Caramelized Plum Upside Down Cake ~ an simple vintage style cake that’s quick to make with any variety of fresh plums. Serve it for brunch, afternoon tea, or dessert, with a scoop of ice cream, of course!
Summer plums, are perfect for this kind of cake because they are so colorful and full of juice. I think smallish ones work best because you can fit them in really tightly and get a really pretty mosaic effect when the cake is flipped over. Any color will do, they’re all beautiful.
To pit small plums, just run a sharp knife around them and gently twist the two halves apart. One half will have the pit embedded in it—gently pry it out with the knife.
The plums get arranged, cut side down, in a round cake pan. Fit them in as snugly as you can, they’ll form the top surface of the cake once baked and flipped.
I made one stupid mistake with this lovely cake…I chose to bake it in a spring form pan, even though I should have known that those ripe plums and that sea of caramelized sugar would combine to form a boatload of sticky plummy juice and that juice would likely seep through the bottom of the pan. It did. But even so, this cake was still really wonderful. I can only imagine how great it would be if I had used the right pan (a glass pie pan or regular cake pan)
I don’t generally eat dessert, so I save this for breakfast. If you do use it as dessert, a little vanilla ice cream or whipped cream couldn’t hurt.
Also try ~
don’t forget to pin this caramelized plum upside down cake ~
- enough small, halved plums to cover the bottom of your pan (I used about 12)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 Tbsp vanilla paste (or extract)
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- oven to 350F
- Grease a 9" nonstick cake pan. Fit the plum halves, cut side down, in the bottom of the pan. Try to fit as many in as you can without crushing them.
- Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to combine and heat to a boil. Without stirring, boil until the syrup thickens and turns a medium amber color. Be careful, this caramel will be extremely hot. Pour the caramel over the plums.
- For the cake, cream the butter and the 3/4 cup sugar together. Add the eggs, one at a time. Then add the sour cream and vanilla.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the wet ingredients. Mix just until they are combined.
- Pour the batter over the plums, and spread out evenly.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. I like to place a baking sheet under the pan to catch any potential spills.
- Let the cake cool for about 15 minutes, and then flip it over. The best way to do this is to cover the top of the pan with a plate, and then in one swift move flip the whole thing over.
~~~~adapted from Ina Garten
Make it your own ~
- Make it with apricots, cherries, nectarines, or peaches. If the fruit is large, slice it rather than halve it, but keep it more or less in one layer.