Make the most of late summer with the most beautiful Gluten Free Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries. Perfect served on its own or as a dessert with custard, cream or ice cream. Optional Dairy Free.
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Originally posted 5th September 2013. Updated 25th August 2022
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Gluten Free Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries – Updated
I’ve reworked my gluten free Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries. It’s the latest in a long line of recipe improvements on the blog. First posted back in 2013, it was due for an update. And with the vast leaps in my gluten free baking knowledge over the years, it’s had a few tweaks along the way.
You have to admit, it is rather beautiful. The natural colours of plum and blueberry seem to intensify as they bake and seep into the sponge… And when it’s turned upside down, it’s awash with purple, pink and orange. I think it may be the most eye-catching upside down cake I have on the blog (and we have a few). So, if you’re looking for a simple but utterly stunning gluten free dessert, Plum and Blueberry Upside Down Cake may be just the thing.
Plum and Blueberry Upside Down Pudding… ‘dessert’ vs ‘cake’
Just to be clear, the texture of upside down cake (whether gluten free or not) is traditionally more ‘dessert’ than dainty cake. The sponge is by nature moist and slightly dense (although not ‘heavy’). However, this lends itself perfectly to soaking up the fruit juices as it bakes and to being served as pudding…
The flavours in my delightful Plum and Blueberry Upside Down Cake are balanced so as not to be over-sweet with sugar… Thus the natural, lightly sharp sweetness of the plums combined with blueberries shine, complementing the almond-rich vanilla sponge on which they sit… Perfect with custard, cream or ice cream (we’ve tried all three), as well as delicious ‘naked’.
What are the best plums for making Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries?
I don’t claim to be a plum expert… far from it. But I reckon that pretty much any plum, foraged or bought, of any size will work a dream in Plum Upside Down Cake. Nonetheless, there are a couple of things that you may wish to consider…
The first is COLOUR. Plums come in different flesh and skin shades and that may affect the final look of the cake. While plum varieties vary depending on where in the world you live, choose a yellow-fleshed option for the perfect contrast against the purple hue of blueberry. Many purple-skinned varieties still have a pale yellow interior, so this shouldn’t be too difficult. Or if you are lucky enough to be able to find all-yellow Mirabelle plums, they would work a dream.
Secondly, the SIZE of the plum will alter how it can be cut and arranged in the pan. Larger plums offer the option to cut into wedges or curved ‘segments’. Whereas very small plums such as damsons (often found growing around hedgerows) are best halved and placed as ‘rounds’.
What gluten free flours and other ingredients are used to make the sponge recipe?
The main gluten free flour blend used in my upside down sponge recipe is balanced with ground almonds for texture, moisture, flavour and structure. Thus, although I use my Gluten Free Alchemist flour Blend A (which can be found at the bottom of my ’What is Gluten Free Flour?’ Guide to flours page), other alternative gluten free blends should work well. Just make sure they are a blend of gluten free flours (rather than a single flour such as rice or buckwheat) and make sure the blend is a balance of starches and protein/structure. Doves Freee Plain White Flour is a reasonable commercial alternative.
Regardless, I would recommend using a plain flour blend (rather than self-raising) as this will give better control over the amount of raising agent added (for this recipe baking powder and a little bicarbonate of soda/baking soda). In addition to flour, ground almonds and raising agents, the dry mix has a little xanthan gum for additional binding and a sprinkle of salt for flavour enhancement.
Beyond the dry mix, the sponge for Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries contains the usual suspects of butter, sugar, eggs, a drop of vanilla and some yoghurt. The yoghurt needs to be the runnier variety (NOT thick Greek or Set Yoghurt). I often use kefir when making upside down cakes… For extra flavour, try using a smooth yoghurt that has been blended with fruit (such as Biotiful Vanilla or Peach Kefir).
Is this Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries safe for Coeliacs?
Because my Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries is made with gluten free flours, it is safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac). It is always important however to check ingredient labels to make sure flours and all other ingredients are certified gluten free. Baking powder in particular can be a source of hidden gluten or cross-contamination. If unsure about label checking and cross-contamination risk, you can read more on my page Coeliac Disease + Food.
Can this cake be made dairy free as well as gluten free?
If you make a couple of simple switches of the butter and yoghurt for dairy free alternatives, then yes… Plum Upside Down Cake can be made dairy free as well as gluten free. Make sure to use ‘like for like’… Ie. a good BLOCK butter alternative such as either Stork Baking Block or Flora Baking Block and a suitable dairy free yoghurt or kefir.
What equipment is needed to make Plum and Blueberry Upside Down Cake?
Most of what you need to make Plum Upside Down Cake is probably in your kitchen. However, here’s the run-down of key equipment required (I’ve linked the kit I use)…
- An 8 inch (20 cm) or 9 inch (23 cm) round cake tin, which is about 3 inches in depth. For the easiest cake removal, I would recommend using a non-stick spring-form tin. Here’s the cake tin I use for an 8 inch (deeper) cake or for a 9 inch version.
- Some good quality baking paper (I always use Lakeland Baking Parchment).
- A good set of reliable digital kitchen scales.
- Measuring spoons.
- A set of Mixing Bowls.
- An electric whisk (I use my hand-held KitchenAid Whisk (which is superb)).
- For folding-in and scraping all the cake batter from the bowl, a flexible spoon-spatula. I honestly couldn’t live without one of these!
- An oven
How to store gluten free Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries
If planning on eating the cake within 24 hours, it’s fine to store it at room temperature in an airtight container (unless you live in a very hot climate, in which case it is better to refrigerate).
For leftovers after this time, or if you are making ahead, I would advise that Plum Upside Down Cake is stored in the fridge (in an airtight container). Because it is a very moist cake with fresh fruit, this will ensure it remains at its best. I would also advise however, to remove the cake from the fridge and to bring to room temperature (or warm slightly in the microwave) before serving for the best softness and texture.
Upside Down Cake is delicious eaten cold or warm and can be served on its own, or with custard, cream or ice cream. If stored correctly, it should be good for about 4 days.
Have you made this recipe?
You can find my recipe for Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries if you scroll a little further down… Enjoy! If you make it, please do let me know. Leave a comment, rate the recipe (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) or tag me on your social media shares and photos. I love seeing what you have all been making. It honestly makes my day. And if you aren’t following already on social media, we’re on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
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Other Upside Down Cakes at Gluten Free Alchemist…
- Pear Upside Down Cake with a Gluten Free Mocha Sponge
- Cherry Upside Down Cake with a Gluten Free Sponge
- Rhubarb Upside Down Cake with Gluten Free Strawberry-Almond Sponge
- Peach Melba Upside-Down Cake
- Savoury Upside Down Cake
- Apple & Cinnamon Upside-Downuts
Inspiration for Gluten Free Baking with fresh Summer-Autumn fruit
Plum Upside Down Cake with Blueberries – Gluten Free
- 9 inch/23 cm round spring-form cake tin (min 3 inch deep)
- sharp vegetable knife
- serving plate
Plum Blueberry Layer
- 125 g blueberries de-stalked
- 4 large plums or 8 to 16 if using the smaller or damson-sized varieties. – Stones removed and cut into wedges (or halves if using damsons).
- 50 g butter (or dairy free block alternative) cut into small pieces
- 60 g soft light brown sugar
- 200 g gluten free plain flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES), but an alternative flour blend will work fine.
- 100 g ground almonds
- 1½ tsp baking powder gluten free
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 100 g unsalted butter (or dairy free block alternative) softened
- 285 g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 230 g yoghurt (dairy or dairy free) Not thick set. I use Vanilla Kefir
Plum Blueberry Base
- Base line a 23 cm/9 inch (or 20 cm/8 inch) loose-bottomed, spring-form cake tin (7 cm/3 inches deep) with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- Scatter the 50g butter pieces and 60g soft brown sugar in the bottom of the cake tin(s) and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the butter and sugar are melted and have started to bubble.
- About half way through this process, check the mixture and give a stir to combine before putting back into the oven to finish off.
- Once bubbling, remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Leave the oven on.
- Arrange the plum wedges (flesh side down) in the base of the cake tin on top of the melted butter-sugar mixture. Scatter the blueberries over the top of the plums. Set aside.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and salt. Set aside. TIP : weigh into an airtight container, seal and shake vigorously to mix.
- Using a whisk, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy.
- Add the lightly beaten egg a little at a time until thoroughly blended and pale.
- Add and fold through the yoghurt and dry mix about a third at a time, alternating the wet with the dry for each addition. Fold until JUST mixed. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Pour the sponge batter over the fruit in the cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes at 170 C Fan/180 C/350 F/Gas 4, or until a skewer comes out clean and the sponge springs back to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the cake tin for 15 to 20 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.
- Eat warm or cold. Delicious served with cream or custard as a dessert. If not eating on the day made, store in the fridge and bring to room temperature (or warm) before serving.
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