Stack Cake

Reprinted with permission from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson, copyright (c) 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.

Photo: Stack Cake

TOTAL TIME: 15 min
Prep: --
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 15 min


  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) sugar
  • 2 pounds firm but ripe plums or pluots, washed, pitted, and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
    • 3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 2 cups (15 ounces) firmly packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup canola oil
    • 4 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
      • 1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) sifted confectioners' sugar
      • 2 tablespoons whole milk
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      To make the fruit filling, melt the butter in a 12-inch heavyweight saute pan over medium-high heat. (A large saute pan is critical because as the plums cook they need to release steam.) Sprinkle the sugar over the melted butter and then carefully distribute the plum wedges evenly across the pan. Toss in the vanilla bean, followed by the salt. Allow the plums to cook, undisturbed, until they begin to release their rosy juices. Try to resist stirring the pan for at least 3 to 4 minutes to encourage a slight caramelizing of the flesh of the fruit. Once the juices begin to come to a steady simmer, turn the heat down to medium and cook the fruit down (you can stir now, and do so frequently!) to the texture of a thick applesauce, about 25 minutes. It is important to cook the fruit long enough to make a thick filling in order to stack a sturdy cake. Fish out the vanilla bean and put the filling, uncovered, in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, stirring it occasionally to help the cooling process. Your plum filling should yield a generous 2 cups. Made in advance, it can keep for 2 days refrigerated.

      Center an oven rack and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

      Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in a bowl, then whisk the mixture to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed.

      In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend the brown sugar and the butter together on low speed until the butter has melded into the sugar and the mixture resembles wet sand. As you make the batter, stop the mixer frequently and scrape the paddle and the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Still on low speed, drizzle the oil into the mixture. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the batter is fluffy, about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs one at a time at low speed, adding the next one as soon as the previous one has disappeared into the batter. With the mixer still on low speed, add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk in two parts, beginning and ending with the flour. After each addition, mix until just barely blended and stop and scrape the bowl. Stop the mixer before the last of the flour has been incorporated and complete the blending by hand with a rubber Cheap Eats

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