How to Bake Hurry Up Yellow Cake with Plums

This cake, similar to the Joy of Cooking's "Hurry Up Cake", is a tasty yellow cake that uses plums for extra flavor, and walnuts (optional) for extra texture. It's quick to make, makes only two hand dishes, and works great for either sweet party cakes or more subtle tea cakes.

For the sweet version, ice with chocolate butter or lemon icing and serve with vanilla ice cream. For the tea-type, leave plain or garnish with a light icing, just be sure the plums are fully ripe.

Time: 15 minutes for cake batter, 15 for cutting plums, 30 for baking
Pan: 9"x13" pan
Yields: 12 servings


All ingredients should be at room temperature (about 75F):

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, pre-sifted or pre-fluffed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1–2 cups walnuts, optional
  • Ripe plums, washed


  1. Image titled Cake flour and sugar
    Stir the cake flour and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Image titled Add in other ingredients
    Add in all the remaining ingredients except for the plums. Using a wire whisk, beat these ingredients rather energetically for 2-3 minutes.
    • If you want only part of the cake with nuts, don't add the nuts in until specified in Step 4.
  3. Image titled Halve and depit the plums
    Halve and de-pit the plums. You'll need enough to cover the bottom of the cake pan with; if you're using small plums that might mean around 40 plums.
    • In the pictures greengage plums were used, but you can use any type so long as they're ripe.
  4. Image titled Pouring batter into plums
    Lay the plums face-down in the 9x13" cake pan and pour the batter over them.
    • If you decided to only use walnuts in half the cake, add the nuts to the batter after pouring half of it into the pan.
      Image titled Ready to go in oven
  5. Image titled Bake for 30 350
    Bake the cake at 350F for 30 minutes. The cake should be a light golden shade when done.
  6. Image titled Hurry up yellow cake with plums and lemon icing
    Ice the cake if you have an inclination for such, and serve with vanilla ice cream. Both cocoa butter and lemon icing are tasty options; the cake pictured here is iced with lemon icing.
    • Store any leftovers in the fridge; with icing this cake keeps good for several days.

Things You'll Need

  • Medium bowl
  • Wire whisk
  • Knife and cutting board for cutting plums


  • Like vanilla? Try using a little extra vanilla extract in the cake or icing.
  • For a caramel hurry up cake, substitute brown sugar for the white sugar.

Article Info

Categories: Cakes