Plum Tuckered Out

Plum Upside Down Cake

Plum Upside Down Cake

Anyone who’s been around me for the last few weeks knows I’ve been a bit stressed out. Work has been crazy, the summer has been busy and my husband has been cooking for a lot of special events. The last one was to benefit the Portland Fruit Tree Project and between the three of us (my friend DB helped us out) we put out a damn good meal.

One thing I didn’t mention in the first post was that the theme of the dinner was plums. After all, since the meal is for a fruit-based charity it only makes sense to cook with fruit!

Thankfully plums led us to many good things. We made plum preserves to mix with goat cheese and stuff into cheese puffs. There was a tart and tangy plum mostarda to go with a “foiehogbit” terrine (thanks Sean, I’m totally ripping off that name!) and a rich and beefy plum sauce to accompany our steak dish.

However, the abundance of plums also led to me making a whole lot of plum upside down cake. As in two hotel pans worth, or enough to feed a small army.

The baking process was a bit intense and was probably part of the reason I was so crazed that day. When you’re trying to multiply a recipe by 12 and you haven’t had time to take more than a sip of coffee, you might feel like your brain is about to explode.

So even though my husband never lost faith in me (he’s sweet like that), I kept muttering as I  ran around in the kitchen about how I hoped it didn’t suck. In fact, that was my mantra while baking this cake. “I hope it doesn’t suck. I hope it doesn’t suck.”

Clearly it was not a big self-confidence day.

However, when the moment of truth arrived and we flipped the cakes over, I have to say: I did awesome.

My masterpiece!

My masterpiece!

Close up

Close up


I’ve died and gone to plum heaven!

I was ecstatic!

Trust me — once we topped it with the homemade fig leaf ice cream, it was the dessert dreams are made of.

Plum Upside Down Cake w/ Fig Leaf Ice Cream

Plum Upside Down Cake w/ Fig Leaf Ice Cream

Plum Upside Down Cake w/ Fig Leaf Ice Cream

Plum Upside Down Cake w/ Fig Leaf Ice Cream

And after this dinner was done, the dishes were packed up and the leftovers stored away, I slept the best I have all month.

Plum Upside Down Cake (adapted slightly from Real Simple)


  • 1/2 cup room temp. butter, plus 1-2 TBS
  • 4-5 ripe but firm plums, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1-2 TBS of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the plums and 1/4 cup of the sugar and cook, tossing, until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the plums become syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange the plums in the cake pan in slightly overlapping concentric circles, starting from the outside. Spoon any pan juices over the top.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup of the butter and 2/3 cup of the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, sour cream, yogurt and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter over the plums, spread even and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 1 hour. Place a large plate over the cake pan and invert the cake onto the plate.


14 thoughts on “Plum Tuckered Out

  1. Stunning! What a lot of work, though–can totally understand a high stress level. Congrats on a job well done 🙂 Now. A bit more on that fig leaf ice cream, please? 😉

  2. I generally hate the word awesome on the Internets (or “awsome” as the idiots from my home town use it incessantly on Facebook). But I can’t think of a better word for that. Wow! I can’t believe you flipped over so huge a pan so perfectly!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous. I find that “I hope it doesn’t suck,” is often the perfect mantra for any occasion. And really, could that thing have been called anything BUT “foiehogbit”!?? (Well, maybe “bunhoggras”…)

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