop pastry cabinets and wanted to try my hand at recreating one into a larger cake.

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The plums cooked into the batter and the raspberries on top add a sweetness with a punchy bite that contrasts the mellow cornmeal texture. In an effort to use up a few more pantry ingredients, I used two different types of sugars which enhanced the caramel notes and helped create a crusty top to safely encase the raspberries.

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In lieu of the usual donuts, I brought this cake in for a co-workers birthday. Needless to say, it enlisted many a side eye and had employees not on my team begging for bites.

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Raspberry-Plum Corn Cake

  • Servings: 10-14
  • Time: 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 13 tbsp. butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 c. cane sugar
  • 1/4 c. turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 c. almond flour
  • 1 c. corn meal
  • 3/4 c. all purpose
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 plums, chopped
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 pint raspberries

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 and line and grease a 10″ spring form pan with parchment paper. Peal and halve peaches, set aside.

Combine the almond meal, corn meal, all purpose flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Toss in the chopped plums till fully coated in dry mixture. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, with a hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla, beat until combined

Fold the dry ingredients to the wet until no streaks show. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Top with raspberries and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack.

One the cake has cooled, remove it from the spring pan and allow to rest on the cooling rack.

Final thoughts on Raspberry Plum Corn Cake:

  • 26 weeks down.
  • 26 weeks to go.
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