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Plum Upside-Down Cakes

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Serves 8

Use the smallest plums you can find that are ripe but firm. Red plums like Casselmans and Santa Rosas work well, as do Black Friars. If you can’t find very small plums, just use fewer slices of regular-size ones.

  • 10 oz. (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature; more for greasing the ramekins
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 medium-size ripe but firm red plums, pitted and sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. milk
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 oz. (1-1/2 cups) cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Butter eight 8 oz. ramekins. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 6 oz. (1-1/2 sticks) of the butter with the brown sugar, whisking until smooth and combined (you’ll still feel sugar granules). Immediately pour into the bottoms of the buttered ramekins, dividing evenly. Arrange a layer of plum slices in each ramekin, overlapping them slightly, using smaller slices to fill any gaps.

Plum Upside-Down Cakes Recipe

In a small bowl, combine the milk and lemon juice (the mixture will curdle; this is okay). In another bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

With an electric mixer, cream the remaining 4 oz. (1 stick) butter with the sugar and the orange zest. Add the eggs and vanilla; mix to combine. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk mixture, mixing just to combine. Divide the batter among the ramekins.Arrange the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the cakes are firm to the touch and the juices are bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the sheet midway through baking to ensure even cooking. (If you insert a skewer to test doneness, it may be moist with plum juices but should show no raw batter). Let cool on a rack until warm. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of each ramekin, invert onto a plate, and gently lift it off the cake. Top each cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like. If you’ve baked the cakes ahead, heat the oven to 350°F. Set the ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and heat until just warmed, about 2 minutes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 560; Fat (g): 31; Fat Calories (kcal): 280; Saturated Fat (g): 19; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): 67; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 180; Cholesterol (mg): 135; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Amy Albert

I've been making this recipe during plum season ever since it was first printed. I don't do it in ramekins. I line a 9" cake pan with parchment and spray with baking spray. It works well, looks fabulous and can be transported.

These are absolutely divine topped with ice cream and eaten hot out of the oven! I cut the recipe in half and the cakes came out just fine.

Made this from the print issue when it first came out. It is fabulous - very showy and easy to make. I made it for a professional baker ( it was news to me that she had a prior career as a professional!) and she was wildly impressed. Not a crumb left!

Made this from the print issue when it first came out. It is fabulous - very showy and easy to make. I made it for a professional baker ( it was news to me that she had a prior career as a professional!) and she was wildly impressed. Not a crumb left!

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