Oh, My, Gosh.....this is one of my very favourite recipes. When Plums are in season I just have to make a plum cake, and this upside down cake with spices is perfect. I made a 2 layer, sliced each one and added cinnamon buttercream for an extra bit of indulgence, but you could keep it to 1 layer and just serve it with cream or ice-cream.
Plums are quite tricky to get into a cake recipe and still be able to taste them. They don't have a strong flavour, but they have a lot of moisture. Because of that I always find the best Plum Cake is an upside down cake.
I always start by lining my tin with greaseproof paper or parchment as this helps the fruit and cake come out of the tin in one piece.
I then slice my fruit and fill the bottom of the tin with it. Then I sprinkle the plums with a cinnamon sugar made from 1 teaspoon of cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar. This sugar adds a great caramel texture to the top, whilst adding a bit of sweetness to the plums.
Unlike most of my cakes, where I let them cool for a while in the tin, I remove this plum cake from the tin pretty quickly. When cool enough to touch I run a sharp knife around the inside of the tine. I turn it upside down onto another piece of baking paper, which I put onto a cooling rack, and lift the tin off. Then very carefully peal away the baking paper covering the fruit.
They are best baked low and slow, so they don't get a domed top. As you'll be turning this upside down, a domed top, will become a domed bottom - and no-one wants a domed bottom!
you can use this upside down cake technique for lots of different softs fruits like peaches, rhubarb, fresh apricots and even bananas. The cake recipe you bake with them may need to change, to suit the flavour.
I baked mine as a 2 x 5" layers, sliced into 4 layers and filled with a spiced cinnamon buttercream. It made a lovely layer cake with plums through the middle. But this can be made in one large 9" tin, and would be great for a dessert served with ice-cream. We used to make a lot of Upside Down Cakes when we had the shop and tea-room, and they were always really popular with customers popping in for an afternoon cuppa.
Fruit Upside Down Cakes are best kept in the fridge in an airtight container, but will be fine on the counter for a few hours.
Spiced Upside Down Plum Cake
- 2 Plums
- 1 tspn Cinnamon
- 2 tbspn Sugar
- 175 gms Butter or Baking Spread
- 125 gms Caster or Granulated Sugar
- 25 gms Maple Syrup or Honey for a slightly different, but equally yummy, flavour
- 3 Eggs
- 175 gms Flour
- 2 tspn Baking Powder
- 1 tspn Mixed Spice
- 0.5 tspn Cinnamon
- 100 gms Block Butter at room temperature
- 200 gms Icing Sugar
- 1 tspn Cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 150c fan, 170c, 325f, GM3
- Grease and Line the bottom of either 2 x 5" round tins, or 1 x 9" tin
- Slice the plums and lay them on the bottom of the baking tins
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the plums.
- In a mixing bowl measure the baking spread, sugar and maple syrup. Beat until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each one. If the mixture looks like it may curdle add a spoon of flour.
- Add the flour, baking powder and spices and mix until just combined. Don't overmix or you'll get a tough, dense cake
- Spread the mix over the plums and smooth out flat
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer placed through the middle comes out clean
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes
- Run a sharp knife around the edge of the cake and turn out onto a piece of baking paper on top of a cooling rack
- Gently peel the baking paper away from the fruit. Either eat warm from the oven with a big dollop of ice-cream, or allow to cool
- If you've made 2 layers, slice each layer in half to make 4 layers.
Buttercream and Stacking
- In a stand mixer beat the butter until light and fluffy
- Scrape down the bowl and add the icing sugar and cinnamon
- Mix on medium speed for at least 5 minutes (I usually do 10), scraping down the bowl every so often to make sure everything is incorporated. If it's cold or your butter is stiff add a tablespoon of boiling water to the mix.
- When your buttercream is light and fluffy place the base of one cake on your plate. Pipe or smooth over half the buttercream and add the top of that layer with the plums on top
- Place a small dot of buttercream in the middle of the plums and stack the next bottom layer on top.
- Pipe or smooth the remaining buttercream and then place the last plum covered top onto the cake and serve