Plummy oats and a damson cake

Jul 17, 2016 | 13 comments


Well I tried the golden milk overnight oats and I can’t say that I’m a fan. I didn’t use any sweetening as I am weaning myself off sweet things, and I didn’t use some of the more unusual ingredients, but I don’t think it would have made any difference. This one just isn’t for me.

Plummy oats

One I tried this morning however very much was. I still have many boxes of plums from the trees in the garden last year. We barely have a plum this year. What a contrast! Once defrosted, I mixed them with value oats. I overdid the oats for the amount of plums, so I mixed in some milk as well. This morning I had some for breakfast, they were a bit too sharp, so I poured over a splash of double cream and a teaspoon of rich, dark Muscovado sugar. Yes, I know I’ve just said I’m weaning myself off sweet things! It was deeply delicious, luscious and rather wonderful. So that’s definitely a keeper, and is a great way to use up those plums. The freezers are gradually getting emptier as I make determined efforts to use things up.

plummy oats

Oats cooked with plums

I didn’t freeze any rhubarb this year. It takes up a lot of room, so I just made loads of crumbles for Mike, he loves them, and I suggested that we just ate seasonally, enjoying it whilst it was here and waiting until next year for more. The rhubarb is looking distinctly autumnal today, I don’t know if that’s it now for this year. It’s getting plenty of water, that’s for sure, and it had loads of compost on it last winter.

Damson and walnut cake

I also tried something else new today. Miss Thrifty made a lovely chocolate orange cake recently, using marmalade. I was intrigued by the use of marmalade and wondered if I might be able to use jam instead. I used to make a lot of jam and I have loads of jars of it still.

I used Miss Thrifty’s recipe, but omitted the chocolate, used some damson jam and added about 80g of chopped walnuts. I also used some of the massive stash I am still working my way through of granary flour, and a bit of baking powder as it wasn’t self raising. Mike couldn’t wait for it to cool and tried it straight out of the oven. He declared it pretty alright really, which translates as delicious.

I tried a tiny sliver and it had a wonderful deep flavour from the damsons, delicious crunch from the walnuts and a bouncy robust texture from the granary flour, although next time, I think I might sieve out the lumps from the flour and put them back in the bag, they were a bit hard


It was really easy to make and I am looking forward to using up some more jam in due course. I also have some extremely strong marmalade made using Mamade, think that would be good.

This is what I did.
125g value butter
300g any jam, I used damson
150g sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
150g flour
20cm cake tin, buttered or lined and buttered. I used a non stick tin, clip sided tin and bottom lined it with a reusable silicone.

Melt the butter. Now add the jam, sugar and salt. Mix well and beat in the eggs. Finally, add the flour and combine everything together.

Tip the mix into the tin. Bake at 180C, fan 160C, 350F, gas mark 4 for 40 to 50 minutes. A skewer will come out clean once baked. Leave to cool in the tin.

If the flour used is not self raising, add a good tsp of baking powder. Judging by the results using the granary flour, this would work well with wholemeal flour too.


Any nuts can be used to replace the walnuts, or a mixture of course, or just leave them out. I used them because I fancied doing so. Any jam too. Some matches of jam type and nut would work particularly well.

I would try raspberry and hazelnut: plum and almond: strawberry and cashew or peanut: apricot and almond: rhubarb and ginger. I wonder if the saltiness of salted peanuts would survive the mixing and baking process?

when I peered at the faded label on the jam jar, guess what it was dated? 1999!!!! It kept well then!



  1. Lesley

    I think that’s how recipes evolve isn’t it, each new person putting a twist on it. Got lots more ideas for that recipe yet! White chocolate and raspberries is next.

    I loved the whole day on Sat. I will def be going to the next one. It was great meeting you too irl

  2. Miss Thrifty

    Oh, that does look delicious. I know this was your version of my recipe (which is a version of a Nigella recipe), but now I am tempted to try your version of my version of Nigella’s version… What will we end up with? It’s a constantly evolving recipe!

    P.S. Was super to meet you at the UKMB event yesterday. Hopefully see you at the next one?

  3. Lesley

    Toasting sounds like a good idea, that would give a lovely flavour

  4. Rae

    I tried it and its great! I “toast” a cupful of oats for a minute in the microwave first, before i soak them. And i eat it plain with just salt and splenda or maybe add a banana its delicious and so easy! Thank you

  5. Lesley

    Yes, I can see how that would work. Not sure that we’ll get any more rhubarb now, it’s looking rather end of season

  6. Gill

    I stew rhubarb before I freeze it – can still use it in crumbles but it saves space!

  7. Lesley

    Sounds yummy. I am eyeing up all sorts of jams and stuff with a different idea about them now!

  8. Jessica

    Hi….I tried this cake using blackcurrant jam and linseed replacement eggs and it is very toffeeish (bad spelling?)I found it a bit like parkin in texture and am looking forward to many variations………….Jessica

  9. Lesley

    Got one in the oven right now, this one is with the dregs of ancient pots of apricot and red currant jelly, and topped off with some thick marmalade. No nuts in this one, but that’s mainly because I forgot to put them in!

  10. Anna

    Cake with walnuts is my weakness. Going to give it a go!

  11. Lesley

    It is, and it seems to be keeping well. Can’t wait to try another flavour, although I’ll sieve the bits out of the granary flour next time and put them back in the bag, they are a bit too hard

  12. Lyn

    I agree about the overnight oats – I tried a few variations but it is not one I shall repeat.

  13. New England Flybaby

    That cake looks lovely!

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