Plum cake and stuffed dates with almonds and rose water made by Leah Koenig during the webinar, “Rosh Hashanah Baking 2.0.”

Cookbook author Leah Koenig demonstrated her recipes for plum cake and stuffed dates with almonds and rose water during “Rosh Hashanah Baking 2.0.”

The webinar was hosted by the Boulder Jewish Community Center on Sept. 1 on Zoom. Members of JCCs across the country were invited to attend.

Both of the following recipes were adapted from, “The Jewish Cookbook,” by Julia Turshen and Leah Koenig.

To watch the webinar, visit


Koenig advised her plum cake be enjoyed in the late summer when plums come into peak season. She recommended spreading a layer of jam on top and serving the cake with freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

Alternatively, she said, plum cake leftovers topped with yogurt make a nice breakfast.


  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup (30 g) almond flour (ground almonds)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, or 1/3 cup (75 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 ⁄ 2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (60 g) light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 / 2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 1 lb (455 g) plums, pitted and halved (or cut into quarters or eighths if large)
  • 1 tablespoon cherry or apricot jam


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C/gas mark 4). Lightly grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan or springform pan, then line with a round of parchment paper. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose (plain) flour, almond flour (ground almonds), baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

In a stand mixer (or using a handheld electric mixer and a large bowl), beat together the butter, sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract (if using). Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until just incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth gently with a rubber spatula.

It will look like not enough batter, but the cake will puff up as it bakes. Arrange the plums, cut side down, on top of the batter.

Bake until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pan, carefully remove the cake and set it on the rack.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the jam in 20-second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and spreadable. While the cake is still warm, brush the jam evenly on top. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.


Koenig said dates stuffed with sweet almond paste or ground nuts are served across North Africa and the Middle East. She noted they are traditionally made by Jewish families for Purim or occasions such as bar or bat mitzvahs and weddings.

Moroccan Jews include the confection as part of a sweets and cookie spread during Mimouna, the celebratory meal held to commemorate the end of Passover.


  • 4 oz (115 g) almond paste (not marzipan)
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 20 Medjool dates
  • 20 salted roasted pistachios


Break the almond paste into small pieces and place in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the rose water, cinnamon and cardamom, and beat on medium speed until fully combined.

Slice each date lengthwise, taking care not to go through to the other side. Remove and discard the pits. Scoop out 1 teaspoon of the almond paste mixture and roll into an oval. Tuck into one of the sliced dates and top with 1 pistachio, pressing it down gently into the almond paste. Repeat with remaining dates, filling and pistachios.

How do you feel about this article?

Choose from the options below.


Recommended for you