Germany has a long tradition of Plum cake - every bakery is full of it this time of year - and all those cakes feature these Zwetsche plums, known as Italian Prune plums in the States. While this isn't a traditional German cake at all, I couldn't resist making these super ripe sweet plums into an upside down cake so that they would bake down in all the brown sugary goodness.
It is delicious - and pretty. You can eat it warm or at room temp - but if it you make it ahead of time don't flip it out of the pan. Refrigerate it in the pan, then rewarm in the oven and flip before serving.
You can of course use just about any fruit with this and it makes a great way to show off in-season goodies. I altered the recipe only slightly - I was using a smaller pan and found that I could use a lot less brown sugar and fruit. Oh - and thanks David for always including grams in your recipes!
Upside Down Plum Cake
For the fruit layer:
3 tablespoons butter (45g), salted or unsalted
1/2 cup packed (170g) light brown sugar
fruit: 5 plums sliced (I cut into eigths)
For the cake layer:
8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature.
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (125ml) milk (David recommended whole but I used 1 percent and it was fine)
1. Melt the 3 tablespoons (45g) of butter in an 8-inch cake pan. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Once cool, arrange the fruit in a pinwheel design, in the center of circle of fruit I put one diced plum, skin side down (so that it would look perty when flipped over). Set aside.
3. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350F. (190C)
4. Beat the 8 tablespoons (115g) of butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, until smooth.
5. Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Stir in half of the flour mixture with a spoon, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix: stir just until the flour is barely incorporated into the batter.
7. Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 30 to 45 minutes to one hour (depending on the size of the pan, and the thickness of the batter and whether you are using a conventional or convection oven) The cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center feels just set.
8. Remove from oven, let cool about 20 minutes, then place a plate on top, and wearing oven mitts, flip the cake out on to the plate, taking care, as there may be some hot caramel that might escape.