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Plum upside-down cake recipe

Plum upside-down cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Plum cake

A lovely seasonal recipe for when the plums are in season late summer, early autumn. This delicious cake is especially nice with a little ice cream or custard.

39 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 200g butter
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 80ml milk
  • 500g tart plums, stoned and halved

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:50min ›Ready in:1hr5min

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a 23cm cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, cream 120g of the butter and 200g of sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract then beat in the eggs, one at a time, until creamy. Gradually add the flour and the milk, alternating between the two and beating well after each addition.
  4. In a saucepan over a medium heat, melt the remaining butter then add the remaining sugar, simmer for a few minutes stirring frequently until the sugar darkens.
  5. Lay the plums cut side down on the bottom of the prepared cake tin. Cover with the melted butter mixture then spoon the cake mixture in on top, taking care not to move your plum arrangement.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin.
  7. When ready to serve, place the base of the tin over a gentle heat for about 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt the sugar plum layer which will allow the cake to come out of the tin easily.
  8. Place a serving plate over the top of the tin then swiftly but smoothly flip the cake tin upside down. The cake should slip out easily on to the plate, if not, warm the base for a little longer. Slice and serve.

Cake tin

For upside down cake it is not advised that a loose bottomed tin is used, as it can leak.

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Plum Upside-Down Cake

Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plums and ¼ cup of the sugar and cook, tossing, until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the plums become syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the plums in the cake pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from the outside. Spoon any pan juices over the top.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

With an electric mixer, beat the remaining ½ cup of the butter and ⅔ cup of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream, and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.

Pour the batter over the plums and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate.


  • Water - 2 tablespoons.
  • Unsalted butter (softened) - 1 stick.
  • Pitted plums - 3 cups.
  • Packed light brown sugar - 1/2 cup.
  • All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup.
  • Granulated sugar - 1 cup.
  • Almond meal or flour - 1/2 cup.
  • Whole milk - 1 cup.
  • Baking powder - 1 tablespoon.
  • Eggs - 2 nos.
  • Salt - 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Orange peel (Grated) - 2 teaspoons.
  • Vanilla - 1 1/2 teaspoon.

Plum upside-down cake

It’s late afternoon at the farmers market. Shoppers have had a few hours already to load up on white and yellow peaches and nectarines, apricots and three kinds of plums, but still there’s a crowd around a counter where wedges of fruit are available to taste.

Little kids with chins already sticky with juice push forward for one more sample meticulous matrons smack their lips over fragrant white nectarines. Buyers wave bills and go back and fill their bags with another half-dozen plums or peaches.

Relax. Take a deep breath. Time is not running out on the stone fruit season.

This year, thanks to weirdly favorable weather conditions, California’s crops of peaches, nectarines and plums have been early (10 days to two weeks in most cases) and abundant. Marty Willbanks of the Olson Family Farm in Kingsburg just south of Fresno says that the stone fruit crop is “outstanding and better than normal” this year and that the fruit is sweeter than usual because of early hot weather.

Add that bounty to the availability of new varieties that ripen in late summer and early fall and we’re barely into one of the best seasons in memory.

Think of it -- you have until early October to indulge, one way or another. Peach pie? Why not? Cobblers and crisps? Of course. Preserves, chutneys, sauces? This is the year to bake and can.

There are dozens of varieties of peaches, nectarines and plums. Through June, look for Fancy Lady peaches, Flavor Crest peaches, Blenheim apricots and Santa Rosa plums. In late June, Elegant Lady peaches and Blackamber plums come into the markets. Early July brings Fantasia nectarines and Friar plums, while Elephant Heart plums can be found in late July. The old-fashioned favorite O’Henry peaches are available beginning in August.

When buying peaches and nectarines, look for those with a yellow background color (although that ranges from a pale creamy color to a bright gold, depending on the variety), with no traces of green (a sign that the fruit was picked too early and will not ripen). Many stone fruit farmers are happy to help you choose fruit depending on when you’d like to eat or cook it.

Use ripe fruit to make poached peaches in mint syrup -- the skins slip off easily with the help of a small paring knife. It takes just five minutes for the peaches to poach, but a cooling surprise comes in the juxtaposition of mint and sweet fruit.

It’s hard for us not to eat all the Santa Rosa plums we get our hands on, but we’ve exercised the utmost restraint and used them in a modern upside-down cake. Nectarines or peaches work just as well, and with any of these, the fruit yields a juicy glaze that soaks into the cake when it’s inverted after cooking. The cake itself, a simple batter enriched with browned butter and vanilla bean, is a little softer and sweeter than a shortcake.

Our apricot tart takes advantage of the fact that thin-skinned apricots need no peeling, so it’s easy to cut picture-perfect halves. Use perfectly ripe apricots for this recipe, not too soft and not too hard. Apricots and almonds are an irresistible combination, and the ground-almond crust of this tart is sophisticated in flavor and forgiving in preparation. The filling of apricot halves in a rich custard is finished a la a creme brulee.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon light butter, melted
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups thinly sliced plums
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup light butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ cup low-fat buttermilk (1%)

Coat bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan or 9-inch cast iron skillet with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Top with plums, arranging in a circular pattern set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Beat softened butter and sugar with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add orange rind, vanilla, and egg, beating until well blended. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Pour batter over plums.

Bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula. Place a plate upside down on top of cake pan invert cake onto plate. Serve warm.


  • Milk – 1/2 cup.
  • Almond extract – 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Eggs – 2 nos.
  • White sugar – 3/4 cup.
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Cardamom – 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Baking powder – 2 teaspoons.
  • Flour – 1 1/2 cups.
  • Plum – 8 nos.(They need to be cut into segments)
  • Honey – 1 tablespoon.
  • Light brown sugar – 3/4 cup.
  • Butter (Softened) – 1 1/2 stick.

More Delicious Upside Down Cakes


  • 1 1/4 stick butter (10 tablespoons or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons), softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 plums, pitted and sliced
  • 5 tablespoons buttermilk OR 4 tablespoons milk plus 2 teaspoons milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Melt 3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) of the butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Pour into the bottoms of the buttered ramekins, dividing the sugar butter sauce evenly among them.

In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat together the remaining 1/2 stick (1/4 cup or 4 Tbsp) butter with the granulated sugar and orange zest.

Add the eggs and vanilla, mix to combine.

Alternately add the dry flour mixture and the buttermilk (or lemon soured milk) mixture to the batter.

Divide the batter among the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven on the middle rack. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until cakes are firm to the touch, and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the center does not come out with raw batter on it. (Might be wet from plum juice.) Turn the baking sheet around half-way through the baking to ensure an even baking for all the cakes.

Remove from oven and let cool on a rack until no longer hot to the touch. Run a paring knife around the edges of the ramekins. Invert onto a plate and gently lift off of the plate.

Plum Upside Down Cake Recipe

This plum upside down cake is a simple, comforting cake. The caramelised tart plums balance out the sweet, soft nutty cake. And it just looks so pretty!

An upside down cake starts with a layer of butter and sugar mix and fruit on the base of a lined round cake tin so when the cake cooks the fruit caramelises. When baked and cooled the cake is turned upside down so the beautifully sticky plums are on top.

The cake is made with a simple creaming method, similar to the method we use when making frangipane for Apple Almond Squares. Start by creaming together the butter, sugar and ground almonds. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add the flour. Mix well and then mix in the milk. Pour the cake batter on top of the arranged plums and bake.

Wait for the cake to cool before removing from the tin. Place a plate face down directly on top of the cake. Quickly lift the tin and plate together and swiftly turn upside down. Remove the cake tin and peel off the baking paper. Using paper helps ensure that the fruit won’t stick to the bottom of the tin.

Plum Upside Down Cake (Way Better Than Pineapple!)

Super easy and delicious recipe and in my honest opinion, even better than pineapple upside down cake! An extra bonus is that it can be made ahead and frozen, so it’s perfect for potlucks or family get-togethers!


  • 1 package Lemon Cake Mix
  • 3 whole Large Eggs
  • 1-⅓ cup Water
  • ⅓ cups Canola Oil
  • ½ cups Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 5 cups Plums, Chopped Or Sliced


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend cake mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl at low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Mix at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Melt butter and pour into a 9 x 13 inch pan. Add brown sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Add chopped plums and stir to cover with brown sugar mixture. Make sure they are evenly distributed over the entire bottom of the pan. Pour cake batter over the plums.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes until cake is done and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes and then invert onto a platter. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: If you don’t have a really good nonstick 9 x 13 inch pan, you might want to cut a piece of parchment paper to lay across the bottom of the pan.

FREEZING DIRECTIONS: Take a cookie sheet and place a large piece of plastic wrap on it. When the cake is done baking, wait the 15 minutes and then invert the cake in the middle of the plastic wrap on your cookie sheet. Put it in the freezer for an hour, uncovered. This will harden the cake enough so that the toppings won’t stick when completely wrapped with plastic wrap. Then re-wrap with heavy aluminum foil or place in a freezer resealable bag. Completely unwrap before defrosting.

Plum upside-down cake recipe - Recipes

When friends visit, cake is eaten and usually in its entirety. Our close friend Luke and Anne came for a visit and Anne and I love to cook together so baking was on the agenda and this… Plum Upside Down Cake was the result.

Some friends walk together, grab coffee together, or shop together but Anne and I we usually cook, and it’s usually something adventurous. This cake creation started with a trip to my friend Maria‘s house to pick fresh plums. We climb a tall ladder and loaded up our tote bags with tart plums, eating a few along the way.

After our foraging, we returned to the kitchen to stir up a easy cake with this caramel-y plum topping. In the oven it went, then out to rest while we headed out for dinner. Later that evening it was devoured all but one last piece (which was lucky for me so I could snag a few photographs for you.

I must admit, sometimes I plan ahead better when I want to photograph a recipe for the blog but other times, recipes are born on an afternoon such as this one, with no forethought or blogging agenda. But I couldn’t resist sharing this with you so the last piece became my subject and I snapped a few photos so this recipe and our special afternoon could be remembered.

Here are a few past creations from Anne and I’s cooking adventures:

this recipe for Plum Upside Down Cake is from Epicurious & Bon Appetit