Plum Walnut Skillet Cake

This Plum Walnut Skillet Cake is almost as easy at it is gorgeous. Batter takes minutes to make in the food processor. Use any variety of plums you like.

Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
Sally Vargas

When was the last time you threw a cake together in 15 minutes? Well, this one delivers and it will make you so happy!

Juicy plums are excellent for eating out of hand, but baking with them is one of the finest pleasures of summer. Their flesh is sweet and their skins are tart, so they inspire use in tarts, crumbles, muffins, coffee cakes -- or in this case, an easy walnut cake.

The walnuts also give moistness and earthy flavor to the cake, which is heavily scented with the zest of an entire lemon. The whole dough can be made in a few minutes in the food processor.

Bonus points: You don’t even have to peel the plums!

Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
Sally Vargas

You can use any kind of plum you like in this recipe. When I shopped for this cake, I bought two different kinds of plums and was surprised to see that the colors inside each of them were so different.

Color coordination just doesn’t matter, because the end result is a cake that is gorgeous no matter what, and even better to eat.

As the season goes on, make sure to try this cake with other fruits like apples, pears, or late-season peaches. Heck, even cranberries would be a great choice for this easy cake.

Bring this cake along on a picnic, to a potluck, or just share it with your family for a special weeknight treat.

Plum Walnut Skillet Cake

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 75 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings


  • Butter (for the pan)

  • 5 to 6 firm plums (about 1 pound)

  • 3/4 cup walnuts halves

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into slices

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar or sugar in the raw

  • 2 tablespoons honey (optional)

Special Equipment

  • Food processor


  1. Preheat the oven;

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

    Generously butter a 10-inch ovenproof skillet with a heatproof handle or a 9-inch cake pan. Halve, pit, and thinly slice the plums.

    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
  2. Grind the walnuts:

    In a food processor or a nut mill, very finely chop the walnuts. Transfer to a bowl.

    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
  3. Make the batter:

    Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of the food processor and process until creamy, 30 to 60 seconds.

    Add the eggs one at a time, and process after each addition, until fluffy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, flour, baking powder and salt, and pulse just until the batter is smooth.

    Finally, add the ground walnuts and pulse to mix them into the batter. The batter will be thick.

    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
  4. Assemble the cake:

    Scrape the batter into the skillet and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.

    Lay slices of plums in a ring around the outside edge of the pan, overlapping the slices slightly. Arrange a second ring of slices inside the first, and then fill in the very middle of the cake with the remaining slices. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
    Plum Walnut Skillet Cake
    Sally Vargas
  5. Bake the cake:

    Begin checking the cake around 35 minutes, and continue baking (checking every 5 to 10 minutes) until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Total cooking time is typically 40 to 50 minutes.

    Set the skillet on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

  6. Brush with honey (optional):

    The cake is sweet enough as it is, but if you want to add a little shine for an even more beautiful presentation, heat the honey in the microwave for 10 seconds and brush the cake with it.

  7. Serve:

    Serve straight from the skillet.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
487 Calories
22g Fat
74g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 487
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 113mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 74g 27%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 114mg 571%
Calcium 98mg 8%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 625mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.