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That Day & a Recipe for Babcia’s Plum Cake {sort of}

Chris and Steph
It was six o’clock in the morning, and that day had finally arrived. I tried to be quiet, tried not to wake the others {silly me, I assumed I was the only one who couldn’t sleep}. I peeked out my bedroom door and found a couple of the other girls sitting in the kitchen, cradling hot cups of coffee.

We sat there, basking in the white streams of light, drinking our strong black java, quietly chatting as we waited for the others to rise.

Steph Getting Ready
That panic people speak of {wedding jitters, I suppose} never set in. Not for me, at least. I was cool as a cucumber, happy as a clam. We {slowly} got ready, adorning our heads with countless curlers, hastily painting our nails, lazily applying makeup… we nibbled on bagels, coffee cake, and banana bread {carb loading} like we were preparing for a marathon.

We went into the forest and to a rustic cabin to take photos {with the lovely Lori Andrews}.

Chris and Steph Cabin
Hours passed; the sun continued to shine and the ceremony went perfectly. We drank Prosecco, ate incredible food, and danced the night away.

It was overwhelming {in the best way possible} to be surrounded in so many people we love, and who love us. It’s a feeling neither of us will ever forget.

Plum Cake in Pan
When it was all over, and we returned home, I couldn’t wait to get back in the groove of things; making the most of the rest of summer, hiking, biking, and of course, baking. I headed to the market almost immediately and picked up a basket of ripe green plums. With these tender little fruits, I made a batch of my Babcia’s Plum Cake {sort of}. It’s not quite the same as her recipe; I reduced the butter and sugar significantly, and added a bit of whole wheat flour.

Plum Cake Cooling
It’s a cake my mom and I are always eager to make at this time of year, when those tiny plums are ripe and juicy and practically bursting with flavour. It’s also great with sliced apples in September or October, when they’re at their prime.

Sliced Cake
Now, I sit here with a cup of tea and a slice of Plum Cake, reflecting on that day, reminiscing over photographs… a practice, I’m sure, that will be repeated many times over the years to come.

Slice of Cake
Babcia’s Plum Cake (sort of)
Makes 1 large snacking cake

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup sour cream
6-8 small plums, quartered or cut into eighths

½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a rectangle baking dish (about 8×12”); set aside.

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; add vanilla eggs and mix just until smooth.

3. In another bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, and salt; transfer to the butter mixture, add sour cream, and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread it out evenly with your hands (moisten your fingers with cold water, if necessary).

4. Arrange the plums over top of the batter as desired.

5. In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, oil, and butter with your fingers. Add as much milk as necessary to create a soft pebble-sized crumble; scatter over top of the plums.

6. Bake in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes in the baking dish before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve; store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Wedding photos credit: Lori Andrews,

  1. Stephanie08-13-12

    Congrats on your big day! I love the photo in the cabin.

    The cake looks delicious, those casual snacking cakes are a favorite of mine, perfect with tea (or coffee)

  2. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.)08-21-12

    What a post Stephanie. The description of the wedding is truly beautiful and I know your Babica would have loved to sit down with you to chat about the day and enjoy a slice of that cake with you.

    PS: LOVE the bare toes peeking out!

  3. Stephanie Arsenault08-21-12

    Thank you so much, Mardi! My Babcia still makes the cake every summer; but of course she doesn’t really need a recipe or anything. She just estimates and it turns out perfect every time. 🙂

  4. Margaret Bourne08-30-12

    Congratulations on your wedding – I took got married this spring and have gone from Antkowski to Bourne! The recipe for your Babcia’s plum cake is pretty much exactly what my Babcia used to make, and now my mom makes. It must be a Polish thing. 🙂 The crumble topping is always to die for. YUM!

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