This vegan plum cake is a light and fluffy sponge covered in juicy fruits. It’s the perfect bake for late summer and autumn.
In Austria this type of cake is a ‘Blechkuchen’ which literally means ‘sheet cake’ and refers to the flat baking tray that you bake this in, rather than a tin.
Because it’s a wide and shallow cake it’s quick to bake - perfect when you’re in a hurry for something yummy! And because there’s plenty of space on top, you can cover it in loads of plums, which become juicy and sweet as they cook.
The batter for this cake is wonderfully simple, and is very quick to mix together.
All you need is:
- Plain white flour (or all purpose)
- Baking powder
- Sparkling water - the bubbles help the cake become nice and fluffy.
- Sugar - caster sugar for the batter, and icing sugar to go on top.
- Oil - we recommend a neutral flavoured vegetable oil.
- And a dash of cinnamon or vanilla extract to add extra flavour.
Choosing your plums
Plums are a soft and juicy fleshed fruit with a stone in. And they can come in many colours.
Depending on the variety, the skin or the flesh can be dark purple, red, green, and yellow.
There’s two main types of plum:
- Japanese plums are more round, watery, and usually have flesh which tends to cling to the stone.
- European plums have a more oval shape, lower water content and tend to be of the ‘freestone’ variety, where the stone and flesh are easy to separate.
We have tested the recipe with a Japanese and a European variety of plum, and both work in this recipe, although the higher water content of Japanese style plums can mean a longer cooking time.
But overall we prefer the European variety for its flavour and how much easier it is to remove the pit.
We recommend using ripe plums, which are sweet enough to eat on their own.
Variations and substitutions
To make a smaller version of the cake, you can halve the recipe and make it in a cake tin instead of on a baking tray.
Adding flaked almonds on top of the cake before baking can add a deliciously crunchy bonus.
Use this vegan sponge as a base for other seasonal soft fruits. We love this cake made with blackberries with some lemon zest in the batter for another delicious autumn bake. It's also nice with cherries, raspberries and other soft fruits.
Serving and storage
Serve in the afternoon with some strong coffee (the Austrians will approve) or a pot of tea.
Or enjoy warm from the oven as a comforting dessert with some vegan ice cream or custard.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days. If you live in a hot climate, you might want to keep it in the fridge because of the fruit.
Easy to freeze
Simply cut to fit your container and stack separated with slices of baking parchment (we reuse the piece we use to line the baking tray). If freezing in a bag, squeeze out the excess air before sealing.
You can defrost the cake by unwrapping and leaving it to thaw at room temperature. We sometimes also speed it up by thawing in the oven at around 120°C until the cake is moist and warm.
Mmmmm, can you ever have too much cake?!
Try our other delicious vegan cake recipes:
Vegan Apricot Cake (we love this one so much we had it at our wedding)
Chocolate and Pear Cake (this is a real crowd pleaser!)
Vegan Elderflower Cake (a fun twist on a classic loaf cake)
Vegan Sachertorte (this chocolate cake is another Austrian favourite)
Vegan Plum Cake
- 280 g (2 1/4 cups) plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 150 g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
- 100 ml (7 tbsp) vegetable oil
- 225 ml (1 cup) sparkling water
- 30 small plums use half if large
- lemon zest optional
- 2 tsp vanilla extract optional, or half amount almond extract
- icing sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon optional
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C / 360°F
- Wash, destone and halve or quarter the plums depending on size.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk to combine the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the sugar and oil (and zest or vanilla extract if using), then add the sparkling water and gently combine.
- Now, add the dry mix (flour and baking powder) to the wet mix, and gently whisk to combine into a smooth, lump-free batter.
- Pour the batter into a lined oven tray. We use a large flat 12 x 15 inches (30 x 38 cm) sheet tray. For different tray or tin sizes, see the notes below.
- Place the plum halves on top of batter. If using, sprinkle over the flaked almonds.
- Cook for 25-30mins until cake comes out clean when tested, fruit is nicely cooked and the cake just starts to brown a little bit.
- With the cake fresh out of the oven and still hot, generously sprinkle on icing sugar, and some cinnamon if using. The icing sugar melts on the juicy hot fruit.
- The cake can be served warm immediately, or transferred to a wire rack to cool.
We hope you like our vegan plum cake and thanks for visiting us at Vegan on Board. You can find out more about us, and join us on our adventures by jumping on board our mailing list.
Happy cake baking,
Love, Sophie and Paul