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Plum and Raspberry Upside-Down Cake


Is an upside-down cake upside down when it's baking or when it's served? In this lightly spiced version, the base -- later, the top -- combines ripe black plums and red raspberries. Inverted onto a serving dish to reveal the tender fruit, it makes a delicious case for calling this a right-side-up cake.

  • Yield: Makes one 8 1/2-inch cake

Photography: Charles Schiller

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2001


  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 6 medium plums, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a round 8 1/2-inch by 2 1/2-inch springform pan; line with parchment paper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; pour into pan. Using a sieve, sprinkle light-brown sugar evenly over the melted butter. Arrange plum halves cut side down on top of the brown sugar, squeezing in as many plums as possible to allow for shrinkage during baking. Fill in the gaps with raspberries; set aside.

  2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half the flour mixture, and beat until combined. Beat in the sour cream. Beat in the remaining flour mixture.

  3. Spoon cake batter on top of plums and raspberries, spreading evenly with a small spatula. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any juices; transfer to the oven, and bake until a cake tester inserted into the cake comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cake. Remove ring; invert onto a serving plate. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

We used black plums, but red or Italian plums are just as delicious. Use more or fewer plums depending on their size. You will need an eight-and-a-half-by-two-and-a-half-inch round springform pan.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10143459
    17 AUG, 2011
    I used plums, white peaches and raspberries. Really very good -- and not over the top sweet! Reminds me of Swedish desserts.
  • MomMD
    11 JUL, 2011
    I made this when it first came out in the magazine and I have loved it ever since. The fruit gives it a tartness that makes it go well with a dollop of whipped cream or even ice cream. It is a delicious way to use fresh summer fruit. I have also substituted with blueberries and peaches and the recipe comes out wonderfully (it is a bit sweeter). I try to make it every year!
  • Browncoco
    12 OCT, 2008
    This one is another family favorite. I bake it every year for my mother's birthday which happens to always be on one of the hottest days of the year so I am glad it is so easy to make. It is also not too rich and is great way to end a summer luncheon. Best served warm or at room temperature, it is simply delicious with crn n n n me fran n n n che or vanilla ice cream and a few fresh raspberries...