Plum Cake and Tarte Au Sucre Cake

Yesterday was “bake” day. I kneaded up a double batch of French bread dough and a batch of brioche dough. I baked three baguettes with half the French dough and the other half went back into the fridge (for tonight’s pizza).

The brioche dough was divided in two and patted into two cake pans. One was topped with butter and brown sugar for a Tarte Au Sucre and the other was topped with Italian Plums and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon.

Tarte au Sucre
Sugar Yeast Cake
Anne Willan

This yeast cake with a sugar topping is popular in the North, which is sugar beet country. you can double the quantity of dough and use half for ‘pain brioche’, a rich bread that the French like to toast for breakfast.

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar


1/3 cup of milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups flour (more as needed)
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter

Make the yeast dough. Put the lukewarm milk in a small bowl, add the sugar and add the yeast. Leave to proof. Sift the flour on a marble slab or board and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, salt and dissolved yeast mixture. Briefly mix the central ingredients then draw in the flour with both hands, pulling the dough into large crumbs with the fingertips. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes or until very smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary so that the dough is not too sticky. pound the butter to soften it thoroughly, then work in into the dough, slapping the dough on the work surface, just until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer the dough to a light oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise until almost doubled in
bulk. Thoroughly butter the pie pan.

Transfer the risen dough to a floured work surface and fold it in thirds, patting it to knock out the air. flour your hands and flatten the dough into the base, not the sides of the pan. Let rise for 15 minutes and then spread with soft butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Let rise for 15 minutes and then bake for 15 or 20 minutes in a 400°F oven. Serve at room temperature.

Pain Brioche

After folding the risen dough in thirds on the floured work surface, shape into a rectangle and set in a buttered 20 x 10 x 6 cm. loaf pan and leave to rise for about 30 minutes. Brush with an egg glaze and bake in 400°F oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Chocolate Babka

I processed the chocolate just a little to break it up, added some butter and some powdered sugar and spread it over the dough. Then I rolled it up and then twisted it before putting it in the buttered loaf pan. Sprinkled the top with a little struesel topping. Mixed a little butter, flour and sugar together for the struesel. I didn’t measure anything thing.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. I'll be back in my kitchen in about a week – the brioche dough is at the top of my list to make!! I'd love a piece of either one of those cakes right now!

  2. Trish says:

    Hey….like the plum cake recipe. I think I have had my share of plums this year…yikes! Grin…but fruit fruit and more fruit with a bountiful harvest this year. I do believe that we live not that far apart…taking in some of the most wonderful scenery in Canada…the West Coast and Islands.

  3. Oh lala the chocolate babka looks sooo good Ann!

  4. Annie says:

    I will have to try the cinnamon/sugar topping. I made a plum cake last weekend and I think a topping would've made it even better. I will have to try it…and the brioche and pretty much everything else!

  5. Katy ~ says:

    Ann, I am running out of ways to say how much I admire your cooking and baking. These are just beautiful!

  6. Monique, the chocolate babka was good. I always think of the Seinfeld episode when I make a chocolate babka. Trish are you on the Island?Lori, I miss your blog. Looking forward to when you are back in the kitchen.Katy, you are too nice. Thank you.Annie, the cinnamon and sugar does make a difference with this plum cake. I love sweet yeast dough cakes.

  7. RosemarieT says:

    I tried your plum cake recipe and fell in love with plums all over again!! My aunt in Germany makes a cake very similar to this… it sure is a happy reminder! She puts the dough onto a jelly roll pan and makes one big flat cake with lots of plums. Either way, delicious!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely love your site and recipes. A pleasure to view! Thank you for taking the time to enrich all of us.

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