Monday, July 12, 2010

Plum Blueberry Upside Down Cake

After two crazy weeks filled with engagement and 4th of July festivities, John and I were very excited to spend this weekend putzing around the house putting photos in frames and clearing out the DVR.  The best part of the weekend was when I got to cozy up in my chair with this beauty, freshly plucked from my library's shelves...
If you don't read David Lebovitz's blog, go give it a looksee.  Mr. Lebovitz is an incredible pastry chef and writer.  I want him to move next door and be my sassy gay man-friend.  However, seeing that he lives in Paris, I don't think he'll be packing up and moving to Culver City any time soon.  Ready for Dessert is his "greatest hits" of sorts, a collection of the most popular recipes from his early cookbooks that are now out of print.  Many are very European and complicated and fancy, but on a lazy Sunday after a trip to the farmers' market, this simple upside down cake was the perfect way to end the weekend.

Can I just talk about the fruit that's going on at our markets right now?  Every stand seems to be overflowing with gorgeous stone fruits and berries.  It's easy to take all this goodness for granted, but come December, I know I'll be looking at these photos and whimpering like my pug on a car ride.

This cake is way easy.  Brown sugar and butter...
Plums and blueberries...
And a scrumptious vanilla cake batter.  I love vanilla cake, especially when paired with summer fruit.
As this beauty bakes in the oven, the fruit juices infuse the cake with a delicious syrupy moisture.  When you flip it out of the pan, it is almost cobbler-esque, but just sturdy enough to stand alone as a cake.
This cake was devoured as is at our BBQ, but I suspect that it would shine even brighter with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of cool whipped cream.  It's best served with your feet up and a frosty glass of white wine in hand. 

Plum-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake
Just barely adapted from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups blueberries
1 pound (6 to 8) plums, halved, pitted, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350F.

To make the topping, put the 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch round cake pan or cast iron skillet.  Set the pan directly on the stove top over low heat until the butter melts.  Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar is thoroughly moistened.  Remove from heat and let cool briefly.

Distribute half of the blueberries evenly over the brown sugar mixture in the pan.  Arrange the plum slices over the blueberries in overlapping concentric circles, or just scatter them in an even layer.  Strew the remaining blueberries on top of the plums.  Set aside.

To make the cake, in a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the 1/2 cup of butter and the sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating until completely incorporated.  Gradually mix in half of the flour mixture.  Stir in the milk followed by the rest of the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Scrape the batter on top of the fruit in the pan and smooth it into an even layer.  Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Let cool for about 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the sides of the cake to help loosen it from the pan.  Invert a serving plate over the pan.  Wearing oven mitts, grasp both the pan and the plate and turn them over together.  Carefully lift off the pan.

Variations:  Go crazy!  Use apricots instead of plums, and substitute any kind of berries for the blueberries.


  1. Nice post!I like this post and also want to tell you that this is really helpful post for all who want to make some tasty and different cakes. Thanks for this post and i like to know about some good cake pans.

  2. yum! sadly, i still have blueberries in the freezer from picking them last august! i thought for sure i'd eat them all, but then i forgot about them! i need to use them up in smoothies or something i guess, and hit up the market for some freshies!

  3. Yum! I think I'll make this to take to a bbq in a couple of weeks! It's gorgeous and I'll bet it tastes delicious!

  4. Sexy cake you got there! I'm coming over for a slice, k?? ;)


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