Waiting all year for Ruth’s Plum Cake

Mom knew she needed 27-1/2 plums for this cake.

Navigating my mother’s recipe book is tricky—to make her famous plum cake you must look for the Cherry Cake recipe card. I don’t think I ever tasted the cherry cake, only plum and occasionally peach.  Italian plums, or prune plums, are only available for a few weeks every autumn, which in our home meant that we traditionally ate this around the High Holidays. In the off season, Mom sometimes substituted canned peaches, which is also delicious.



  • 28 Italian plums (prune plums), halved and pitted
  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • ²/₃ c. sugar
  • 1 Tbs. milk



1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and sugar, then cut in the butter. Take off one cup and set aside for topping.

2. Mix in 2 eggs.

3. Spread the very thick batter over the bottom of a
10″ x 15″ pan.

4. Place the plum halves, cut side down, in even rows and columns over the batter.

5. Beat together remaining 2 eggs, the ²/₃ c. sugar and milk, and spread over the plums. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.

6. Bake at 350° for 45–55 minutes, until golden brown.

5 thoughts on “Waiting all year for Ruth’s Plum Cake

  1. Dori,
    Very nice story. I love the old recipe card for “Cheery Cake”. The inclusion of tapioca caught my eye. My Grandma Pearl always included tapioca in with her peaches and the sugar for her cobblers.

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