Naturally when it is gloomy out I feel the need to bake. Even if I still have carrot muffins with graham frosting and chocolate chip cookies lying around the kitchen waiting to be eaten, I still feel the need to add one more sweet to the bunch. Having recently enjoyed reading about a jam cake on the lovely blog Slow Like Honey, I was inspired to use my favorite Sqirl Santa Rita plum jam and make a plum jam cake. Sqirl’s plum jam screams summer stone fruit sweetness. Every time I have this jam (it’s my favorite jam flavor) I feel like I’m biting into the perfect backyard plum- juicy and ripe. I get nostalgic eating it and remember childhood summer days playing in my aunts backyard eating plums straight from the tree.
Two and a half sticks of butter and a whole lotta sugar later you get a beautiful pound cake that is gooey, dense and aromatic. I added the juice and zest of some cara cara oranges that brighten up the cake. This cake is perfect with a cup of tea on a gloomy morning. I love how rainy day baking warms up the house and the belly and makes a you feel cozy.
Plum Jam Cake
Adapted from: Always with Butter Yields: 10 servings
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup plum jam
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and 2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Mixing at medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Then add vanilla, orange juice, and orange zest and blend.
Slowly, add the dry flour mixture to the wet mixture, mixing only until just combined. Add 1/2 cup of apricot jam into the batter and mix. You want the jam to mix in with the batter but you still want to see the ribbons of jam in the batter.
Pour batter into the pan. Dollop and swirl the remaining 1/4 cup of jam into the batter. Smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove cake from the oven and let cool 10 minutes. Invert cake onto a wire rack set over a tray, and spoon lemon syrup over cakes. Let cake cool completely. Serve at room temperature.