From My Father’s Garden and Mother’s Kitchen. Upside Down Plum Cake.


Late January in my father’s garden. The plum trees are absolutely bursting with fruit. Luscious. Sweet and juicy. I can’t recall ever having seen so much fruit on those trees. They are hanging from the low lying branches like big, fat, oversized bunches of purple grapes. Perhaps a testament to my brother’s pruning prowess. Last autumn he pruned the tops of the trees back severely to keep my father from climbing ladders to pick the fruit. It seems to have done the trick.

We picked basket upon basket of plums. Some to be eaten. The rest to be transformed into jams, cakes and slices. Even dried into prunes. For afternoon tea I helped my mother bake a cake. Upside down plum cake with an almond, lemon and yoghurt batter. Divine.


Upside Plum Cake with Almonds.

50 g butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
800 g plums, halved, stones removed
1 cup caster sugar
1 1/3 cups self raising flour
1 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Greek yoghurt
150 ml olive oil
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

PREHEAT oven to 160 C. Grease a 22 cm round cake tin. Line base with baking paper.
MELT 50 g butter in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar until well incorporated and dissolved. Drizzle evenly over the base of the cake tin.
PLACE plums cut side down evenly over base of the tin. Start at outside edge of the tin working towards the centre.
COMBINE the remaining dry ingredients – flour, almond meal, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
IN ANOTHER bowl combine the wet ingredients – eggs, oil, yoghurt and lemon zest.
FOLD wet ingredients into the dry. SPOON mixture over the plums. Smooth surface.
BAKE cake ins 160 C oven, middle rack position for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand cake in pan for 15 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and peel off baking paper.
SERVE as is, or with cream or ice cream as a dessert.

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8 Responses to From My Father’s Garden and Mother’s Kitchen. Upside Down Plum Cake.

  1. Isabelle says:

    I cannot wait to make this one….

  2. wattleflat says:

    Can I please borrow your lovely parents? Our plum trees have been pecked to death by the parrots. Arrgh!

    • You could use any of the lovely fruit in your orchard. Nectarines, peaches, apples, cherries… My parents have a flat black metal cat ornament hanging in their plum trees with glass marble eyes that spin. Perhaps that keeps the birds away. I’ll have to ask.

  3. Yum! At my old job as a waitress, we used to have upside down pineapple cake to serve fresh every lunch. I like how you used Greek yogurt in this recipe… it must be really moist! I’ll have to make it one day!

    • Pineapple sounds good. I’d never made an upside down cake before. This one is so easy. You could use any fruit for your topping. The olive oil and yoghurt make it very light and fresh. The best part? We mixed it all by hand in a few moments.

  4. Isabelle says:

    I made the cake yesterday with the lovely plums. One word: delicious!
    When it was just cold, we had one piece each, but it was impossible to stop there… so we had a second piece each…. decadent!
    Since i had a thought, to use ground pistachios instead of the almonds, plums and pistachios would be a fantastic together.

    • Thats great to hear. And it keeps well too. Any combination of favourite nuts and fruit would work. The fun is in the experimentation. I’m thinking hazelnuts and plums or even pineapple and macadamia.

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