Plum Upside Down Cake

Delicious individual sized upside down cakes made with plums.

Plum Upside Down Cake
Elise Bauer

My father should have a t-shirt that reads "I've never met a dessert I didn't like" or in this case, "Got Plums? Will Bake".

His baking endeavors might not always look their bakery best (please don't ever ask him to frost a cake and sometimes his pies are downright scary-looking) but more often than not the results taste fabulous.

This plum upside-down cake is actually quite pretty and is based on a recipe he found in an old issue of Fine Cooking magazine. The taste idea is that of slices of tart plum balanced by a sweet cake base.

Plum Upside Down Cake
Elise Bauer

He used red Santa Rosa plums and brightly colored pluots to make this plum cake. My mother thought the cake was just a bit too tart for her, but dad and I love it just the way it is.

Now that I think about it, the t-shirt should simply say "Real Men Bake". Because if you could just see my 6'2", 200 lb, works out 3 times a week at the gym, mows the lawn, splits the wood, 78-year-old father in his striped apron, gently arranging plum slices on top of melted butter and sugar in ramekins, that would be the T that fit the best.

More Delicious Upside Down Cakes

Plum Upside Down Cake

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 60 mins
Servings 4 servings

Feel free to substitute 4 tablespoons milk plus 2 teaspoons milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice for the buttermilk.


  • 1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed

  • 4 plums, pitted and sliced

  • 5 tablespoons buttermilk

  • 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 (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the insides of four 10- or 8-ounce ramekins.
  2. Melt butter and brown sugar, pour into bottom of ramekins:

    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 four buttered ramekins, dividing the sugar butter sauce evenly among them.

  3. Arrange a layer of plum slices at the bottom of each ramekin
  4. Whisk together dry ingredients for batter:

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

  5. Make cake batter:

    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.

  6. Bake:

    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.

  7. Cool and invert:

    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.

    Serve alone or with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
690 Calories
31g Fat
101g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 690
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 19g 93%
Cholesterol 124mg 41%
Sodium 198mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 101g 37%
Dietary Fiber 6g 21%
Total Sugars 70g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 87mg 435%
Calcium 126mg 10%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 679mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.