When you want something quick and easy, but still tasty and filling, look no further. Here’s a delightful loaf cake that will please everyone around the table, or sitting watching TV.
Time: 20 – 25 minutes prep, around 50 minutes baking + cooling time.
Serves: 12 slices
Tins: A 900g (2lb) loaf tin, with or without a paper liner (*see info. below)
- 225g/8oz plums, chopped (Mine came from a jar)
- 1 tbsp plain flour*
- 115g/4oz butter
- 150g/5½oz golden caster sugar
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 175g/6oz plain flour*
- 75g/2½oz ground almonds
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 75ml/2½fl oz buttermilk
- 50g/1¾oz flaked almonds + 10g/¼oz for decorating
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
*For a gluten free version, simply replace the flour with a GF alternative. (Supermarket own brand GF flours are OK; likewise “Free-from” flours from such companies as Doves Farm work well.) If you have xanthan gum powder then also add in half a teaspoon, but you should still get an acceptable loaf cake without it.
1. Preheat oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas 4. Grease and line a loaf tin or use a paper case. (*see info. below)
2. In a medium bowl, toss the chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour to coat, then set aside.
3. In another medium bowl, sift together the flour, ground almonds, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, caster sugar and almond extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time with a tsp of the flour mixture each time.
5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, alternating with buttermilk until everything is smooth.
6. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums and 50g flaked almonds then pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Dot the top of the cake with the remaining flaked almonds then sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Tap the tin firmly on the work surface a couple of times to settle the mixture.
7. Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf cake comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. (NB If the fruit was very wet you may need a little longer.)
8. Remove from oven and let cool in the tin for 12 to 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
*Here are some of the pros and cons of the two ways of lining a loaf tin.
Traditional cut baking parchment
Pros: A little more economical, helps to lift out the cake if extended above the sides
Cons: Takes a little longer, can be fiddly
Pre-shaped paper liner
Pros: Quick and convenient, makes it easy to transport the cake, no problems taking cake from the tin
Cons: May not be big enough for all the mixture