This Plum Upside-Down Cake is a delicious summer dessert. The caramelised plums topped with an almond meal butter cake make a light - and super flavourful - cake that will be a perfect dinner party dessert or afternoon tea cake.
Why we love this recipe
Plums are way too underrated. And it's a shame, because they are SO delicious when in season! Plums are often used in desserts or pastries like my Plum Clafoutis or Plum Custard Tart, but it can be hard to find a good Plum Cake Recipe.
Today, I'm tackling this issue with this delicious Plum Upside-Down Cake: a delicious combination of sweet, tangy, moist and sticky!
For me, this Plum cake with almond meal is simply the best plum cake recipe ever. The plums are lightly caramelised in Brown Sugar, Butter and Lemon Juice before being baked under a light and moist Almond and Butter Cake.
There are two separate sets of ingredients needed to make this Upside Down Plum Cake. First, the caramelised plums, then the simple butter cake.
I have tried to make this cake without caramelising the plums first, and the result was definitely not as nice as this one. Trust me, you will want to caramelise your fruits first!
Brown Sugar Caramelised Plums
This caramel is made with Brown Sugar, Butter and a little bit of Lemon Juice. You can discard the lemon juice if you want it sweeter, but it provides a really nice acidity needed to balance the sweetness of the caramel!
To make the caramelised plums, you will need (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):
- Fresh Plums
- Brown Sugar
- Lemon Juice
Butter and Almond Cake Batter
The Butter Cake is made with a mix of Plain Flour and Almond Meal, which gives it a super light, moist and fluffy texture.
For the simple Almond Butter Cake, you will need (scroll down to recipe card for all quantities):
- Unsalted Butter - very soft
- Brown Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Plain Flour
- Almond Meal
- Baking Powder
- Ground Ginger (optional)
More Upside-Down Cakes:
- Blackberry Upside Down Cake
- Persimmon Upside-Down Cake
- Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake from Girl Heart Food
- Cranberry Orange Upside-Down Cake from Baked by an Introvert
How to make Upside Down Cake with Plums
Again, there are two main steps in making this cake:
- First, roasting the plums in a lemon and brown sugar caramel and placing them at the bottom of your pan.
- Second, preparing the almond cake batter and pouring it over the plums
How to caramelise plums
There are a few ways to make a caramel, but when using Brown Sugar like here, it is important to add the liquid ingredients at the same time as the sugar.
Brown sugar tends to burn much quicker than white sugar, so by adding a liquid, you are delaying this effect.
To make the brown sugar caramelised plums:
- Wash and slice your plums in half, removing the stones.
- Place the Brown Sugar, Butter and Lemon Juice in a large non-stick skillet. Turn on low/medium heat and leave to melt together.
- Stir to make sur all the ingredients are combined, the place the sliced side of the plums over the caramel.
- Leave it to caramelise for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how far you want to push your caramel. Be careful not to leave it on the heat for too long though or it will start to burn. You want the plums to be soft, but not falling apart.
Once your plums are nicely roasted, place them at the bottom of a lined 9"/23cm Pan (I used a Springform Pan) and cover with any remaining caramel. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter.
Note that if using a springform pan, make sure it seals properly. The caramel tends to leak through the pan if not well sealed. I usually place a flat tray lined with baking paper in the oven under the cake pan to collect any leaking caramel and avoid any dripping/burning inside your oven.
Upside Down Cake Batter
This Almond based cake batter follows the classic Creaming Method, where Sugar and very soft Butter and 'creamed' (mixed) until pale and fluffy.
How to make this upside down cake batter:
- With the paddle attachment of your stand mixer (or hand mixer), cream the very Soft Butter and Brown Sugar for about 5 minutes. It needs to turn into a paler colour and be very fluffy.
- Add the Eggs one at the time, then the Vanilla Extract. I personally prefer to whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl and add the pre-whisked eggs a little bit at the time, but it is optional.
- In a separate bowl, sift in all the dry ingredients.
- Add about half of the dry ingredients to the wet batter, then the milk, then the rest of the dry ingredients. Stir until combined, but don't overwork it.
The final step is to pour the batter over the roasted plums. Because it is a relatively thick batter, I found it easier to use a tablespoon and add a little bit of batter all over the plums.
Then I used a spatula so carefully smooth out the batter if needed. Try to be gentle here, as you do not want to move the plums under the batter too much.
I served this cake on its own, but there a many toppings you can add if wanted:
- a Strawberry or Raspberry Coulis will be delicious over this cake
- some Vanilla Ice Cream over the warm cake
- some fresh Plums
- a Mixed Berry Compote.
You can keep this Caramelised Plums Cake at room temperature, well covered/wrapped for 24 hours. If kept longer than a day, I recommend to keep it in the fridge for an additional 2 to 3 days.
Simply re-heat it in the oven (covered with aluminium foil) or microwave (for a few seconds) when ready to be served.
Technically, yes you can. But I highly recommend serving it fresh. The caramel will crisp out the edges of the cake, but you will loose that crisp if you freeze then thaw the cake. It will tend to become more soggy as well if frozen.
More Summer Fruit Recipes:
- Almond and Peach Galette
- Strawberry Charlotte Cake
- White Peach Frangipane Tart
- Strawberry Custard Tartlets
- Raspberry Mousse Cups
- Fraisier Cake
- Mango Panna Cotta
Made this recipe? Leave a comment & rating below to let us know what you think and tag us on Instagram @abakingjourney to show us your creations!
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Plum Upside-Down Cake
- 5 Plums
- 50 gr (1/4 cup) Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Lemon, Juiced - about 30ml / 2 tbsp
- 30 gr (2 tbsp) Unsalted Butter
- 50 gr (1/4 cup) Brown Sugar
- 120 gr (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter, very soft
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 150 gr (1 cup) Plain Flour
- 100 gr (1 cup) Almond Meal
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Ginger - optional
- 90 ml (1/3 cup) Full Cream Milk
- Wash and slice your plums in half and remove the stone.
- Place the Brown Sugar, Lemon Juice and Butter in a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. When all melted and stirred, add the Plums on their sliced side (flesh side). Leave to caramelise for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft (1).
- Line a 9inch/23cm Springform Pan (2) with Baking Paper. Place the caramelised Plums at the bottom and cover with any leftover caramel, then set aside.
- Preheat the oven on 180°C/350°F.
- Cream the very soft Butter and Brown Sugar for 5 minutes, using the paddle attachment of a stand or hand mixer. It needs to be paler in colour and very fluffy.
- Add the Eggs one at the time, mixing well between each addition (3), then add the Vanilla Extract.
- Sift all of the Dry Ingredients in a separate bowl: Plain Flour, Almond Meal, Baking Powder, Salt and Ground Ginger (optional).
- Add about half of the dry ingredients to the wet batter and mix it in. Whisk in the Milk, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Stir until all combined, but try not to overwork the batter.
- Pour the batter over the caramelised plums, using a spatula to smooth it out if needed.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, then leave to cool down before removing from the pan and flipping it over. Serve warm or lukewarm.
- You can caramelise the plums a little bit only (about 5 minutes) or push them further (about 10 minutes). Stay close to the stove to check on to avoid burning the caramel. You want plums that are nice and soft, but not so soft that they are falling apart.
- Make sure you use a Springform Pan that seals properly, as the caramel may start to leak out of the pan. As a precaution, I placed a tray lined with baking paper in the oven under the baking pan to catch any leaking caramel.
Alternatively, you can use a simple round (non-springform) pan line at the bottom with baking paper and with greased edges.
- I like to whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl and add the pre-whisked eggs a little bit at the time, but that it optional.