Plum & Sour Cream Skillet Buckle

August 6, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I came up with this buckle recipe earlier this summer as a way to celebrate the gorgeous, juicy plums showing up at the market—and in the process, reimagined it from crumb to streusel to reflect exactly the type of cake I like to make and eat. It fashions a new list of ingredients, different steps, and even a new ride (a cast-iron skillet). But it’s still a buckle through and through—simple enough to bake whenever the mood strikes, impressive enough to outshine much fancier and fussier cakes.EmilyC

Makes: a 10-inch cake
Prep time: 12 min
Cook time: 45 min


For cake

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (160 grams)
  • 1/2 cup dark rye flour (60 grams)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar (148 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (180 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest + 2 tablespoons juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 pound plums (any type: Italian prune, Mirabelle, pluots, etc.), pitted and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges (no need to peel)

For crumble topping

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (23 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons dark rye flour (23 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar (37 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds (21 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
In This Recipe


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease with olive oil a 10-inch enameled or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. (If your skillet isn’t well-seasoned, line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.)
  2. To make crumble topping: in a small bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and almonds. Add olive oil, a little at a time, stirring to thoroughly and evenly moisten the crumbs. Aim for a mix of larger and smaller clumps. Put the bowl in the freezer while preparing the rest of the cake.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, rye flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: olive oil, eggs, sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until just combined.
  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared skillet. Arrange plum wedges snugly and evenly over the batter, skin-sides up. Gently press them down into the batter; you should see their tops. Remove the crumble topping from the freezer, and scatter it evenly over the top. It won’t completely cover the batter (by design; you want to see those juicy plums peeking through).
  7. Bake until golden brown and firm to the touch, about 40 to 45 minutes or until a paring knife inserted into the middle comes out clean. Start checking at about 35 minutes for doneness.
  8. Let cool in the skillet for about 30 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature, straight from the pan.

More Great Recipes:
Cake|American|Plum|Sour Cream|Fruit|Cast Iron|Bake|Make Ahead|Fall|Summer|Vegetarian|Dessert

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Ketkat October 8, 2018
Used pears (sliced) on the cake, and some chopped pecans instead of almonds in the crumble. Added lavender and French thyme to the cake batter. Baked in a springform pan which required a little extra bake time. Really outstanding recipe.
Author Comment
EmilyC October 8, 2018
Oh your comment just made my day! I love your twist with the pears and herbs! Thanks so much for trying this and reporting back.
sticksnscones October 8, 2018
This sounds fabulous...can't wait to try it. Since plum season is coming to an end would you recommend any fall fruits?
Author Comment
EmilyC October 8, 2018
Hi sticksnscones! Figs or persimmons would be lovely, and as Ketkat just commented, sliced pears! Apples would be nice, too. I think they'd cook through if slicing them thinly and arranging them on top. If you want to fold apples (diced or sliced) into the batter, I'd recommend sautéing them first in olive oil and butter to soften them. Hope this helps! : )
Author Comment
EmilyC October 9, 2018
Oops...that should read olive oil *or* butter!