Fall is finally upon us! After one very long, hot summer, I can’t help but feel immense joy at the thought of the cozy sweater-wearing months ahead of us. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t the case last year and the year before that, too, but somehow, each year the anticipation and excitement for the arrival of autumn hits me just as vividly as the last.



Unintentionally, but hopefully not unappreciated, this year I am celebrating the turning of the seasons through the sweet enjoyment of some of my favorite varietals. In last month’s post, we toasted adieu to the final days of summer with these Berry Frosé Popsicles, and it wasn’t until I sat down to edit the photos for this month’s fall-themed post that I realized — oh, more wine! But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little celebrating, is there? Especially when we’re already indulging in a sweet treat — and I assure you, this one’s not to be missed.

This month’s sweet treat features some of the season’s finest. While I felt like the plums in my local market never quite reached their peak for eating fresh this month, I couldn’t help but stock up on a few for my baking projects.

A little sugar and heat from the oven take slightly underripe fruit to delicious levels, and I was confident that in this case, with a little help from this sangria-inspired recipe, my plums would be the stars of the show.

This wine poached plum and almond cake starts with fresh, sliced plums, steeped in a mixture of wine, brown sugar, orange zest, and spices. Once the plums are slightly tender, they’re added to a fluffy cake batter that consists primarily of homemade almond meal, which adds a hearty crunch and texture, lending a fall-inspired, rustic feel.

It’s the kind of cake that’s perfect alongside a hot cup of tea and (if it’s cool enough in your parts) your fuzziest pair of socks. Here in Texas, I turned down the air conditioning and pretended the leaves were turning outside my living room window. In either scenario, it’s a simple yet delicious transitional dessert that highlights some of the last of summer’s produce in combination with warm fall flavors.

recipe adapted from Food52

Check out more recipes from The Sweeter Side here!

Wine Poached Plum & Almond Cake

Serves 8

Wine Poached Plum & Almond Cake

By Camille Styles


For the poached plums:

  • 1 1/2 cups red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (reduce for very ripe, sweet plums)
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
  • 3 medium or 4-5 small plums, pitted and cut into 1/2" wedges

For the cake:

  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp (2 oz.) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, very cold for whipping
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamon


  1. To prepare the plums: Combine the wine, brown sugar, orange zest, and cardamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then add the plums. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the plums have softened but are still firm. Use a slotted spoon to remove the plums. Place in a bowl and set aside to cool. Continue to boil the wine mixture until it begins to thicken and becomes syrupy, about another 4-5 minutes. Pour into a heat-proof vessel and let cool.
  2. To make the cake: Grease an 8" or 9" round springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ground almonds, flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamon, and salt. Whisk to combine then set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream or yogurt, extracts, and melted butter. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and mix until batter is throughly combined.
  5. Spread a layer of plums onto the bottom of the pan. Top with batter and then garnish the top of the batter with the remaining plums. Sprinkle remaining 1 tbsp of sugar over the top of the cake, then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Note that baking time will need to be adjusted based on pan size.
  6. To make the whipped cream: Add the cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. It helps if you chill the bowl first. Beat the cream until it starts to thicken. Add honey, vanilla, and cardamon, then continue to beat until cream is thick.
  7. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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Comments (2)
  1. 1
    asparklingjourney September 26, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Perfect desert for this season! Thank you for sharing!

  2. 2
    Laurie October 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Would a 1-to-1 gluten free flour work for the all purpose flour?



Katie Wahlman