At the height of summer, when berries and stone fruit are at their peak, baking is one of the best ways to concentrate fruit flavor and use up any berries whose glory might be fading. This plum-strawberry cake feels decadent but uses far more nutrient-dense (not to mention gluten & dairy free) ingredients than a typical cake.
Eat it for breakfast, tea-time or dessert. Just make sure to wash your fruit first in our new ceramic berry bowl!
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar, plus 1 tablespoon to sprinkle over the cake
1/2 cup pure maple sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut butter, warmed and stirred (it should be liquid not solid)
1/2 cup good quality (but not too strong) extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup super-fine almond flour
1/4 cup stoneground medium grind
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 of organic orange, zest only
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil to grease the pan
1 1/2 cup hulled strawberries, sliced in halves or quarters, depending on size
1 1/2-2 large plums or pluots, sliced into 1/4-inch thick crescents
Heat the oven to 350°F
Prepare a 9-inch springform pan: If you want to be absolutely sure that the cake won’t stick, use a parchment paper disk to line the bottom of the pan before oiling it. Oil the pan with the vegetable oil making sure it is evenly coated.
Using a stand mixer, a handheld beater, or a patient arm and a whisk, cream the eggs and sugars until thick and pale and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and the zest of the orange and beat to incorporate.
Mix together the chickpea and almond flours, cornmeal, salt, baking soda and baking powder, making sure there are no lumps.
Mix together the liquid coconut butter and olive oil.
Using a rubber spatula, quickly fold the flour mixture into the egg and sugar mixture, followed by the butter-oil mixture. If the batter is feeling very thick at this stage, add a splash of nut or oat milk and incorporate to loosen. Cornmeal, chickpea flour and almond flour are all more absorptive than all-purpose wheat flour, so you should expect a thicker, stickier batter, but you don't want it to be unmanageable.
Add the strawberries to the batter and thoroughly stir before tipping it into the prepared pan and spreading it evenly. Arrange the plum slices over top in a radial pattern. Sprinkle the top with the 2 tablespoons of cane sugar and bake the cake until the top feels dry to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed, and a skewer or knife inserted into the center comes out dry, between 45-60 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave in the pan to cool. Run a knife around the sides of the pan before loosening the springform and transferring cake to a serving platter.