Upside Down Spiced Plum Cake

Upside down spiced plum cake and a slice

I’m always on the look out for creative inspiration, I constantly pore over my many cookbooks, I scour the internet and magazines, but I get the biggest inspiration from what’s in season and available. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying when “life gives you lemons”, well, when “life gives you plums”, you need to make upside down spiced plum cake.

Once a year we are lucky enough to briefly enjoy a rich abundance, I don’t want to say glut, of sweet juicy dark plums. I saw the chance to borrow from my upside down pineapple cake, the resulting cake is so much the better when you know the key ingredients are grown near you.

This upside down spiced plum cake is the product of a bucket of beautiful ripe deep purple plums and summertime storm. We’ve had an exceptionally wet few weeks, and being outside wasn’t an option. Something about a wet weekend makes me feel like baking a cake.

The plums are glazed with a Madeira flavoured caramel, which creates a rich jam-like topping. Set upon a spiced sponge this cake particularly good when served warm, but still delicious the next day, if there are left overs.

Upside Down Spiced Plum Cake

serves 8

Plum Topping

Spiced Cake

  • 3 tbsp dairy-free butter
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 60ml Madeira or Port (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 500-600g dark ripe plums
  • 390g all – purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free butter
  • 300ml plant-based milk
  • 250g white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat 170ºC.

Wash, cut plums in half and remove the stones.

In a heavy based pot add sugar, butter and Madeira, stir while heating until the the sugar has dissolved. Cook until the mixture boils, add the salt and pour into a lined cake tin. Arrange the plum halves cut-side down in the syrup.

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir vanilla into the measured plant-based milk.

Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer or hand held mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, it may take about 5 minutes for the mixture to become pale and creamy.

Using a slow speed add about a quarter of the dry ingredients and a third of the milk, then repeat until all the ingredients are incorporated. Take care not to over mix.

Spoon the cake batter into the cake tin. Evenly spread the cake batter over the plums taking care not to alter the pattern you created. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or off-set palette knife.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into middle of the cake. Set aside in the tin for 20 minutes before removing from the tin.

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