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Brown Butter Plum Upside Down Cake

Posted Aug 08 2012 10:28am

I realize I haven’t posted a dessert recipe in about a week now.

WHO AM I?!?!

I don’t know why, I just felt like there was a big call for savory lately. I took that into consideration and stashed away my sugar for six days, but I’m sorry because I can’t hold out any longer. My soul needed a dessert…and yours does, too.

Plums are taking over the produce section everywhere right now, and this brown butter plum upside down cake is the most delicious way I know to make good use of them. There’s only so much plum jam you can make, people. Sometimes you just need to bake a cake.

And this cake is especially gorgeous and tasty! I love upside down cakes. They’re just so fun because the look like a plain ol’ cake in the oven and then when you flip them over—-tah-dah!!!!!!

I really think that if people knew just how easy upside down cakes were to make, there would be a lot more of them going around.

I was going to say something profound here on the merits of brown butter. But then I realized there’s nothing I can say here now that I haven’t said a zillion times over the past five years of blogging. So, you know. You know. Just do it.

And then stick some ice cream on it!!

Brown Butter Plum Upside Down Cake

makes 1 cake, serving 8


2 lbs black plums, ripe but still firm to the touch

1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp)

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the plums 1/4″ thick using a sharp knife. This will be easier if the plums are ripe, but not so super juicy that they don’t slice easily. Look for ones that are still a bit firm to the touch. After you slice your plums, set slices aside.

In a cast iron skillet, heat four tablespoons of the butter (1/2 stick). Melt butter and then continue to brown butter (head over here for a browning butter photo tutorial). Once butter has browned, immediately add the brown sugar and stir. Cook sugar and butter, stirring constantly, for three minutes. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ cake pan, spreading all over the bottom of the pan using a rubber spatula.

Arrange the plum slices on top of the brown sugar/butter mixture in the cake pan. You should be able to get three circles of plum slices out of this, overlapping if necessary. Set aside.

Cream together the remaining stick of butter with the granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating constantly. Then, add the vanilla.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add these dry ingredients alternately with the milk and continue beating until light and fluffy.

Spread cake batter right on top of the plums. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool three minutes before saying a quick prayer and flipping cake pan over onto a large plate. Serve cake with vanilla ice cream!


~1 hour

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