Skip to main content

NY Times Plum Torte (Paleo, Gluten-Free)

By September 19, 2020June 4th, 2024Desserts and Sweets, Gluten Free, Paleo, Summer

This is the famous NY Times Plum Torte converted to a paleo, gluten-free and refined sugar free fruit torte. In this magical late summer dessert, sweet plums are nestled in a rich, moist cake.  It’s incredibly simple with only 6 ingredients and easy to make.

plum torte with piece cut

The New York Times Plum Torte is one of their most popular recipes of all time. They published Marian Burros’s original recipe for Plum Torte starting in September 1983.  When they stopped publishing it  in 1989 they got so many letters they had to bring it back. 

The arrival of fresh plums represents the end of summer and beginning of fall.  For many years I made it for my family every September. But then my diet changed and I haven’t made it in awhile.

Now that I eat a gluten-free, refined sugar free diet, I decided to convert this amazing cake to a healthier version.  

The cake is primarily fruit. The plums are sweet-tart and jammy and there are lots of them.  Their juiciness bleeds all throughout the batter. The moist cake shines through here and there, making it completely divine. 

pum torte over

It’s an easy recipe with simple ingredients, simple measurements and lots of fruit.

When you look at the ingredients it doesn’t seem like anything exceptional, but it is. Magic happens when you put it into the oven.  You’ll understand once you taste it. 

Instead of white flour I use a paleo flour mix of almond flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour and coconut flour. You can buy it already mixed or make your own. (I’ve include a recipe for the flour mix)

I use coconut sugar instead of white sugar. The coconut sugar does not taste like coconut. It has a deep rich slightly toasted flavor that goes great with the plums. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (35) than white sugar (60 to 65). Coconut sugar it not just empty calories, it’s contains antioxidants, iron, calcium and potassium.

Since the coconut sugar is a bit more dense than white sugar, it’s key to use a mixer to whip the butter and coconut sugar together for a full minute until it gets really creamy. This is an important step.

The torte comes out best with lots of fruit.  Arrange as many plums as you can fit in a circular pattern on top of the batter.  As it bakes the batter will squeeze through.

If you use less fruit that’s okay too, it will be more of a cake dessert than a fruit dessert. 

Sprinkle a little coconut sugar mixed with cinnamon on top of the fruit to give the topping a little crunch. 


  • Even though I always make it with plums (any variety) you can use almost any seasonal fruit. Apples or pears, cranberries for the holidays, peaches or nectarines in the summer. Cherries would probably be good too! 
  • It’s best made in a spring form pan but if you don’t have one use a 9″ cake pan lined with parchment paper so you can lift it out once it’s done. 

Enjoy this magically simple recipe (just plum halves nestled into batter). The kitchen magic brings out the juiciness of fruit baked in sweet, gluten free cake.  

It’s packed with fruit, naturally sweetened, warm, comforting and unbelievably delicious. Enjoy it for dessert, snack or if you’re like me, have it for breakfast!

plum torte side view

If you like this recipe you may also enjoy these deliciously healthy fruit desserts:

Pumpkin Apple Upside Down Cake

Amazing Peach Pecan Cobbler 

Easy Apple Gingerbread Cobbler

Nut Free Apple Raspberry Cobbler

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

NY Times Plum Torte (Paleo Gluten-Free)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Ingrid DeHart
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This is a fruit dessert with late summer fresh sweet plums nestled in a rich, moist cake, paleo, gluten-free and refined sugar free.


  • 1 cup paleo flour mix, sifted (119 grams)*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grass fed unsalted butter, softened (112 grams, 1 stick, 8 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (90 grams)
  • 2 pastured eggs
  • 24 halves, pitted small purple plums*
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, for topping
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Measure flour and sift together with baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and 1/2 cup sugar together for 1 minute until light and creamy.
  4. Add eggs and mix until just combined.
  5. Add the flour, beat to mix well.
  6. Spoon the batter into greased 9” spring form pan.*
  7. Cover the top with the plums arranged in a circle, skin side up. Put them as close together as you can.
  8. Mix the cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar and sprinkle over the top.
  9. Bake on middle rack for 35-40 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  11. Remove the sides, serve and enjoy.
  12. Refrigerate leftovers.
  13. Freeze if desired, wrap in foil and then plastic. To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.


To make your own paleo flour mixture:
½ cup almond flour (56 grams)
¼ cup arrowroot flour (32 grams)
2 tablespoons coconut flour (16 grams)
2 tablespoons tapioca flour (15 grams)
Sift almond flour until no clumps remain.
Combine all ingredients together and sift again with baking powder and salt.

Any type of plum will work. If the plums are larger you don’t need as many.

If you’re planning to freeze the cake, line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper for easy removal.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes


  • Sheila Resari says:

    I’m so glad you made this version–I’d seen the NYT recipe and wasn’t sure how to translate it to a paleo dessert. This was delicious! Had more than enough plums so I’m saving the rest to make another torte.

    • Ingrid says:

      Hi Sheila,

      Fantastic I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. It’s such a great one for summer when we have those beautiful plums. Thanks for sharing. Happy Cooking!

Rate & Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star