Marian Burros’ Plum Torte

This is THE famous plum torte by Marian Burros that appeared in the New York Times for many consecutive years. I had bookmarked this recipe since I first came across it this Spring while thumbing through Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cookbook. With such laudable history behind this recipe, I had every intention to try it when plum season is upon us.

This is a really simple to make and simple-tasting thin disc of a cake, absolutely nothing complex or exotic about it. Personally, fruited cakes and tarts are my favourite thing to bake and eat so it is no surprise that I have a bias for it. I have read some criticisms that this cake is perhaps a little too plain but that did not deter me; my kids love nothing more than munching on plain cakes like this one.

The plums carry the cake so make sure the plums you use are ripe and juicy. My daughter needed an afternoon activity to keep her occupied so I had her arrange the plum halves on the batter and I have to say, she’s getting better at it with each year. Now that she’s four, our baking sessions don’t usually end with a major clean up project for me anymore (phew!).

Before I sent the cake into the oven to bake, we sprinkled some sugar and cinnamon over the plums for some crunch and flavour. The faint hint of cinnamon spruced up the cake and I highly recommend it; my husband thought the cinnamon was the best part.

The arrival of plums in the markets, sadly, herald the end of Summer. Making a cake out of them is a good way to say good bye, if ever there is a good way to do so.


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