Sounds a bit odd, yes? I wanted to bake the “Plum and Black Pepper Cake,” from Benjamina Ebuehi’s The New Way to Cake, when I saw the inclusion of black pepper. Here’s something new.

I always enjoy using a springform pan. It’s a great shortcut to release a baked cake from its pan.

The mixed batter was pale and fluffy, and nothing curdled. It was spreadable and flecked with almonds and black pepper.

Now, let’s talk about the plums (a nice way to celebrate the end of summer). The recipe says to use four to six plums, but I was fine with two plums. I cut my two plums into eighths, rather than quarters, because quarters simply seemed too large. I placed these plum slices atop my cake batter in the pan, spinkled my flaked almonds, and baked.

Smell the hint of pepper as the cake bakes. But, rather then smelling “spicy,” it smelled “spiced.” I baked for 65 minutes, until the cake was brown on top and tan within.

Get ready for some crazy news: the plums and almonds sunk completely into the cake! It’s all about the gravity of heavy plum slices atop a typical cake batter. How could they not sink? Well, I cursed, I laughed, and knew what I needed to do with those extra plums from before. After the cake cooled, I added more plum slices and more flaked almonds, in order to redecorate. And you know, I believe I improved the cake this way.

All of these plums, within and atop, made this cake moist and sweet. Ground almonds in the batter and flaked almonds on top give us a nice crunch.

The cake’s spiciness is intriguing. The spicy warmth reminds me of cardamom and cinnamon. But then…the black pepper tingles my tongue and throat, reminding me of Szechuan peppercorns. The taste sneaks up on you. The dollop of crème fraîche serves to cool and comfort your tingling mouth.

Definitely an odd, but enjoyable, cake.

And here’s good news. This unusual cake is more enjoyable when eaten chilled, with the apricot jam brushed on top. I even added some whipped cream. Then, I appreciated the sunken plums, because they’d become jammy. And the pepper burn? It’s lessened when the cake had cooled.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is The New Way To Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the thumbnail pictures below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - The New Way To Cake - and our choices for September 2020 were ~

Date & Rooibos Loaf

Plum & Black Peppercorn Cake

Sour Cherry & Mahleb Crumble Cake