Plum and Almond Upside Down Cake
I love upside-down cakes. There’s something about the fruit sitting on the bottom of the pan, only to be turned out to the top of the cake where it sits in its own glory. Maybe it’s because I grew up down-under? Ba dum tss! *insert shaking head emoji* Ah, dad humour…Anyway, plums and almond are a lovely combination. The almond comes through in the sponge and the plums hold centre stage on top of the cake where they retain a bit of tartness to contrast with the cake. Plus, it’s as pretty as a picture, so it has the potential to be an impressive Valentine’s Day dessert.
This recipe works great with plums that are a bit too hard and tart to eat as they soften and sweeten while the cake cooks. I wouldn’t use ripe and juicy plums – these I would just eat on their own.
If your plums are firm but not too tart then you may wish to reduce the amount of sugar which you sprinkle over the plums.
I’ve found that the base of the cake tin needs to be lined and greased, otherwise the plums run the risk of sticking to the base when the cake is turned out.
For this cake, the eggs are separated with the eggs whites beaten into firm peaks. I recommend using an electric hand mixer for this stage, as it will make quick work of the whisking. If you don’t have an electric hand mixer and will be doing this by hand, I would suggest whisking the egg whites before adding the flour mixture to the cream mixture (i.e. switch over steps 6 and 7 below).
There is a bonus game of chance when spooning the cake mixture over the plums, this needs to be done gently to not upset any pattern of the plums underneath. However, you won’t know if you’ve successfully achieved this until the cake is turned out. Fun!
This pairs really nicely with unsweetened cream for a dessert – or with a cuppa tea for morning/afternoon tea.
Plum and Almond Upside Down Cake
Serves 10 – 12
400g plums, halved with the stone removed, cut each half into 4 segments (i.e. each plum is cut into eighths)
1oz caster sugar (this is sprinkled over the plums)
6oz unsalted butter
5oz caster sugar (this is for the sponge)
3 egg yolks
¾ teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg whites
23cm round cake tin
Electric hand mixer
- Preheat the oven to 180*C. Grease and line the bottom of the cake tin, grease both on top and underneath the lining to ensure that nothing sticks.
- Line the base of the cake tin with the segments of plum.
- Sprinkle the 1oz of caster sugar over the plums.
- In a large bowl cream the butter till soft and fluffy. Add the 5oz of caster sugar and cream the mixture until fluffy and pale.
- Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating the mixture between each yolk. Add the almond extract and beat it into the mixture.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a smaller bowl. Sift the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture and fold in till just combined.
- In another larger bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks with an electric hand mixer. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture till just combined.
- Spoon the mixture over the plums and gently press it over the plums to fill the cake tin.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge is cooked.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the cake tin.
- Loosen the sides of the cake with a palette knife and turn the cake out onto the serving plate. Gently peel off the lining to reveal the plum topping.