Gluten free plum cake recipe (in a cast iron skillet)

The tart plums give this gluten free plum cake recipe a balanced flavor. It looks impressive but is easy to make in a cast iron skillet.

The tart plums give this gluten free plum cake recipe a balanced flavor. It looks impressive but is easy to make in a cast iron skillet.

When your neighbor gives you an entire grocery bag full of plums, it’s time to make a gluten free plum cake!

Small, Italian plums are great for snacking, but also bake up nicely in this gluten free plum cake. 

Small, Italian plums are great for snacking, but also bake up nicely in this gluten free plum cake. 

Years ago, I bought a lovely Williams-Sonoma cookbook entitled, Fruit Dessert. In it is a recipe for “Plum Buckle” that I’ve always wanted to try and adapt to be gluten free. (A “buckle” is a cake with fruit pressed into the top, and the batter “buckles” around it.) I made a few other changes to the recipe, like using my cast iron skillet instead of greasing and flouring a fussy springform cake pan.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links to products I have used and love.

I’ve been on a cast iron skillet kick since I got the America’s Test Kitchen Cook it in Cast Iron cookbook. Can you tell I have a problem with collecting cookbooks? Yeah, I read them like novels before bed, cover to cover. And while I love the ATK How Can it Be Gluten Free cookbooks, and making my own GF flour blend, I was enticed to try the Krusteaz Gluten Free Flour. It has a higher protein content than most GF flour blends, and has xanthan gum already in there. So far, I can sub it in recipes cup-for-cup and we’ve liked the results!

Tip: if you have time to let your cold ingredients come to room temperature (butter and eggs), the cake will have a lighter texture. If you use a different gluten free flour blend, your results may vary. If your flour blend doesn't have xanthan gum in it, I'd suggest adding 1/2 tsp. 

This gluten free plum cake looks impressive and pretty, but really, it was pretty easy, and super delicious. The tart plums with the just-sweet-enough cake is a perfectly balanced flavor combination. As much as you’ll be tempted to dig right in when it comes out of the oven, it really does need time to rest and cool. It’s perfect the next morning as a coffee cake.

Recipe: Gluten free plum cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend (this recipe was formulated using Krusteaz Gluten Free Flour)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature (if you only have salted butter just omit the added salt)
  • 2 eggs (let sit at room temperature, if possible)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6-8 plums (1 lb) each pitted and cut into 8 slices
  • Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top

Prep:

Oil your cast iron skillet. (I used a 9 inch skillet – if yours is larger or smaller, adjust baking times accordingly. Alternately, you could just use a regular 9 inch cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.)  

Preheat the oven to 350 (F) with greased cast iron skillet in the oven.

Assemble:

In a smallish bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl if needed. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix well, 1-2 minutes. (You don’t need to worry about over-beating with gluten free flour, and the starches take a little longer to hydrate).

Pull the pre-heated cast iron skillet out of the oven. If needed, pour in a little oil and carefully use a paper towel to spread it around. Spread batter evenly in the skillet. It will be really thick and difficult to spread, but will melt fairly quickly).

Arrange plum slices in concentric circles, pressing lightly into batter. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.

Bake 45-60 minutes. Your cue that it’s done: golden brown around the edges and a just barely set center. The cake will continue to bake a bit as it sits in the skillet once you pull it out of the oven. Let cool 1 hour (ideally more) before serving.

Unlike many gluten free baked goods, this gluten free plum cake stays moist and soft and doesn’t require heating to have a lovely texture. Lightly covered, this will stay good 2-3 days on the counter – if it lasts that long! Don’t put it in the refrigerator, since that tends to make GF baked items dry.