Plum Cake -Goan Black Cake

20 Nov

Frankly speaking Goan Plum Cake has nothing to do with plums. I do not know the history as how it was named but I do know that  it still is a very popular cake in Goa. The almost black cake has a flavor of candied orange rinds, blackened sugar and is dense. It smells and taste very close to the Italian Panettone Bread except it has a cake texture. I enjoy eating this cake for evening tea and it’s on my must have list to bring back from Goa. This recipe has been on my to-do list for a long time. Trying to search for the recipe online was not easy as the search only showed the Famous Goan fruit cake which is made with brandy or rum, dry fruits and nuts. But they were listed as Plum cake. For a Goan born and raised in Goa we sure can tell the difference in recipe.




As it is that time of the year where costco has a lot of panettone bread I bought some, kept eating and reading the ingredients to guess what the recipe would be. It took me a couple of attempts including adding molasses which was not a really good idea before I got the recipe right. Like I said before, for recipes that I do not know I use my memories of that dish, the way it smells, taste and texture. I am so happy to finally almost nail the recipe. Plum cake is an everyday cake usually served when friends and family drop by. It is a non boozy cake unlike the Goan fruit cake which may look close but has a few more ingredients. It is cut in about 9 x 4″ rectangle with the burnt edges trimmed and wrapped in plastic wrap and sold at bakeries and Tea Cafe’s.goan-plum-cake-recipe-collage-of-ingredients

Serving Size: 9 inch loaf pan


Black Caramel Syrup – Make 30 minutes ahead and let cool

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp of water

Cake Batter

1 cup flour

1 tsp of baking powder

1 stick soft butter

2 eggs

1/2- 3/4 cups sugar ( I used only 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp, I prefer less sugar)

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup candied orange rinds

1/4 cup tutti-frutti or candied fruit

1/2 tsp of vanilla  (optional)


On medium heat in a heavy bottom pan add the 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp of water and heat till the sugar becomes black about 4-6 minutes.

Keep a close eye not to over burn.

Carefully add the remaining water and gently stir till the caramelized sugar turns to syrup.

Take of heat and let cool completely.

Heat oven to 385F.

Grease a loaf pan.

With a hand mixer mix sugar, eggs and softened butter till creamy. Next add the cooled sugar syrup and dried fruits and mix well.

Finally add the flour and baking powder to the batter and mix well.

Pour it in the pan and bake for 26-28 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean.


Let cool, trim the edges and enjoy with a nice cup of tea.

You can also wrap the cake in saran wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 weeks.



98 Responses to “Plum Cake -Goan Black Cake”

  1. Jim November 20, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

    yum!!! that looks good.

    • Nandini November 20, 2015 at 5:46 pm #

      Thank You Much Jim. Hoping you have a great weekend 🙂

  2. nancyruth November 20, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    This looks good.

    • Nandini November 20, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      Thank You so much Nancyruth. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  3. Lynz Real Cooking November 20, 2015 at 5:42 pm #


  4. Sarah November 20, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

    Sounds like all your hard work and recipe experimentation paid off!

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      Yes Sarah, I was so happy that I finally worked on the recipe. Now I do not have to wait to go to Goa to eat it 🙂

  5. Hans Susser November 20, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Yes Please 🙂

  6. Mr. Militant Negro November 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  7. youthfoodblog November 20, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    Great experimentation! My dad got panettone bread from Costco too. I did not know it can be developed to make another great recipe. I guess that’s one of the wonderful things about culinary arts!

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Thank You so much Chris. It did help me indeed with my recipe 🙂

  8. Freda @ Aromatic essence November 20, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    That’s great Nandini, you nailed the recipe! I have fond memories of eating this plum cake too 🙂 Your’s looks lovely:)

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

      Thank You Much Freda. Me too, we surely ate a lot of it growing up 🙂

  9. MyCulinarySaga November 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

    Woww can’t wait to try it

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

      Thanks, will look forward to your feedback 🙂

  10. FOOD IS LIFE! November 20, 2015 at 11:52 pm #


  11. Harry...the Man! November 21, 2015 at 1:03 am #

    Well done on nailing that recipe. It’s so good of you to share it.

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Thank You Harry appreciate it much. I too am happy so now I can enjoy more of it often. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  12. stateeats November 21, 2015 at 7:03 am #

    I am impressed that you worked this up without a recipe, kudos to you. -Kat

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:35 pm #

      Thank You Kat so much. Yes it made me feel good and now my mum wants my recipe 🙂

  13. STAN the MAN November 21, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    Hi Nandini!

    PLUM CAKE (Goan style) looks FAN-TA-BU-LOUS. Your photos as always look MIND-BLOWING. I have emailed this recipe to the AMATEUR CHEF. I mean My spouse, Who loves cakes and pastries. She could live on cakes and sweets. I bet She will be on the case. I may even have Plum cake for sunday tea. I will keep My fingers crossed. And finally Nandini, thanks for sharing Your CULINARY EXPERTISE with Us.

    Have an AWESOME weekend and a BRILLIANT week ahead!


    Stan & Linda

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

      Thank You Mr Stan so much. I am happy to know that you like the recipe. Hoping that Mrs Stan gives it a go. You both have a lovely weekend 🙂

  14. fromthefamilytable November 21, 2015 at 8:16 am #

    Looks perfect for the Thanksgiving buffet. Have a great holiday.

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

      Thank You Darryl so much. Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving as well 🙂

  15. lynne hoareau November 21, 2015 at 8:29 am #

    Hi Nandini, this sounds interesting and different. I bet it tastes good too. Have a lovely weekend

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:53 pm #

      Thank You Lynne so much. I really enjoy this cake. You to have a lovely weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving in advance 🙂

      • lynne hoareau November 25, 2015 at 9:28 am #

        Thank you, and to you and your lovely family as well.

  16. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso November 21, 2015 at 10:20 am #

    Plum cake without plums? sounds interesting! 🙂
    I love the use of the black sugar syrup. I’ll give it a try once the holiday craze is over… 🙂

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

      That will be awesome Ronit. I will definitely look forward to your feed back. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  17. Charlotte Ruijun Zhou November 21, 2015 at 10:45 am #

    😍😍can’t wait to try this! Thanks for sharing!

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

      That is so awesome Charlotte 🙂

      • Charlotte Ruijun Zhou November 21, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

        🙂 could you do me a favor? I just moved from to, I’m wondering if other bloggers are able to leave comment on my site. Could you tell me if it still works? If not, I have to ask for tech support. Thank you soooo much!

  18. Loretta November 21, 2015 at 11:23 am #

    Gorgeous cake, I don’t believe I’ve heard of this Goan Black Cake? I do love the boozy fruit cake though, and this does look a tad like that one. Are you off to Goa for the holidays? If so, I’ll envy you eating all the “kunswar” 🙂

    • Nandini November 21, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

      Thank You Loretta. It’s called Plum cake mostly. You can find it everywhere in the market its more an everyday cake and not the boozy one which they make during Christmas. I wont be going down this year since I had been down in January. Have a lovely Thanksgiving Loretta.

  19. Aruna Panangipally November 21, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

    I have always wondered why the Indian Plum Cake was called so when it had no plums. 🙂

    Lovely recipe.

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

      Thank You Aruna so much. Me too need to find out the reason.

  20. sushi November 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm #

    Love it👍

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      Thank You Much Sushi 🙂

  21. Miss Dinie November 21, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

    Nice! Would go well with some tea right now!

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      That is true Miss Dinie 🙂

      • Miss Dinie November 25, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

        Shame it does not contain plums though.. The shop near me sells this cake.. Tasted like a dry version of Madeira Cake!

  22. Raji November 22, 2015 at 1:12 am #

    Lovely cake…

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Thank You Much Raji 🙂

  23. urbanmonique November 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Oh my!

  24. Acupcakeforlove November 22, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

    This reminds me of our Kerala Plum Cake!! How i look forward to December just for these treats!! This recipe looks really nice!! You home must smell so yum!

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm #

      Thank You so much Parvathy, it has been indeed. I have been enjoying a slice everyday with my evening tea 🙂

  25. bitesandplaces November 23, 2015 at 2:31 am #

    Looks really yummm!!!

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank You Natasha 🙂

  26. C. Marie November 23, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    Look at those slices—so moist and colorful! This cake seems perfect for the holidays. Speaking of which, have a great Thanksgiving!

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

      Thank You so much C. Marie. Wishing you too a Very Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  27. Jam November 24, 2015 at 1:23 pm #

    This looks delicious!! Thank you so much for stopping by my humble blog 🙂

    • Nandini November 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm #

      Thank You and you are very welcome 🙂

  28. deliciouslynell November 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    That looks lovely. 🙂

    • Nandini December 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank You much 🙂

  29. Rupali December 1, 2015 at 3:14 am #

    Looks good. Reminds me of Xavier bakery in Mapusa Goa.

    • Nandini December 2, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks You Rupali. Guess it is a staple at all the bakeries in Goa 🙂

  30. Admin December 1, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

    great recipe! I am going to try the recipe.

    • Nandini December 2, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

      Thank You Jyoti 🙂

  31. Bilal December 3, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    That cake looks beautiful 🙂

    • Nandini December 4, 2015 at 6:14 pm #

      Thank You Bilal 🙂

  32. Sandhya December 3, 2015 at 6:11 pm #

    Nandini, I remember eating this cake as a child. How wonderful that you could recreate it from memory! Looks awesome….I can almost smell the aroma:)

    • Nandini December 4, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

      Thank You Sandhya so much. I truly enjoyed every piece of it as my husband was travelling 🙂

  33. Garfield Hug December 5, 2015 at 11:23 pm #

    Simply YUM😍😍

    • Nandini December 7, 2015 at 11:33 am #

      Thank You so much 🙂

  34. sugarbutterfloursalt December 14, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    I absolutely love plum cake… great looking recipe. thanks for sharing.

    • Nandini December 17, 2015 at 11:12 am #

      That is so awesome…Thank You 🙂

  35. Rotwein Wanderer December 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm #

    Looks so yummy! Btw, I came across to the “plum” the other day, which reminded me of your cake.

    “Plum pudding is the term used for a rich boiled or baked pudding made with raisins, currants or other dried fruits.”


    • Nandini December 17, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      Thank You Much 🙂

  36. Antusa Dasgupta December 28, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

    Made the plum cake for Christmas as home made gifts for my neighbors and friends. It much appreciated by them. Thank you for the recipe. Do you happen to have the recipe for Sanrival cake made with cashew nuts? It is quite popular in Panjim.

    • Nandini December 30, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      Thank You so much Antusa for your lovely feedback. I am happy to know that it was enjoyed. I am not too sure about the Sanrival cake. The one I know is the fruit cake made with walnuts. Let me check with my mom and I will get back to you.

  37. Linda Fernandes January 5, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    Yum yum

  38. Indu March 18, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    This looks so good Nandini. I have been looking for a good plum cake recipe! Lovely!

    • Nandini March 18, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

      Thank You so much Indu. I am so happy to know that 🙂

  39. Botendaddy December 14, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    Lovely Nandini and her awesome Goan treats!

    Peace be the Botendaddy

    • Nandini December 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

      Thank You so much 🙂

  40. Maxima December 31, 2016 at 1:50 am #

    May your New Year’s Eve ring with laughter and cheer! Marking the start of a blessed New Year!

    • Nandini January 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank You so much 🙂 Wishing you too a very blessed New Years!

  41. chubbysmom January 9, 2017 at 8:33 pm #

    If you don’t mind explaining… there’s no plum in the ingredients…why is it called plum cake?

    • Nandini January 25, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      Just as I mentioned in my post, I have no idea why it is called a Plum cake 🙂

      • chubbysmom January 25, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

        Ahahahaha…I obviously skimmed through the intro so I can salivate at the pictures…sorry!

        • Nandini February 1, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

          No biggie.. i too do it sometimes 🙂


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