I eat cake for breakfast. Sometimes. Mind you it’s usually not birthday cake but a barely sweet coffee cake is seldom a rare treat.
I often make coffee cake with whatever seasonal fruit happens to be available and I’m quite fond of lemons in baked goods. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly local or seasonal around here (I wish!). Last year, I came across Lynn’s post about using yellow plums in lieu of lemons but the season was sadly over by the time I saw it. I wanted to try this out and since we’re nearing the end of yellow plum season here, I vowed not to miss my chance this year.
In addition to their flavour, I love yellow plums for their nutritional benefits.
Plums are a great source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps combat free radicals. Too many free radicals in the body can contribute to chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. So plums and other whole foods that contain antioxidants like vitamins C, E and A can help provide protection for our body’s cells as they go about doing the work they do.
Vitamin C also has a unique relationship with iron in that it’s synergistic. All of my iron-deficient peeps, listen up: vitamin C can help your body absorb and use the iron you’re consuming, whether through supplements or preferably whole foods. Try eating some vitamin C-rich food when you eat iron-rich foods to reap the rewards.
This coffee cake is exceptionally moist and stuffed with a layer of Ontario plums. I originally meant them to lay across the top of the cake—it would’ve been a showstopper visually—but the batter had other plans: it rose up and buried them. In the end, I loved the surprise of cutting into the cake and discovering that layer of sour, mouth puckering but luscious Ontario plums.
I tried to use as many local ingredients as I could: the fresh mint was freshly picked off the back deck, the eggs were from my local organic CSA farm, and the organic spelt flour was grown and milled within 100 miles of my house (and if you live in South Simcoe, you must visit Mark at K2 Milling – his shop and operation are a milled feast for the eyes!).
I happen to like spelt in baked goods because of its nutty flavor and low gluten content. Notice I say low not no gluten because spelt does contain gluten; however, it’s in lesser amounts than wheat. Spelt also tends to be more digestible and those with a mild gluten sensitivity can sometimes tolerate spelt even if they can’t tolerate wheat. But of course, make your own decisions about your body and see whether it’s suitable for you or not.
Here’s how to make it:
Yellow Plum and Mint Spelt Coffee Cake
- 1 2/3 cup of whole-grain spelt flour preferably organic
- ¾ teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup yogurt I used an organic, 2.8% fat, flavoured kind since that’s what I had, but plain organic yogurt would be preferable nutrition wise to reduce the additional sugars - I accounted for this in my recipe*
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- ½ cup of cane sugar organic preferably
- two medium room temperature eggs
- 1/4 cup softened coconut butter
- 1 generous tablespoon of finely minced fresh mint
- 12 yellow plums try to preserve their shape as much as possible, halved and pitted
- 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar optional
- Additional yogurt to serve optional
- * If using plain yogurt I recommend adding 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or liquid sweetener of your choice
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Butter or grease a 13” x 8” pan (I almost always use coconut oil for this).
In a medium bowl, whisk the spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt together well.
In a large bowl, mix the yogurt, coconut oil, cane sugar, eggs and coconut butter by hand or with a hand mixer.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients gently just until combined.
Pour this into your prepared baking dish and level out the top. The batter will be thick, but still spreadable, and not very tall (about 1 inch high).
Place the plums evenly in rows on top of the cake and push them in to the batter slightly.
Optional: Sprinkle the cake with 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar for a bit of added crunch.
Bake at 350° F for 25-35 minutes or until the top is set and brown.
I served this with some of the yogurt used in the cake for a bit of added protein.
So go on and enjoy cake for breakfast. This one is “nutritionist approved”.
Life is a plate… Eat up!