Blackberry Plum Upside-Down Cake

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blackberry plum upside down cake recipe
Photo: Mark Weinberg/Styling: Erin McDowell

Why, hello there, gorgeous. We can’t think of a better way to take advantage of fleeting plum season than by making pastry chef Erin McDowell’s swoon-worthy blackberry plum upside-down cake.

“I love an upside-down cake because it’s easy to make and sort of self-frosting,” the author of The Fearless Baker tells us. “You can’t beat the tartness and color of in-season plums, but combining them with blackberries adds texture and a berry flavor that makes a particularly good upside-down cake combination.”

You’ll notice her version has a little bit of whole-wheat flour in the cake batter. “When I was younger,” McDowell tells us, “peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were always on whole-wheat bread. So when I make something that’s really fruity, I like to have something that’s whole wheat as a component.”

Yep, we’ll take a slice of this over PB&J any day.



3 tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

⅓ cup (71g) light brown sugar

1 cup (170g) blackberries

4 large (260g) plums, thickly sliced

Cake Batter

8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup (213g) light brown sugar

2 large (113g) eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour

¾ (85g) cup whole-wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup (115g) whole milk

Whipped cream, as needed for serving


1. Prepare the Topping: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan (with at least 2-inch-tall sides) generously with butter, being especially generous with the base of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the base of the pan, then arrange the fruit on top in a tight, even layer.

2. Make the Cake Batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated, scraping well with a spatula after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder and cinnamon together to combine. Add half of this mixture to the mixer and mix to incorporate. Add the milk and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix to incorporate. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is evenly combined.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, spreading into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs), 60 to 70 minutes.

5. Cool the cake in the pan for 25 to 30 minutes, then unmold onto a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet. Cool completely before slicing, then serve with whipped cream.

Nutrition Facts
  • 338 calories

  • 14g fat

  • 50g carbs

  • 4g protein

  • 32g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...