Sometimes you just have to have some cake. Sundays are especially in need of cake I find… I seem to get the urge to bake at the same time every weekend – mostly because when 3 o’clock rolls around I want a slice of something with coffee and a chat with neighbours or friends. Although I am usually attracted to towering layer cakes there’s a lot to be said for simple, everyday cakes.
This upside-down plum cake is such a down-to-earth, easy, one-bowl recipe. I made it with my 4 1/2 year old son perched on the kitchen island, helping with arranging the fruit in the cake tin and giving me (pretty sound) baking advice. When you turn the cake over, you will find that the plums have transformed this humble sponge into a rather spectacular sight. Serve slightly warm with some soured cream or even ice cream, add a few friends, share and enjoy!
The other great thing about this cake is that you can vary the fruit to suit your taste or the seasons. Pineapple upside-down cake is a retro delight or you can try pears, apples, bananas or – my son’s suggestion – chocolate. Not sure how chocolate would work but it’s definitely worth experimenting to find out!
Spiced Plum Upside-Down Cake
Adapted slightly from What to Bake and How to Bake it
250g | 8.8oz soft unsalted butter
250g | 8.8oz light brown soft sugar (I used coconut sugar)
140g | 5oz plain flour
100g | 3.5oz ground almonds
125g | 4.4oz soured cream or buttermilk
4 eggs at room temperature
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch ground cloves
zest of 1 orange
8-10 ripe but firm plums
4 tbsp light brown soft sugar (I used coconut sugar)
4 tbsp jam (any seedless berry or apricot jam)
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a round springform (23cm/9in) cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- Halve the plums, remove the stone and slice each half into 3 segments. Toss them with the 4 tablespoons of sugar
- Arrange the plums on the bottom of the prepared cake tin in a single layer.
- Put the softened butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, soured cream, eggs, baking powder, salt, spices and zest in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat together until you have a smooth, quite thick batter.
- Carefully spread the batter over the fruit and tap the cake tin against the counter.
- Bake for about an hour or until the cake is risen, golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.
- Run a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the cake and release the springform sides. Carefully invert the cake onto a platter or cake stand.
- Warm the jam in a saucepan or the microwave until it is runny. Brush the jam over the top of the cake.
- Serve slightly warm with some cream or ice cream. Cake keeps well for 2-3 days.