Upside Down Plum Cake

I went plum picking in my Aunt’s backyard over the 4th and couldn’t wait to get baking with the ripe fruit! My first thought was to make a plum crisp. However, since I’ve recently made a few crisps with rhubarb, strawberries, and cherries I decided to try something different. I settled on a plum cake. The cake is similar to a pineapple upside down cake, with plums replacing the pineapple.

The first step was to make the plum layer at the bottom. This required halving the plums to discard the seeds, quite a messy, juicy job! I arranged the sliced plums on the bottom of a pan. I cooked sugar and water over the stove and poured it over the plums. It hardened instantly, just like when you make flan (it turns back to syrup once you bake it). It looked like glass artwork.

Next I made cake batter to spread over the hardened plum layer. Then into the oven it went! When I took the cake out of the oven you could see the plums simmering in the sugar liquid on the bottom.

Once the cake cooled a bit I turned it out onto a plate … I tried it when it was still warm. Yum!

Slice of cake

Recipe: (Adapted from Ina Garten “Plum Cake Tatin” on the Food Network website)

  • plums, halved and pitted (enough to cover the bottom of a 9″ pie pan)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Butter a 9-inch glass pie dish and cover the bottom with plums, cut side down. Combine  sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat until it turns a golden color, periodically swirl the pan. Be watchful, the sugar will go from golden to burnt quickly. Pour evenly over the plums, it should harden. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar with handheld or stand mixer  until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla then mix. In another bowl sift flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently add to the butter mixture in three stages. Mix until combined.

Pour the cake batter over the plum layer. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then flip the cake onto a plate. Serve warm or at room temperature, dust with powdered sugar if desired.


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