Plum Upside Down Cake

DessertBakingCakePlum

Delicious individual sized upside down cakes made with plums.

Photography Credit: 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

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 Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 4 individual servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 stick butter (10 Tbsp or 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp), softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 plums, pitted and sliced
  • 5 Tbsp buttermilk OR 4 Tbsp 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
  • Four 10 or 8 ounce ramekins

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the insides of the 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 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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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16 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Joyce Bacon

    I made this today and it turned out great. Pretty to look at and delicious to eat. It’s perfect for my family since there’s just two of us.

  • Marcia

    Everyone wanted seconds of this yummy dessert. I’m gluten free so used rice flour with a little xanthan gum. Instead of the cinnamon, I used cardamom and I used 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract. I baked in a 9 inch cake pan for 30 minutes and it came out perfect! All the dinner guests asked for the recipe.

  • bkakosy

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I had no vanilla at home so I substituted it with a bit of rum and the result was delicious!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Christa aka BabbyMama

    Any chance I could do this on a small scale in a muffin pan?

    Why not? If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. Note that the cooking time will be greatly reduced. ~Elise

  • sairuh

    What a delicious recipe, Elise! This worked well with the end-of-season Santa Rosa plums from the farmers’ market. I loved how the cake portion turned out moist and tender –and it’s pleasantly surprising how much character there is with the orange zest.

    I almost always have plain yogurt around, so I used that instead of buttermilk. For grins I added the cinnamon to the sugar-butter sauce…which with my prolonged whisking and extended time on the heat turned into caramel, but ended up quite tasty.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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