Homemade Bite: Upside Down Plum Cake

Upside down cakes are some of the best looking desserts, especially when the fruit is fresh and seasonal. The juice from the fruit seeps out under the extreme heat of the oven and creates a deliciously moist and flavorful layer beneath the surface. However, if the cake is too light and absorbent, then too much juice will make its way down. And no one likes a soggy cake.

So, I added 1 cup of plain greek yogurt to the batter, making it richer and denser than usual. You'll see when you take a bite that the yogurt completely changes the texture of the cake, making it thick and very hard for the plum juice to seep in. 

The best part of this cake, though, isn't the cake--it's the top layer of freshly sliced plums, which get covered in brown sugar and a secret ingredient: brown butter. The brown butter adds a nutty flavor to this top layer, which complements the sweet, juicy plums. So, when you flip the cake, you should try to save all of the delicious liquid that gathers at the bottom of the pan. This incredible purple juice is the unique flavor in this cake, so none should go to waste. 

Recipe

Timing:

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour and 10 Minutes

Yield: 6-10 servings (or if you're hungry, just 1!)

Ingredients

  • 6 plums
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened + divided
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs, separate the yolks from the whites
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, almonds, or pecans

Optional: Whipped Yogurt

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liquor (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch spring form pan and place on a baking sheet.

Arrange the plums in single layer in the bottom of the spring form pan. Sprinkle the plums with brown sugar.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until just browned. Butter will melt, foam and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk the browned bits of butter off the bottom of the pan. Pour the butter over the plums and place the plums in the oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the whole wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, vanilla and sea salt to a bowl, set aside.

To the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, beat the butter until fluffy. Slowly add the maple syrup, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is fully mixed into the butter. Beat in the lemon zest, 3 egg yolks (reserving the whites for later) and the yogurt and milk until creamy and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Whisk the remaining 3 egg whites in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Slowly fold the egg whites into the batter until just combined.

Pour the batter over the plums, being careful to spread the batter in an even layer over the plums. Try to not move the position of the plums.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until golden on the top and baked all the way through. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before removing the sides. Place a serving plate on top of the cake and invert the cake. Carefully remove the bottom of the spring form pan. if any of the plums stick to the spring form pan, just place them back on the cake. Scrape any syrup left on the bottom of the pan off and onto the cake. If desired, the cake can be drizzled with a little maple syrup for extra sweetness.

To serve, sprinkle the cake with pistachios and dollop with cream (recipe below). Enjoy warm or at room temp.

 Whipped Yogurt

Place the cream and yogurt in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Stir in the hazelnut liquor, vanilla and salt. Keep cold until ready to serve.

*if you do not have vanilla bean paste or fresh vanilla beans, sub with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and add it in with the wet ingredients.

*If you do not have a spring form pan, the cake can be made in a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet. I did find the spring form pan much easier to use however.

Storage Instructions: Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe Adapted from: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/brown-butter-plum-up-side-down-yogurt-cake-with-pistachios/