Plum Wine Cake, #TheCakeSliceBakers


The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of bakers from around the world.
Every month a new challenge arrives...Currently, we are presented with the opportunity to bake one of four selections
from Southern Living’s The Southern Cake Book.

Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake called to The Ninja Baker. Alas, Italian Amaretto was vacant from this baking ninja’s kitchen.
So, Japanese plum wine was substituted and resulted in scrumptious success!

With the arrival of spring across the Northern Hemisphere, Japanese plum wine is spot on for sipping or pouring into cake. In Japan, flowering plums precede its more famous sakura cherry blossom cousin. Plum blossom viewing parties also commenced long before the idea of a cherry blossom viewing party came into fruition. The change in popularity occurred about the time political allegiances transpired. (When the capital of Japan moved from Nara to Kyoto. The current capital of Japan is Tokyo.) However, the Japanese plum blossom was never banished.

America's traditional Southern pound cake gets friendly with ancient Japanese plum wine.

Plum blossoms may currently take second place to the cherry blossom in terms of popularity. But, Japanese plum blossom festivals and parties are sprinkled throughout Japan. The flower and fruit of the Japanese plum blossom continue to thrive in Japanese culture and cuisine.

Here are 3 reasons why the Japanese plum blossom is still revered:
1. The pretty flowers whisper the promise of the spring.
2. Japanese plum blossom trees are said to ward off evil spirits.
3. The fruits of the tree beckon prosperity because of the restorative qualities of the Japanese plum.
(See The Ninja Baker’s Japanese Plum Sushi post.) Umeboshi - pickled plum - is also added to rice to stimulate the appetites of those who are ailing.

Cheers to your good health and prosperity with Japanese plum wine and cake!

Need any more reasons to bake with Japanese plum wine? Well, try the recipe below and treat yourself to a buttery pound cake infused with pink wine! P.s. Perhaps the Japanese plum wine balances out all the butter and sugar…I don’t guarantee the healthiest cake on the planet. But I do promise you a fusion of Japanese and American yumminess!

Plum Wine Cake

Buttery pound cake of the American South finds a friend in the ancient Japanese plum. The wine of the revered Japanese plum adds a touch of tart to the traditional Southern pound cake.

Adapted from The Southern Cake Book’s Amaretto-Almond Pound Cake recipe on page 217.

  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • Lots of butter or coconut oil for greasing your bundt pan
  • 1¼ cups softened butter for the cake batter
  • 3 ounces softened Neufchâtel
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Japanese plum wine
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Drops of rose food coloring
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature

Set your oven to 325 degrees. Rub lots of butter or coconut oil in a 10” (12 cup) bundt pan to ensure release of the cake after baking. Sprinkle the walnuts onto the bottom of the pan.

Whip together the butter and Neufchâtel in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer. In a steady stream add the sugar. Let the sugar, butter and Neufchâtel dance into fluffiness for about 5 minutes. On low speed, stir in the Japanese plum wine, vanilla extract and drops of rose food coloring. Slowly add the flour. Add the eggs one at a time. Pour the smooth batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a bamboo skewer or knife inserted in the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before flipping the bundt pan onto a plate.

Ninja Note: Oh, so gently insert a frosting spatula or thin knife along the edges of the bundt pan to encourage an easy release of cake.

Optional Japanese Plum Wine Glaze:

In a saucepan, over a medium-low flame, bring to boil: ¾ cup sugar, ¼ cup Japanese plum wine, 2 tablespoons water and drops of rose food coloring. Be sure to continually keep stirring. (Cleaning burnt sugar in saucepans is no fun!) Let the mixture reduce. The process should take 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle the hot glaze over the cooled cake. 

You can also spread a bit of the glaze on the bottom of the cake while still hot and in the pan. Once the cake is cooled and the glaze is set, it creates an extra sugary wine crunch on the bottom of the cake.




Wishing you a spring which blossoms with happiness!

The Ninja Baker

© ™ Watkinson 2012

The Ninja Baker has guest blogged and contributed recipes to numerous food sites. These additional recipes can be found here.



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