Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake {gluten-free}

Before we wind up the season I wanted to re-post this Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake. It’s a simple teatime cake which I first wrote about in 2014 and I definitely wanted to revisit it during this plum season as I remembered it being a beauty.

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake

This time round I have made the cake gluten-free just by substituting the plain flour with gluten-free flour and adding a little more ground almonds. The cake has not suffered at all during the transition, just as fruity, moist and delicious. I deleted the original post as the photos were not my favourites but I saved the following words for posterity’s sake. To be honest, I could have written this yesterday as just this weekend I was changing my kitchen around yet again.

I have just reorganised my kitchen, not that my husband knows about it. It will be a lovely surprise when he comes home this evening to discover everything is not where it should be. He is a creature of habit so I’m sure there will be lots of heavy sighs as he reaches for a bowl and discovers a kilner jar of sultanas in its place or wants to make a cup of coffee and has to fight past the peanut butter and cocoa powder. I don’t drink coffee you see, so it now goes at the back, I’m thoughtful like that. When the clocks change his life is turned upside down, I can only imagine what the new state of affairs in the kitchen will do to him so I might make myself a bit scarce later on.

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake

The kitchen turnabout had to come as unfortunately for my crockery, the amount of dried fruit, nuts, different gluten-free flours and the plethora of different types of paprika I harbour has actually pushed them out of the cupboards and relegated them to a lowly position of the shelf underneath our butcher’s block. I cook and bake several times a day so you would think that the food volume in my cupboards would be decreasing, not going up. I blame my self-indulgence. I like to have choice with my dinner, whether it’s to cook my curry with coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil or ghee or whether I feel like serving it with basmati or jasmine or long grain rice, so I must have all of them on offer. This would be acceptable if I wasn’t living in a matchbox railway cottage wedged into North London, and so unfortunately now the plates are having to suffer.

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake

The available space in the kitchen hasn’t been helped that it has been swamped these past few weeks with every manner of fresh fruit that summer has brought. My freezer is also fit to burst as I can’t keep up with all the foraging I’m doing around Parkland Walk and Stroud Green, and what I can’t find in the hedgerows the farmers’ market has been tempting me with at the weekends. To cope with the influx I have been making several variations of this cake these past few weeks. I don’t need any excuse to make a cake but every time a new fruit has come into season lately then it has seemed only fitting to herald their arrival by building sheet cakes around them. Cherries, blackberries and now plums have been pampered with this sugary treatment.

It’s a lovely way to make the most of the fresh produce, a wonderful treat which is right at home with a cup of tea for company. The batter includes not only sour cream for its moistness but brown butter, which the French call beurre noisette, literally meaning hazelnut butter. It’s just butter though, taken slightly past the melting point so that the flavour intensifies into a lovely toasty nuttiness. You must keep your eye on it however as it’s a very fine line between brown butter and burnt butter and two very different flavours.

Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake

The juicy plums are halved and popped on top of the batter and then sprinkled with almonds and a dazzle of runny honey. During the bake the fruit will sink into little pockets of jam at the base of this cake but not so much as they compromise the structure. It’s still easy to slice and even easier to eat, or at least it would be if I could remember where I put the plates.

Print Recipe
Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake {gluten-free}
Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake is simple everyday gluten-free tea cake, nutty and moist with delicious pockets of sweet plums.
Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
16 squares
Ingredients
  • 175 g ground almonds
  • 175 g gluten-free plain flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 8 plums halved and stones removed
  • 30 g flaked almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey I used lavender honey
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
16 squares
Ingredients
  • 175 g ground almonds
  • 175 g gluten-free plain flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g soft light brown sugar
  • 150 ml sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 175 g unsalted butter
  • 8 plums halved and stones removed
  • 30 g flaked almonds
  • 2 tablespoons honey I used lavender honey
Plum Brown Butter Almond Cake
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and line and grease a 10” square baking tin.
  2. Whisk together the ground almonds, gluten-free flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and the sugars until fully mixed.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract then place to one side.
  4. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. The butter will melt. Listen carefully and the butter will start hissing and cracking and forming little brown bit at the bottom of the pan. You want to wait until the noises start to subside, the butter smells toasty and is turning a darker colour. Remove from the heat as soon as it’s ready so it doesn’t begin to burn.
  5. Pour the brown butter in a slow and steady stream into the sour cream and egg mixture, whisking in all the while so that it doesn’t start to cook the eggs.
  6. Once all the butter is incorporated, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix in together.
  7. Pour the batter into the cake tin, then arrange the plums on top, cut side up. Drizzle over the honey and scatter the almond flakes over evenly.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top is lovely and golden.