This tiny plum cake is perfect for those craving the joy of small batch baking in today’s current climate. This recipe is relatively simple to make, requires minimal ingredients, is gluten-free, and best of all showcases the delightful plum in all its glory. I’ve chosen to use Queen Garnet plums for their jeweled tone interior, giving rise to the violet highlights on the cake, but any seasonal variety of plum would taste just as delicious. Ensure to line the tin carefully, especially the base, and if available, use a springform tin to easily release the cake. If there any mishaps extracting the cake from the tin, rest assured they can easily be disguised by decorating the cake with extra slices of fresh plum.Print
Plum & Thyme Upside-Down Cake (gluten-free)
This tiny gluten free plum cake is laced with tangy lemon thyme syrup, and showcases jewelled plum tones in a delightful small batch autumn treat.
Plum Upside-Down Cake (gluten-free)
- 2 medium size plums, washed, plus extra to serve
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 140g caster sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 175g almond meal
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
- Juice of ½ lemon
Lemon Thyme Syrup
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1 ½ lemons (approx. 100ml)
- 140g caster sugar
- 6–8 springs of thyme, washed
Plum Upside-Down Cake (gluten-free)
- Preheat oven to 165°C (145°C fan-forced) and line 15cm (6″) cake tin with baking paper (ensuring a neat paper circle on the base).
- Slice each plum into 6-8 slices and carefully arrange on base of cake tin in a circle, ensuring each plum piece is flush with the base of the tin.
- Beat butter, sugar and lemon zest in stand mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.
- Add eggs one by one while beating on medium speed, scraping the bowl between each egg to ensure ingredients are well combined.
- Combine almond meal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, then slowly add half the dry ingredients to the mixer while beating on low-medium speed.
- Continue beating while adding half the lemon juice, then remaining dry ingredients, then remaining juice, until well combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, taking care not to displace the plum slices, and ensuring a smooth surface.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Prick the surface of the cake with a skewer or cake tester with at least 15-20 holes. Spoon two-thirds of the warm lemon thyme syrup over the cake, allowing the syrup to absorb into the hot cake, then cool completely in pan.
Lemon Thyme Syrup
- Reserve 2 sprigs of thyme for decorating the cake, then finely chop or bruise remaining thyme in a mortar and pestle.
- Place sugar and juice in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir to dissolve sugar.
- Simmer for 12-15 minutes until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, then place chopped thyme in syrup and allow to infuse for another 2-5 minutes. Keep warm to drizzle over hot cake.
- Place cake on serving plate and drizzle with remaining lemon thyme syrup.
- Decorate with sprigs of thyme, and serve with extra slices of fresh plum if desired.
Makes one round 15cm (6”) cake and serves 6 people
Home Cake Baking
I really liked your post. I read your blog quite often and I just shared it on Twitter.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks for the comment and glad to hear you enjoyed it.
Hi would we be able to use dry thyme as s substitute?
Thanks for your query. I haven’t tried dried thyme in this particular recipe, but it should impart a very similar effect and flavour in the syrup. Let me know how you it goes.
Kind regards and happy baking,
Just made this today! Super yummy. 😋
Thanks so much for stopping by to bake this recipe and leave a lovely comment. I am delighted to hear you enjoyed it. This recipe is quickly becoming one of the most popular on the blog!
Hi there, Beautiful pictures and wonderful combination of sweet and savory:) Do you invert the cake, hence drizzling the syrup on the top ie the side the plums are displayed on? Or are you adding the syrup to the bottom ie the up side when the cake is still in the pan;)?
Thanks for the lovely comments and for your query. The answer is a bit of both! Drizzle two-thirds of the warm syrup over the hot cake while it is still cooling in the pan (on the “non-plum” or “bottom” side), reserving the remaining one-third to drizzle on the cooled cake when serving. The cake absorbs the warm syrup well and keeps it lovely and moist, while drizzling the remainder for serving keeps it looking fresh and appetising, and imparts an extra kick of lemon and thyme. Hope this helps and happy baking!
Is the recipe for a standard 8 or 9 inch cake tin? I don’t see it listed in the recipe.
Thanks for your query. This recipe is best suited for a 15cm (6″) cake tin. I do apologise for the inconvenience, the recommended cake tin size had slipped off the ‘Instructions’ section during the recipe editing stage, and was only listed in the ‘Notes’ section, so I have updated the recipe to include the sizing again in both sections. If you do only have an 8″ recipe tin though, you are welcome to double the recipe quantity and bake it for a little longer (approximately 10 mins). The larger size may be a little more difficult to handle being gluten-free, so just take care when transferring it out of the tin. Also, you may wish to incorporate an extra small round of slices in the middle to cover more of the cake surface being a larger cake, or decorate it after with extra fresh slices. Hope these tips help and happy baking!
How to keep it for the next few days if not finished on the same day? & Shelf life for in room temperature…!! Thanks heaps.
Thanks for your query. I’d recommend keeping it in the fridge, as I find the fresh fruit doesn’t keep very well at room temperature for more than a day, and would usually keep it for a maximum of 48-72 hours. It can vary a little depending on your climate and weather (I live in a fairly warm, humid climate). To ensure it tastes great when you do eat it, bring it to room temperature prior to consumption. Hope that helps!
This cake grabbed my attention big time! It was just what I was searching for! 2nd time making this in a week, plums are in full season here in NZ , so using them in this recipe while I can. Thankyou for sharing this with us! I look forward to this becoming a versatile GF recipe for whatever is in season ❤️
Thanks so much for your kind comments. I’m delighted to hear you enjoyed this recipe! It adapts beautifully to whatever fruits are in season, so that warms my heart to hear it will be a staple in your kitchen. Happy baking and please feel free to share any feedback on how it goes with different seasonal fruits!
Hi salma! This looks amazing but I’m
Allergic to dairy. Would earth balance butter or olive oil work better? Would I use the same amount of the substitute if so?
Thanks for your query. I’m delighted to hear you like the idea of this recipe. The butter in this recipe is creamed with the sugar to help aerate it, and provide and degree of volume and structure. This is especially vital in this particular recipe given there isn’t any flour in it, and hence I’m so sorry, I don’t believe substituting olive oil will work, and imagine the overall cake would be quite oily, dense, and wouldn’t rise much. Unfortunately I’ve never tried baking with earth balance butter so I’m terribly sorry, I can’t comment on that part of the question. It may be easier to try an alternative recipe, although I do apologise that most of my recipes do include dairy! Thanks again for asking and all the best in your baking endeavours.
Hi, if we want to make it with wheat flour instead of almond flour, can we simply substitute? My kids have nut allergies
Thanks for your query. I haven’t tried this particular recipe with regular wheat-based flour so I can’t say with certainty that a direct substitute will work. The cake will have quite a different texture in that it will be quite light rather than the dense, crumblier, nutty texture imparted from the almond meal. Also, given the use of fresh fruit in this recipe, the ratio of water from the fruit may be out of balance with the wheat flour. A suggestion would be to perhaps try a combination of half wheat flour and half semolina flour which would eliminate the nuts from the allergy perspective, but still maintain the texture of the cake. Please note this is only a suggestion and as I have not recipe-tested it myself, it may require variations of this (for example a slightly greater or lesser quantity or slightly different ratio). Hope this helps as a starting point and please feel free to ask if you have any further questions.
Can I use gluten free self raising flour instead of almond meal?
Thanks for your query. I haven’t tried baking with a gluten-free self-raising flour before so my advice on this would be quite limited. There are a myriad of gluten-free flours available, both in terms of raw ingredients or pre-packaged blends, so without a bit more information on the specific flour itself, it is also difficult to anticipate how it would affect the recipe. Do you know what is the actual base or blend of the particular gluten-free flour you are using? That will provide you with some guidance as to whether or not the flavour and texture would be a suitable substitute. You would be more than welcome to try it out, although without having recipe tested it myself, I’m so sorry, I can’t vouch for it’s success. If you do give it a go, please feel free to let me know how it turns out. Happy baking!