Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

This plum-blueberry upside-down cake, rippled with a fresh plum and blueberry streusel, can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Here’s how to make it.

A couple slices of plum-blueberry upside-down cake on a white plate with a knife resting on the edge of the plate.

The duet of plum and blueberry 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.–Renee Schettler

Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Ingredients

  • For the topping (a little confusing, as it's initially on the bottom)
  • For the cake

Directions

Make the topping

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.

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

Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and position the oven rack to the center position.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.

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.

Bake the cake until the top is golden and firm and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. 

Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

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. Originally published August 4, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This cake is absolutely scrumptious! The combination of the blueberries made for a sweet and tart topping that played well against the cinnamon in the cake. Goes great with a nice, cold glass of milk. The prep work is a cinch, and it’s a great dessert to serve with guests, since all of the work can be done in advance.

This is a very easy cake to prepare. It looks very nice and tastes good. I prepared it once as in the recipe, and then last Saturday I changed the fruits to apricots and cherries cut in halves, which was also nice and tasty.

I used a Tefal cake pan, which is designed for making French tatins, and that made it easy to turn the cake out without a hitch. It took me only 45 minutes to bake the cake. It was served warm with some mascarpone to five hungry guests and an hour later the plate was in the dishwasher…the best compliment to both recipe and baker.

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Comments

  1. A kind word of advice to my fellow bakers. A loose-bottomed pan might sound like a good idea (imagine with me: easy removal, leaving a beautiful fruit-filled cake) But that does not happen! The batter spills through the cracks, and it’s a very sweet-smelling but smoky, messy cleanup thereafter. Don’t know if this was just my novice mistake (probably!) but thought I’d highlight it nonetheless. (Cake itself looks good though, haha!)

    1. Ooof, Nathalie, I’ve had that happen to me, so I know the mess that ensues. So sorry to hear it! In my experience, this happens when I don’t have the bottom of the pan perfectly situated in the ring mold. And I know many, many bakers who always, always wrap a double layer of heavy-duty foil around the outside bottom of a springform pan to steer clear of the very situation you just experienced. Do let us know if you were able to salvage some of the cake (I certainly hope so!) and what you thought!

      1. Renee, thanks for the suggestion! The foil makes perfect sense! I followed the recipe for the new york cheesecake on your website which calls for foil for the bain marie. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that. Keeps water out… keeps batter in! Luckily I was able to salvage most of the cake. The sugary topping was gone, but the fruit was still good (I used peaches) and the cake itself was hailed as “great with tea”. I’d chalk it down to a qualified success!

        1. Terrific to hear, Nathalie! and yes, definitely a qualified success, can’t wait to bake this cake…and while we’re on the topic, it’s been several weeks since my husband last made that New York cheesecake, I dare say we’re due…

  2. I was considering this recipe when I found a similar one by David Lebovitz. Identical ingredient list but significantly different ratio for butter and sugar. After a side-by-side comparison, I went with Lebovitz’s recipe but now I’m curious to see how this one would turn out. This calls for more baking this weekend!

  3. This recipe was in Bon Appetit magazine years ago, at which time I made it, loved it, and have been searching for the recipe ever since. Thank you!

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