Alex's Marvellous Plum and Lavender Cake

Alex toyed with a few recipes while waiting for the plums to ripen in her country garden. She wanted to complement the tartness of the plums and we have to give her a pat on the back for a pretty delicious combination – a simply marvellous cake with English plums, lavender and ground almonds. We found some lovely dried lavender at Le Marche du Quartier in Borough Market but if you have it in your back garden you can easily dry it yourself. We enjoyed eating this cake as a teatime treat with lightly steeped jasmine tea (we find steeping too long takes away from the subtle flavour of the tea) but you could also serve it as a dessert accompanied by single cream or homemade vanilla ice cream.


  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • Demerara sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 plums, halved, stoned and sliced thinly
  • Half a lemon
  • 1-2 tbsp dried lavender


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Grease a 9 inch cake tin and line the bottom with baking paper
  • Using an electric whisk or hand whisk, cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy
  • Whisk the eggs together and add bit by bit to the butter mixture, stirring continuously. If it starts to curdle add a bit of the flour
  • Add the almond extract and the dried lavender and stir into the mixture. (How much lavender you use will depend on how strong the scent is. We used 1 1/2 tablespoons and recommend you taste as you go)
  • Using a large metal spoon, fold in the flour and ground almonds
  • Put half the mixture into the cake tin and scatter some of the plum slices on top
  • Cover the plums with the remaining mixture and decorate the top with the rest of the plums
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the plums and sprinkle liberally with demerara sugar
  • Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the skewer poked in the middle comes out clean
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then place on a wire cooling rack until ready to eat