Beautiful Plum Upside Down Cake

plum upside down cake

Fresh, dark purple plums paired with vanilla-cardamom cake… the perfect combination!! Gorgeous to look at and served with a yogurt cardamom garnish, this Plum Upside Down Cake is light and delicious. You’ll get lots of raves and it’s not even difficult to make.

Fresh fruits are filling the market place and in the midst of my summertime baking fruit-fest, I think just fell in love.

I always love plums, but this time I’ve fallen in love – with plum upside down cake! I’m no stranger to upside down cake… for many years pineapple upside-down cake has been a recurring favorite in my dessert arsenal. But I have to say, pineapple upside down cake, much as I enjoy it, can’t hold a candle to what happens when you replace pineapple with plums.

plum upside down cake

First of all, the color is fantastic! Rich, purply-red, jewel-like… just gorgeous! I almost didn’t want to cut into it, it was that beautiful! But, of course, in the end… I did. ?

If you choose the right plums, they will be sweet and a little bit tart – perfect. And when they top a rich and moist cardamom flecked vanilla cake… let’s just say, I’m in heaven.

I had never really thought about plum upside down cake, but with all of the different plums available, I have been having such fun testing them all out.

plums for plum upside down cake

I even found yellow plums, which are tart, almost lemony, and juicy, and I made a yellow plum chutney with them (which you can find on this recipe post). Then, I made several batches of fresh plum jam with gorgeous red plums and deep purple plums (and if you’re interested, this article will tell you all about the amazing health benefits of purple foods). In addition to slathering the jam on toast in the mornings, we found so many yummy uses for plum jam!

Well into my plum phase, I started thinking of doing something with plums and chocolate, but somewhere on the way to that, I ended up with the idea to make plum upside-down cake. I decided to fall back on my favorite cake recipe that I have used for years when making pineapple upside-down cake. I only tweaked it a bit for this recipe.

This plum upside down cake is so simple, really. It looks a lot fancier than it is, so you get a lot of punch for not that much effort.

plum upside down cake

Let’s Make Some Plum Upside Down Cake

First you melt butter in the bottom of your cake pan, then cover with brown sugar.

Next, cover the brown sugar with thick but even slices of your beautiful plums. You can layer them in concentric circles, (like I did) or randomly layer them – be creative! That goes into the oven for a few quick minutes while you mix up the cake batter. My cake recipe that I used for this cake is eggless; it’s a throwback from the days when we avoided eating eggs. It has a nice rich and buttery crumb without being eggy – sometimes that just works better, in my opinion. But if you want to use eggs, I’ve included a recipe alteration in the recipe card notes.

You carefully cover the plums with the batter, trying not to disturb the plum slices, and in goes the cake to bake. See? Pretty easy. Then after removing the cake from the oven you’ll wait 3 or so minutes (not too long though, or the cake will stick to the pan) and then cover the cake pan with a larger plate. Carefully flip the cake upside down onto the plate and the cake should slide right out of the pan. If, on the rare occasion, a couple of plum slices stick to the cake pan, you can just artistically place them back where they should be on top of the cake… kind of like little puzzle pieces; sometimes it happens! Don’t stress… food should be fun.

plum upside down cake

The cake is super easy from start to finish and the plums were so beautiful! As I have been making cardamom-plum jam all summer, I knew cardamom would work well in this recipe, too. It really provides a subtle something that is perfect. Plums + cardamom = totally delish!

For serving, I topped the cake with a huge dollop of Greek-style yogurt with cardamom and… it is just… yum!

If you have plums available where you are, and you want a really beautiful easy cake for any event, or just for a family meal… be sure to give this recipe a try! You surely won’t be sorry!

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plum upside down cake

Beautiful Plum Upside Down Cake

Fresh, dark, purple plums paired with vanilla-cardamom cake… the perfect combination!! Gorgeous to look at, and when served with a yogurt cardamom garnish, this plum upside down cake is light and delicious. You’ll get lots of raves and it's not even difficult to make…
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 29 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


For the the Plums:

  • 5-6 large dark plums, not overly ripe
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • brown sugar for sprinkling on the bottom of pan

For the Cake Batter:

  • cup butter, melted
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1+ cup water
  • cup flour
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • 1⅙ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

For the Yogurt Topping:

  • 1 cup Greek style yogurt
  • ½-1 TBSP white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Melt 2 TBSP butter in the bottom of a 9-inch baking pan
  • Sprinkle a layer of brown sugar evenly over the melted butter
  • Slice plums in thick flat slices (plums should not be too ripe to slice and hold their shape). Arrange plums in concentric circles covering the bottom of the baking pan, or if desired, haphazardly cover the bottom of the pan with plum slices.
  • Put pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. While plums are baking, you can mix the cake batter. After 10 minutes, remove pan from oven.

For the Cake Batter:

  • Melt butter in a medium sized mixing bowl (or melt on stove and add to mixing bowl if your mixing bowl is not stovetop friendly)
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt and whisk until thoroughly blended
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients
  • Slowly add dry ingredients, adding water as needed to make a thick cake batter. Mix together until all ingredients are incorporated. Batter should be easily spreadable but not runny.
  • Pour (spoon) batter oven the plums in the cake pan. Gently smooth the batter evenly over the plums without dislodging them.
    NOTE: Be sure the batter is even or your cake will be lopsided when you flip it onto a plate after baking
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350°F or until cake is browned at edges and a tester comes out clean
  • Let cake sit for no more than 2-3 minutes
  • Run a knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it is not stuck anywhere to the cake pan. Place a large plate (platter) over the cake pan and carefully turn the cake over onto the platter. (you may have to use pot holders as your cake pan will be hot)
    Be sure to center the cake pan over the platter when you are flipping it, as the cake will be difficult to center for presentation afterwards – I speak from experience!
    If any plums remain stuck to the bottom of the cake pan, carefully dislodge them and place them in the appropriate spaces on the cake.

For the Yogurt Topping:

  • In a small bowl, mix sugar, cardamom powder and Greek yogurt together. Keep n refrigerator until ready to serve.


To make this recipe using eggs, simply replace the cornstarch with 1 small egg – that’s it!  You may also have to adjust the water amount, so start with 1/2 cup water and add in more as needed.
Keyword easy dessert recipes, fresh plum cake recipes, plum desserts, plum upside down cake, summer fruit desserts
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