Plum Upside-Down Cake

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

NotesMake ahead:

Store cake wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 1 day.


Cooking Methodbaking



Total Timeunder 1 hour

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentelectric mixer


Taste and Texturefruity, light, sweet

Type of Dishcake, dessert


  • 1 cup (250 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) baking powder 
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt 
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) granulated sugar, divided 
  • 6 tbsp (90 ml) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 egg
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) buttermilk
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla 
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) unsalted butter 
  • 3 plums, each cut into 12 slices
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • Sweetened Whipped Cream or ice cream
  • Flat Beater
  • Preheated oven to 350°F (180°C)
  • 9-inch (23 cm) round metal cake pan


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

  2. Place ½ cup (125 ml) of the sugar and the 6 tbsp (90 ml) butter in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to speed 4 and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and lemon zest. Reduce speed to stir and mix in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of dry and 2 of wet. Mix in vanilla.

  3. In cake pan, melt the 2 tbsp (25 ml) butter over medium heat. Add the remaining ¼ cup (50 ml) sugar and cook, stirring, until foamy, about 2 minutes. Carefully remove from heat and place plum slices in a decorative pattern on top of sugar mixture, working from the center out, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Return pan to medium heat and cook, undisturbed, until juices bubble up around the plums, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove from heat and add batter evenly to the pan, covering the fruit. Try not to disturb the placement of the fruit slices.

  4. Bake in middle of preheated oven until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.


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