Baking | Plum upside-down cake … in season with plums #stonefruitlove

“I am putting real plums into an imaginary cake.”
Mary McCarthy

Plum upside-down cake

Plum upside-down cake … if you are like me, you’ve probably been fascinated with baking cakes for years. I have almost baked every upright cake that caught my fancy, innovating and playing along the way. Almost every cake but an upside down one. For some reason, it never did appeal to me. Until now …Plums summer stone fruit

plumsIt never caught my fancy because I believed most upside down cakes were pineapple upside down cakes. The colour play was never good enough to catch my attention. Besides, I have never come across a reasonably healthy upside cake that tempted me to pick up my pots and pans.Plum upside-down cakeIt’s strange that you suddenly can’t get enough of a fruit when you get to the end of the season. What’s not to love about plums, least of all that they are one of the most nutritious fruits around. They are versatile. You could enjoy them endlessly in the raw form, toss them into salads, make crumbles and crisps, frozen yogurt,or maybe a plum lemonade. I’ve done all that.Plums summer stonefruitThen a few days ago when I looked at them, a voice in my head said plum upside-down cake. It was the day the baking bug seemed to have hit FB. Everyone was baking something … fig cakes, bread, all good stuff! I was  baking too {so what’s new}. That bowlful looked at me. How many could I possibly eat? Still obsessed with baking with fruit, here’s what I did …

Plum upside-down cakeI experimented a little here and there, and came up with this. Baking can be so rewarding. I used an all time favourite as a base recipe, the Buttermilk Pound Cake. The Plum upside-down cake knocked my breath out when I flipped it upside down. Rustic pretty! Soft, moist, flavourful … some creme fraiche or low fat cream on the side. Better still, some good ole vanilla ice cream.

Plum upside-down cake 2 ’twas delicious! Just what I hoped it would be. The luscious deeply coloured and baked plums won me over. They looked moorish, dripping fruit juices right back into the cake, moistening it with beautiful flavours.

Plum upside-down cake The good thing is that while baking the plums release some delicious juices. Once baked, when you turn the cake upside down, these delicious plum juices moisten the warm cake making it heavenly. I have used plain flour, whole wheat flour and almond meal in my cake.


Recipe: Plum upside-down cake 
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Summary: The Plum upside-down cake turned out out delicious … warm, moist, full of flavours, almost like a pudding cake. Healthy & pretty too.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15mins

  • Cake batter
  • 70g whole wheat flour
  • 60g plain flour
  • 50g almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml buttermilk {or substitute recipe below}
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Plum topping
  • 8 plums, halved, pitted
  • 30g brown sugar
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 15ml cream


  1. Grease and flour the sides of a 7″ round tin. Line the bottom with parchment.
  2. Plum topping
  3. Place the butter, sugar and cream in a frying pan and simmer until melted. Stir to being together. Place plum halves cut side down and simmer for 2 minutes only. Cool slightly, then transfer to the parchment lined base of baking tin, cut side down. Pour any remaining sauce over the plums.
  4. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  5. Cake batter
  6. Sift the flours with the almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
  7. Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and almond extract.
  8. With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots. Pour over the plum lined base. Tap gently to even out.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top, and the tester comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool in tin for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edges, and in one swift move, turn onto serving platter.
  11. Note: Best eaten the same day. Refrigerate any remains.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


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