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Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cake, an old-fashioned favorite, is given a lustrous new look with plums and fresh blueberries.–Barbara Fairchild

LC Put the Ease in Pleasin' Note

The duet of plums and blueberries in this any-time-of-day upside-down cake is inspired, no doubt. Although you could have your way when it comes to the type of fruits. Apricots and cherries. Peaches and blueberries. Plums, plums, and more plums. See how that works? Reach for whatever resonates for you—or whatever’s in great abundance and dangerously ripe on your counter. Sort of puts the ease in pleasin’ when you can make it as you will.

Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8

Ingredients

  • For the topping (a little confusing, as it's initially on the bottom)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 4 plums, any variety, pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1/2 pint blueberries
  • For the cake
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk, preferably whole milk
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  • Make the topping
  • 1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides, spreading it to evenly cover the bottom of the pan.
  • 2. Lightly press the plums into the syrup in a circle along the edge of the pan. Spread the berries in the center of the pan. (You can set the pan aside to stand at room temperature for up to 3 hours.)
  • Make the cake
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and position the oven rack to the center position.
  • 4. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
  • 5. In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar to the butter and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Stir the dry ingredients and the milk alternately into the butter mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Spoon the batter over the topping in the pan.
  • 6. Bake the cake until the top is golden and firm and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • 7. Run a small sharp knife around the sides of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a plate or platter over the pan. Using oven mitts or pot holders, firmly grasp the pan and platter together, then turn them over. Let stand 3 minutes, then gently lift the pan off the cake. (You should feel and hear a sort of “thwunk” as the cake releases from the pan. We found this timing to work perfectly, the cake releasing slick as a whistle each time. But if for some reason it doesn’t, like maybe you got distracted by Facebook and let the cake sit in the pan too long, just run a towel under very hot water, wring it out, and drape it over the bottom of the pan for a few minutes and try again. If some but not all of the fruit and goo slide out of the pan, well, grab a spoon and a knife and do a little creative reconstructing.) Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. The cake is, as most cakes, best served the day it is baked.
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