There is a sense of joy that comes with carefully placing fruit at the base of a tin, covering with batter, and turning out after baking to reveal a gorgeous pattern. This joy should not be underestimated. In a world of layer cakes with drip icing, isomalt shards and intricate chocolate decorations, a simple and gorgeous upside down cake is incredibly rewarding.
Summer fruits are nearing their end as we hurtle towards Autumn at a rapid pace and feel the glow of a new year start to fade. This means we must make every effort to enjoy the last of the stone fruit and the berries.
A gorgeous batch of plums spied at my local fruit market called out to me as I walked past, a reminder that I had been enjoying the heady tastes of peaches and nectarines all summer whilst simultaneously neglecting the delicious plum. All stone fruits have a different texture when biting into them and my goal each year is to sample all tooth feels before the summer is out. The plum is equal parts crisp and juicy and lends itself perfectly to the top of an upside down cake.
I’ve paired these plums with raspberries as they share the plum’s flavour profile of having a delicate tart sweetness. This is all topped with a cake batter that is infused with the incredible scent of cardamom, the tartness of yoghurt – and to top it all off, was made with gluten free flour (though this would work just as well with simple plain flour).
To finish it all off, after turning out the cake, I’ve sprinkled the top with my sweet dukkah (an Egyptian condiment consisting of herbs, nuts and spices) which you can easily make or omit if you don’t have the time.
Gluten Free Plum and Raspberry Upside Down Cake
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 6 plums
- 1 x 125g punnet fresh raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 50g butter, softened
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 teaspoon raspberry essence*
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons sweet dukkah**
Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F) and grease and line a 23cm springform pan. Sprinkle the base of the pan with the light brown sugar.
Half plums and remove pit, then slice each half into 3 wedges. Arrange the plums in a circle around the egde of the pan then arrange the remaining plums in a smaller ring in the centre. Fill all the remaining spaces with the raspberries and set aside.
Combine sifted flour, cardamom, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt in a glass bowl and set aside.
Cream butter and caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste and raspberry extract and beat until combined, then add the egg yolks beating well between each addition. Beat in half the flour mixture, then the greek yoghurt, then the remaining flour mixture.
Carefully spoon the batter over the plums and raspberries making sure you don't displace any from the base and level the top of the batter.
Bake for about 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle is clean. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Release the cake from the spring form sides and carefully invert the cake onto a cake plate. Sprinkle the top with the sweet dukkah and serve with dollop cream.
*I found raspberry essence at my local cake decorating shop, but you can easily omit it if you can't find it. If you are able to find it, it adds a wonderful raspberry fragrance to the whole cake which pairs beautifully with the cardamom.
**The sweet dukkah is a wonderful addition to the serving of this cake. Again, you don't have to add it, but it is delicious and very easy to make. You will find my recipe for sweet dukkah here.