Variations on a Recipe Theme

Lois Held, a colleague of mine in the food business, posted a recipe for Sour Cream Plum Cake on Facebook the other day. The photo of the cake looked so fabulous that I couldn't wait to try it.

So I did. Except I didn't have all the ingredients, so I varied it a little and it came out just fine -- as fabulous to eat as her photo looked. My cake may not be as gorgeous as hers because as I took it out of the oven to cool on the rack, I dropped it -- fortunately I was able to catch it, although a hunk or two came off. I patched it together for the photo.

Thanks here to Burn jel for that marvelous stuff that's now on the burns on my hands.

The cake has a light, soft and fluffy texture. Not overly sweet taste. Perfect for a post-dairy or fish dinner.

And hey! It's National Cherry Day, so there's an extra reason to bake this one.



  • 1-1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided (1/2 and 1/4)
  • 2 Tablespoons orange flavored brandy
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • 2 cups halved, fresh cherries
  • Powdered sugar


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Combine the sifted cake flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium for about 2 minutes, or until softened and fluffy. Add the sour cream and beat for a minute or until thoroughly blended in. Transfer the cream cheese mixture to a regular mixing bowl. Wash the mixer bowl, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar and beat at medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until thick and pale. Add the cream cheese mixture, brandy and orange peel and beat at medium speed for 1-2 minutes or until blended. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk attachment, starting at medium speed, then gradually increasing to high speed for 1-2 minutes or until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold the flour mixture into the cream cheese/egg mixture. Fold in the beaten egg whites. Pour the batter into the prepared spring form pan. Scatter the cherries on top of batter.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cake rack for 5 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan. Just before serving, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8-10 servings

NOTE: can add grated lemon rind if desired. Or use vanilla extract. Or both.