Szilvás Pita (Plum-and-Poppy Seed Cake)

Halved plums keep this cake moist while lending it fruity sweetness.

Szilvás Pita (Tender Plum-and-Poppy Seed Cake)

Aubrie Pick

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
15 servings

Set atop the batter, fresh plums settle into this cake as it bakes and help keep the crumb moist, resulting in a fully fruit-loaded cake laced with poppyseeds. Sarah Copeland describes this Hungarian country-style cake as a wholesome treat that’s often served at tiez hora (10 o’clock meal break) or during uzsonna (afternoon snack) with tea or coffee. She puts her own spin on this classic — including brown sugar in the batter for a bit of deep molasses flavor. Use firm but ripe plums so that they keep their shape during baking.

The amount of plums and space between them on the cake will depend on the variety of plum used. Make sure to use firm but ripe plums, so that they keep their shape while baking.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 5/8 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup almond flour (about 1 3/4 ounces)

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • 3/4 cup neutral cooking oil (such as canola oil)

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds

  • 1 1/2 pounds firm-ripe plums (about 9 to 12 small plums, unpeeled), halved

  • Powdered sugar

  • Freshly whipped cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, using a convection setting, if available. Grease a 13- x 9-inch baking pan with butter; line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Set aside. Whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and lemon zest in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat on medium speed until fluffy and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add oil and vanilla, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, fold in poppy seeds. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan; evenly smooth surface using a spatula.

  3. Place plums, cut sides up, on top of batter, spacing evenly and leaving a little space between plums, but not too much. (Do not push plums into cake; they will sink slightly as cake bakes.) Reserve any unused plum halves for another use.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until top of cake is evenly golden brown and springs back lightly when touched, 50 minutes to 1 hour using a convection oven, or 55 minutes to 1 hour and 5 minutes using a conventional oven. Transfer cake pan to a wire rack, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Loosen cake edges from pan sides, and invert cake onto wire rack. Hold a second wire rack over cake, and flip so that cake is plum side up; let cool completely on wire rack, about 45 minutes. Lightly dust cooled cake with powdered sugar. Cut cake evenly into 15 pieces. Serve cake at room temperature with whipped cream.

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