Late summer is one of the best time of year for stone fruit, especially the delicious dark blood plums.  There truly is nothing else like them on the planet. Their colour alone is so intense but when they are ripe their perfume is like a deep sweet shot of port.

As the days seem to get shorter I feel a greater calling for warmer foods and spices.  Soup in summer seems a little outrageous unless you are talking about a cold soup which I have never got my head around, I think I would rather have a smoothie instead!

But as the cooler nights kick in there is an intriguing overlap of flavours, that work between late summer and early autumn. Hot stone fruit, warm salads, fresh tomato pasta sauces. I know my taste buds are always wanting to get the very most out of the garden’s bounty from the summer season.

One of my favourite cakes to bake when the plums are straight from the tree is this Spiced Blood Plum Cake.  It combines the sweetness of stone fruit with the deep spices of cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg and can be served warm or cold depending on your ability for self-control after it comes out of the oven.



  • 125 gm butter
  • 1 cup of caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ cup of milk
  •  1 ½ cups of plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder
  • 10 plums
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar



  1. Line a 20 cm springform tin with baking paper
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees
  3. In a standing mixer or bowl with an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and creamed.  Add the egg and vanilla and reduce the speed of the mixer until the egg and vanilla are well combined with the butter and sugar.
  4. With the mixer on medium, add half of the flour mixture (baking powder, salt and spices), then the milk and the remaining flour and mix until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared tin and then place halved plums cut side down around the cake, pressing them in gently to the batter.  
  6. Sprinkle brown sugar over the plums and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden and the middle is firm.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing the tin.