Rum Plum Upside Down Cake

So you thought the plums were gone. Hah!  At least I have moved them to a smaller bowl and now have room to put items in the refrigerator like a giant head of cabbage.

I have always loved upside down cake – that lovely gooey sugary topping, that soft, sweet baked fruit.  The only problem is that the gooey topping is made out of a great deal of butter, which is delicious but has too much fat. Then I saw an ingenious solution in Veggie Belly’s blog: make a kind of syrup to pour over the fruit and form the gooey topping. The syrup has no butter – I used a teaspoon of butter only to make sure that the cake didn’t stick to the pan when I flipped it over, which would have ruined the upside down effect.  Her original recipe was made with fresh figs – but what does it matter: figs, plums, they’re all small soft fruit. I topped the plum mix with an ordinary yellow cake batter.

Rum Plum Upside Down Cake
Cooking spray
1 teaspoon butter
About 1 lb of very ripe Italian (prune) plums, halved lengthwise (as many as you need to cover the bottom of your cake pan)
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
2 Tablespoons brown sugar, more or less depending on how sweet the plums are
¼ cup rum
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup sugar
½ cup egg substitute
¾ cup low fat buttermilk
1 Tablespoon rum

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an 8 inch square cake pan with cooking spray. Melt the teaspoon of butter in the bottom of the pan and swirl around. Alternatively, melt the teaspoon of butter and brush it on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the plums in the bottom of the buttered cake pan in a single layer. I put them cut side down.  Mix cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, sugar in a small bowl with the 1/4 cup of rum. Pour this spiced rum over the plums.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk. Beat the one tablespoon of butter with 3/4 cup sugar using a mixer at medium speed until light. Add the applesauce and beat. Add egg substitute, ¼ cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat in rum.

Pour batter over plums, spreading batter evenly. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool 10 minutes. Run a knife around outside edge. Place a plate upside down on top of cake. Invert cake onto plate; cool.

This gooey delight makes 8 generous servings at about 2 grams of fat/serving.  This leaves you room to top it with low fat ice cream or whipped cream – just remember to add the extra fat grams.

plum upsidedown cake


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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