Yeasted Olive Oil Plum Cake

The timing of this is really unfortunate. I’m on vacation now, but I baked this olive oil plum cake before I left. It was great. Really great. I told myself I would post about it while I was away, and obviously I am, but on vacation sometimes you’re just so busy doing nothing that you don’t have time to do much of anything.

So this cake gets short shrift because I can’t muster an honest post for it. It’s so sad, because this is a really great cake. In fact, if I could pick one thing I have baked in the past few months that I would not have wanted to give short shrift, it would be this cake.

This goes to Stefanie (Hefe und Mehr) and Zorra (1x umrühren bitte), who will, I hope, agree with me that a yeasted cake qualifies as a sweet bread for the purposes of BreadBakingDay #22. It also goes to Nick (imafoodblog), who is graciously hosting YeastSpotting for me this week.

Yeasted Olive Oil Plum Cake

Yield: one 10-inch cake


  • Mix: 20 minutes
  • First fermentation : 2 hours
  • Assemble: 5 minutes
  • Proof: 1.5 hours
  • Bake: 40 minutes

Dough Ingredients:

  • 250 g flour
  • 66 g milk
  • 6 g (2 t.) instant yeast
  • 4 g (2/3 t.) salt
  • 100 g eggs (2 eggs)
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 55 g fine granulated sugar
  • 113 g olive oil

Topping Ingredients:

  • 3 large, firm plums, sliced
  • 1 t. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 34 g fine granulated sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle, combine the flour, milk, yeast, salt, eggs, lemon zest, and rosemary. Mix in low speed until incorporated. The dough will be stiff at this point.
  2. Replace the mixer paddle with a dough hook. In medium speed, gradually add the sugar in 5 or 6 increments, mixing for about two minutes between each addition.
  3. Continue mixing in medium speed until the dough starts to come together around the hook.
  4. Change back to the mixer paddle. Add the olive oil and mix in low speed until it is incorporated. This will take a while.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and ferment at room temperature for 2 hours.
  6. Press the dough into a disc and into an oiled 10-inch springform pan.
  7. Press the plum slices into the dough.
  8. Cover and proof for 1.5 hours at room temperature.
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F.
  10. Before baking, sprinkle the cake with rosemary and sugar.
  11. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 30 minutes or so, until the cake is golden brown and the plums are releasing their juice.
  12. Cool on a wire rack in the pan for 10 minutes, then release the pan and continue to cool.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    The cake sounds really great! I like the idea to use rosemary in a sweet cake!
    A yeasted cake is qualified as a sweet bread for sure (I like cake for breakfast ;-) )!

  2. Jill Budzynski says

    Very nice indeed, but even better when there are more plums! In accordance with the German tradition of Zwetschgenkuchen, try quartering the plums and pushing them down into the dough, about twice as many as you show in the pictures. The plum juice-soaked bread is just divine!

  3. says

    Enjoy your vacation and don’t worry – (the cake looks delicious and amazing!) – I was just on vacation and went through the same thing. It was very hard to post while I was away. :-)

  4. says

    Gonna’ tuck this one away in anticipation of that time every summer when you just can’t find enough things to do with all those plums! Might try it with figs as well.

  5. says

    Olive oil, rosemary and plums…it reads like a bit of poetry. I can only imagine how sublime it really is. I’m just going to bookmark this; I am more than sure I’ll have a go at it in the future.

    Enjoy a wonderful vacation. Don’t think about nuttin…nuttin at all. Simply reach that ‘veg’ state, and enjoy the world around you.

  6. says

    I think there’s enough in this post to tell me this yeast cakes deserves all the attention it’s getting. Its plum season here and I’m bookmarking it to try out.
    Forget about blogging while on vacation. Just make the most of it. Have fun.:)

  7. says

    Susan, this is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to try this one. Enjoy your vacation. The world will still be here when you return.

  8. says

    I love anything cakey like this with fruit and this looks scrumptious! And it is really pretty, too. I hope you are having a great vacation! But now I want plum cake….

  9. Rhonda Beck says

    I made this cake yesterday with plums from my tree…it was good, especially the rosemary & sugar topping. Still getting used to the idea of olive oil as dessert, but adjusting.

  10. says

    Where did this recipe come from? It’s very different from anything I’ve made before. And very good. I was hesitant to use the rosemary but it works perfectly with the plums. The cake isn’t exactly sweet. Not like one of those over the top coffee cakes. I think this recipe could be adapted for other fruits as well. The dough could be covered with a layer of unpitted sweet cherries and the rosemary could be replaced with a small amount of bitter almond extract. Anyway, I’d love to know the origin of this one.

  11. says

    Plums, rosemary and olive oil? I’m speechless, you’re so incredibly creative when it comes to your own and putting your own take on other recipes. It’s gorgeous and I wish i had the whole cake in front of me right now! Awesome job, Susan! (BTW, making/baking your currant ciabatta again next weekend, as it’s been requested over and over again for a year now!)

  12. rosi says

    good morning,

    i wanted to bake this cake tomorrow.

    could you help me out and tell me please what should the temperature of the milk, eggs and the olive oil be – all at room temperature because of the short proofing time?

    thank you very much!

    best regards,

  13. says

    Just made this, following the suggestion to absolutely cover the top with the plums. It looks absolutely amazing – I can hardly wait for it to cool to try it. Thanks!

  14. Sarah says

    I’ve made this cake and it was delicious.

    I substituted sourdough starter for the yeast, and cut the sugar by half, allowing the sweetness of the fruit to really shine through.

    This cake I’m sure would be just as awesome using grapes.


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