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Plum and Lime Layer Cake

Plum and Lime Layer Cake

A pretty pink cake with layers of fluffy buttermilk cake, sweet plums and tangy lime curd. Two options for a 2 layer cake or 4 layer cake.

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 12


  • 850 g/30oz tin black Doris plums
  • 2 Tbsp caster sugar

For the cake:

  • 1 3/4 cups plain all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 125 g/1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs

For the frosting:

  • 200 g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups icing sugar

To assemble:

  • 6 Tbsp lime curd either homemade, see note 1, or store bought


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

For the plums:

  1. Open can of plums. Place half the plums (6) in a small bowl and set aside. These will be used for the cake. Place the remaining plums and liquid from the tin in a baking dish and sprinkle over 2 Tbsp caster sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 40 min (see note 2). Allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the stones from the plums then, using a blender or food processor, blend the plum flesh and liquid until smooth. Allow to cool completely. Reserve 4 Tbsp for the frosting, the rest can be refrigerated and used on ice cream, porridge, cereal or also nice on a pavlova.

For the lime curd:

  1. While the plums are baking, make your lime curd using my Homemade Lemon Curd recipe but substituting lemons for limes. Alternatively, you can always purchase a jar of good quality lime curd, or even lemon curd. You will only need 6 Tbsp for the cake the rest can be used in other cakes, on top of ice cream, meringues or delicious in little tarts.

For the cake:

  1. Grease and line 2 x 15cm/6in round cake tins for 4 layer cake (or 2 x 20cm/8in round cake tins for a 2 layer cake).
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla.
  4. Cream together the 125g/1 stick butter and 1 cup caster sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time ensuring they are incorporated after each addition. If the mixture looks like it has curdled just add a tablespoon of the flour mixture.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix to combine. Follow with 1/2 the buttermilk mixture, then second 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 the buttermilk then finally the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Ensure the mixture is fully combined but do not over mix.
  6. Divide batter between baking tins. Take the reserved whole plums, remove the stones and roughly chop. Divide the plums between the cakes, scatter evenly over the tops and gently press down into the batter. I just use my finger for this.
  7. Place cakes in the oven for 35-40 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If you are using 20cm/8in tins bake for 30-35 min, or again until a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their tins for 10 min before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  1. Place 200g/7oz butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Gradually add the icing sugar until fully incorporated. Beat for about 5 min until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 4 Tbsp blended roasted plum/juice mixture and mix until fully combined.
  3. If making the 4 layer cake, spoon 1 cup frosting in a pastry bag fitted with a star attachment and spoon the remaining frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a 1cm circular nozzle (or just snip the end off a ziplock bag).
  4. If making a simple 2 layer cake, leave the frosting in the bowl.

For a 4 layer cake:

  1. Take 15cm/6in cakes and place on a flat surface. If you have a dome on the top of the cake then use a knife to remove these and make the tops flat. Then cut each of the cakes in half horizontally to make 4 layers of cake.
  2. Place a layer of cake on a plate or cake stand. Pipe a ring around the outside of the cake using the piping bag fitted with the plain circular nozzle. Spoon in 2 Tbsp of frosting to the centre of the layer and smooth to cover the layer. Cover with 2 Tbsp lime curd. Top with the next layer of cake and repeat the process for this layer and the next. Top with the final layer of cake. Refrigerate the cake for 15-20 min to firm up the layers.
  3. Cover the cake with the frosting remaining in the piping bag fitted with the circular nozzle.
  4. Use a pastry scraper or offset spatula dipped in hot water to run around the sides of the cake and to smooth them. As you scrape reveal a little of the cake to achieve that ‘semi-naked cake’ look.
  5. Smooth the top of the cake using the pastry scraper or spatula.
  6. Take the piping bag fitted with the star attachment and pipe mounds of frosting on top.

For a simple 2 layer cake:

  1. Take 1 x 20cm/8in cake and place on a flat surface or plate. Smear over 1/3 of the plum frosting. Top with 6 Tbsp lime curd.
  2. Place the second cake on top.
  3. Top with remaining 2/3 plum frosting.
  4. Drizzle over extra lime curd, freeze-dried plums and/or edible flowers to decorate.

To serve:

  1. Best eaten on the day, but will last up to 3 days in an airtight container. Cakes can be made the day before, stored in an airtight containing, then iced on the day.