A Southern Grace: plum(b)ing the depths

September 5, 2017

plum(b)ing the depths


Plum upside-down cake. I got on a real plum kick last summer, but little Eva has greatly limited my kitchen time this year.

I'm okay with that, because she's adorable.

I did have a chance to make this gorgeous show-stopper of a plum cake! It positively glistens, and if you're careful with your plum placement, you can have the most lovely pattern on the bottom-turned-top. I got a little fancy with this upside-down cake, flavoring it with Nielsen-Massey orange blossom water. I've never baked with this particular flavor before, and I was really pleased with the results--you could taste a little bit of citrus in the cake but it wasn't medicinal or perfumy at all.

In addition to the orange blossom water, I was sure to add my two favorite spices of the moment, cinnamon and cardamom. My reference recipe used brown sugar in the fruity component, but I was out and since there was no way I was lugging my gal to the grocery store for one item, I used raw sugar instead. That recipe also used honey in the topping, but I prefer maple syrup so that's what I used.

This is a delicious cake! It's moist on the inside, and that buttery, sugary, fruity topping makes every bite even more fantastic. You don't need vanilla ice cream to round it out, but hey--why not gild the lily every once in awhile!

Take some time to make this cake while plums are still around. You won't regret it.

Perfectly Pretty Plum Cake
(printable recipe)
Based on this recipe
Serves 8
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 large plums, halved, pitted, each half cut into 6 wedges
  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides with non-stick spray.
Stir 6 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar, raw sugar, and maple syrup in heavy medium skillet over low heat until butter melts and sugar and syrup blend in, forming thick, smooth sauce.
Transfer to the prepared pan.
Arrange plum slices in overlapping concentric circles atop sauce; set aside.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in medium bowl.
Mix milk, sour cream, and extracts in a small bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat remaining 2 tablespoons butter and coconut oil in large bowl until light and fluffy.
Add sugar and beat until creamy.
Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
Add dry ingredients alternately with wet ingredients, mixing just until blended.
Spoon batter evenly over plums. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes.
Transfer to rack; cool in pan 30 minutes.
Using knife, cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Place platter atop cake pan. Invert cake; place platter on work surface. Let stand 5 minutes. Gently lift off pan.


Angie's Recipes said...

wow Eva looks so so cute!
That's one glorious plum cake! Wish I could have a slice now with my tea :-))

Pam said...

It is beautiful and sounds so delicious. Eva is a beauty! Love those long lashes.

Cali said...

Eva is an absolute doll...you are much better off spending time with her than in your kitchen. You kitchen will ALWAYS be there, but Eva won't always be little!

I love plums and have been toying with making them into some sort of baked good. I just may be giving this Plum Upside-Down Cake a try before the plums disappear.

Yakthungba said...

nice post, thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

I have not received your blog posts until just recently..... now I know why! What a precious little darling! Like Cali said, you are MUCH better off with your beautiful daughter, the kitchen will wait, she won't.

Btw, the plum cake looks delicious.

~~louise~~ said...

Oh my goodness, Grace, she is growing so quickly and is absolutely adorable. Pretty soon she'll be baking right along side you in the kitchen. (Yes, you're right, let's not rush it:)

Your Perfectly Pretty Plum Cake looks lovely. Love the notion of adding just a hint of Orange Blossom Water...Thanks for sharing, Grace...

Katerina said...

I think she steals the show here! Although the cake is delicious your daughter is the star of the post!

Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder said...

def want to try these plum recipes and Eve is looking adorable :)

Pam said...

Eva is a cutie pie, and I'd rarely be in the kitchen with her around! Your plum cake looks pretty delicious. For whatever reason, I've not baked plum desserts so need to try this. Thanks!

Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen said...

Is it weird that I'm jealous of Eva's eyelashes? They're so long! She's just a total cutie :). And this cake! YUMMMMM! I'll take two slices please!

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Upside down cakes are so pretty and the color on this is amazing! I think I need to try it when I pull my plums out from the brandy they are preserving in :)

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

And BTW your daughter just gets cuter every picture...

Cheri Savory Spoon said...

Eva is gorgeous Grace, such a cute little yawn. Love plums and this cake looks stunning. Can't believe summer is almost over.

Agness of Run Agness Run said...

Such a cute baby! This recipe is so mouth-watering, Grace!

Food Gal said...

She's adorable. And the cake, well, that's pretty sweet looking, too! ;)

Emma - Bake Then Eat said...

I love upside down cakes and this one is a stunner. I love plums :)

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Eva is adorable! And the cake looks so good. Your plum placement was perfection!