Upside Down Plum Cake

Say goodbye to summer with this luscious Upside Down Plum Cake.  I get so sad thinking about the end of this wonderful summer (golf, dinners, concerts, friends, family, parties, sunsets) even though I know that fall and all of its wonderful adventures are right in front of us.  There is no better way to send off summer than with this beautiful cake.

It seems like this should be a difficult cake to make, but it’s really not.  The hardest part is layering the plum slices so that the batter doesn’t seep through. If the top looks pretty, it’s an added bonus (more on that later).

The caramel base that the plums sit on is easy as one-two-three and the cake batter is mixed in one bowl.  You have to love that!

The caramel layer that goes on the bottom of the pan is all done in the microwave.  Melt butter and then add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until combined.  Microwave for a few more seconds and add a bit of milk or heavy cream and stir until it comes together.

Spread the caramel mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan.

Next comes the plums.  My original attempt at this cake involved using red plums.  I thought they would have a red interior, but they were more like black plums that have an orange interior.  I layered the slices in an overlapping spiral, beginning in the center and working my way out. Take a peek at the photo above to see this spiral technique.

The second time I made it, I used green plums that had a vibrant red interior.  I cut the slices thinner (about 1/8th of an inch thick) and layered the slices closer together, covering up the peel with the next slice.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of this technique but you can see a photo below showing the finished cake using the lighter colored plums.  I prefer the dark red cake as it’s just a bit more striking.

Just know that you don’t have to spiral.  You can just as easily cover the caramel with slices laid randomly.  Just be sure to cover the caramel well so that no batter seeps through.

To make the cake, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.  Add the baking powder, salt and flour.  Stir it until it’s pretty smooth and add the neutral oil.  Keep stirring until all of the lumps are gone and the batter is cohesive.

Pour the batter over the plums and bake for 40-55 minutes or until the top of the cake feels springy and a toothpick or skewer poked in the middle comes out clean.

Once the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, place your serving dish or platter over the cake and flip (invert) in over so that the cake falls onto the platter when the pan is lifted off.

This cake is moist and delicious, with the sweet plum flavor that highlights summer fruit!  Enjoy!

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Lastly, if you make Upside Down Plum Cake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Upside Down Plum Cake

Makes: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 40-55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour & 20 minutes


For the Plum Topping:

  • 3 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4-5 medium-size plums, red or black
  • 1 tsp milk or cream

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil sunflower, grape seed, or canola oil


Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan (with at least 2-inch tall sides) with baking spray. Line bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper lightly. Set aside.

For the Plum Topping:

Place the butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl or cup. Cover with a slightly damp paper towel and cook for 30-45 seconds or until melted. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until well combined.

Microwave for another 30 seconds and then add the milk or cream and stir well. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan, spreading to cover the bottom of the pan.

Slice the plums in half and twist to separate. You might need a small sharp knife to remove the stone. Slice each half into thin, ⅛-¼-inch slices.

Working from the center of the pan, place the plum wedges (slightly overlapping) in a circular pattern over the brown sugar mixture. You could also randomly cover the bottom of the pan with the plums. Just make sure all of the caramel is covered.

For the Cake:

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, eggs and vanilla, stirring until well blended. Add the baking powder and salt. Stir well to combine. Add the all-purpose flour. Stir to combine. It’s okay if there are a few lumps. You’ll work them out after you add the oil.

Add the oil and stir well. At first, it may seem to separate, but keep stirring until nice and smooth.

Pour the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-55 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch in the center and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover loosely with foil if getting too brown near the end and cake is still not done. The best way to test if a cake is done is to use an instant thermometer. The internal temperature should be 205-210˚F.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the pan onto a plate or platter. Give the pan a firm little shake. You should hear the cake drop onto the plate. Slowly and carefully lift the pan off of the cake. Give a little shout of joy when you see the beautiful cake!

This part is optional but I like to do it. Use a pastry brush to brush any extra sauce that’s left in the pan (or that drips down the sides of the cake) around the edges of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Recipe by The Cafe Sucre Farine


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