Plum Upside Down Cake

8–10 Servings (1 slice per serving)

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 1 hour | Inactive time: 30 minutes


Diet Style


Tools You'll Need

  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Small saucepan
  • 9" metal cake pan
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Fine-mesh strainer
  • Baking sheet
  • Serving dish


  • ½ cup sugar (for plums)
  • ¼ cup water (for plums)
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (for plums)
  • 6–8 plums, pitted and sliced ½”-thick
  • ½ cup sour cream (for cake)
  • 2 tablespoons low fat milk (for cake)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for cake)
  • 1/3 cups sugar (for cake)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour (for cake)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (for cake)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda (for cake)
  • Pinch of Kosher salt (for plums)
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt (for cake)
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (for cake)
  • 2 large eggs (for cake)


  1. Boil sugar and water

    Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add in the sugar and water. Bring everything to a boil without stirring.

  2. Simmer until caramel forms

    Reduce the heat and simmer until amber-colored caramel forms, about 5–7 minutes. Be careful not to burn the sugar.

  3. Whisk butter and salt into caramel

    Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the butter and salt.

  4. Pour caramel into cake pan

    Immediately pour the caramel into a 9” metal cake pan.

  5. Add plum slices

    Place the plums in the caramel, arranging the slices in circles. Set aside.

  6. Preheat oven

    Place the rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350º.

  7. Whisk liquid ingredients together

    Whisk together sour cream, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.

  8. Sift dry ingredients

    Using a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

  9. Add butter to dry mixture

    Add the butter to the large bowl and, using a hand mixer on low, beat in the butter until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.

  10. Beat eggs into batter

    Continue to beat the mixture at low speed as you add in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.

  11. Beat batter until fluffy

    Beat the batter at medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl.

  12. Add liquids into batter

    Add in the liquid mixture from the smaller bowl and continue to beat everything until the batter is smooth.

  13. Spread batter

    Pour the batter over the plums and gently spread it in an even layer.

  14. Bake cake

    Place a baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven to catch any spillover. Bake the cake on the center rack for 55–60 minutes, until golden and springy. You should be able to insert a toothpick and pull it out cleanly.

  15. Let it cool

    Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 30 minutes.

  16. Flip cake over

    Once cool, flip the cake upside down onto a serving plate.

  17. Cut and serve

    Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.