Plum Upside Down Cake (Vegan + GF)

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Side view of a partially sliced plum upside down cake on a platter

Hold onto your hats! This recipe takes the cake and (literally) flips it on its head. Juicy, tart plums nestle into soft, fluffy, perfectly sweet almond cake. You won’t want to miss out on this plum upside down cake — it’s THE summer cake you’ve been waiting for! 

Bonus? It’s vegan, gluten-free, and you’ll need just 10 ingredients. Let’s bake, friends!

Plums, cane sugar, gluten-free flours, applesauce, salt, baking powder, and almond flour

This cake begins with the upside down plums! We arrange sliced plums (apricots work, too!) in a circular pattern at the bottom of a pie pan. Generously greasing the pan with vegan butter helps prevent the plums from sticking and cane sugar creates a caramelized sauciness.

Sliced plums arranged in a circular pattern in a pie pan

Next, we make the cake batter. Cane sugar, vegan butter, almond milk, and applesauce are the wet ingredients, with optional almond extract giving it a pronounced almond flavor! If you love almond extract, be sure to check out our Gluten-Free Orange Almond Loaf Cake and Maple Almond Buckwheat Granola, too.

Using an electric mixer to combine the almond cake batter

For the dry ingredients, a combination of gluten-free flours (almond, potato, and brown rice) gives it a light, cakey texture and beautiful crumb. The remaining cake essentials include baking powder for rise and salt for flavor.

Spreading gluten-free almond cake batter over sliced plums in a pie pan

After spreading the batter over the plums and baking, the fruit becomes bubbly and tender.

Freshly baked plum upside down cake with a golden brown top and bubbly fruit marking the sides of a pie pan

It’s then time to flip that cake on its head, slice, and enjoy!

Black plums and cane sugar next to a plate of plum upside down cake

We’re SO excited for you to try this plum cake! It’s:

Soft
Fluffy
Almondy
Fruit-studded
Perfectly sweet
& SO delicious!

It would be a beautiful brunch centerpiece or summer dessert for hosting! Enjoy it on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut yogurt.

More Stone Fruit Favorites

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bite of plum almond cake on a fork with the rest of the slice on a plate behind it

Plum Upside Down Cake (Vegan + GF)

Easy plum upside down cake with juicy, tart plums nestled into soft, fluffy, perfectly sweet almond cake. Vegan, gluten-free, and perfect for brunch or dessert. Just 10 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Removing a slice of plum upside down cake from a plate
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10 (Slices)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1-2 Days

Ingredients

  • 2-4 ripe plums or apricots*, pitted and thinly sliced into 1/4-1/2-inch slices (enough to cover the bottom of the pie pan)
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (plus more for dusting pan)
  • 1/4 cup softened vegan butter (plus more for greasing // we like Miyoko’s)
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (we like Wellbee’s)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free milk (plain, unsweetened // we used almond milk)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and grease a 9-inch pie pan generously with vegan butter. Dust the bottom of the pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  • Place the sliced plums in the sugar, arranging them in a circular pattern (see photo). Try to fill any large spaces with fruit.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the sugar and softened vegan butter for about 30 seconds on high. Next, add applesauce and almond extract (optional). Beat again on high speed until light, fluffy, and pale in color — about 30 seconds.
  • Add the almond flour and beat again until the mixture looks like cookie dough. Add the dairy-free milk and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Then add potato starch, brown rice flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix on medium speed until all of the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Pour the cake batter on top of the halved plums, smoothing the top and (gently!) ensuring each plum is covered with batter. Note that the batter will spread and the cake will rise as it bakes.
  • Bake the cake on the middle rack of your oven for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden brown, the plums are bubbling, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool for 20 minutes.
  • When ready to flip the cake out of its pan, use whatever cake plate you plan to serve it on. Place the cake plate bottom side up on top of the pie pan. Carefully and confidently flip the cake onto the plate. Gently remove the pie plate, replacing any plum that gets left behind back into the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cake pairs well with dairy-free yogurt for a morning tea or brunch cake or with vanilla ice cream for dessert!
  • Best when fresh. Store leftover cake at room temperature lightly covered for up to 2 days.

Video

Notes

*Plums are our preferred fruit in this recipe, but apricots are also delicious. We don’t recommend peaches because they’re too sweet.
*Prep time includes letting the cake cool for 20 minutes.
*Inspired by Ina Gartin’s Plum Cake Tatin.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 229 Carbohydrates: 27.4 g Protein: 4.1 g Fat: 12.8 g Saturated Fat: 3.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 5.5 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 215 mg Potassium: 112 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Sugar: 14.4 g Vitamin A: 19 IU Vitamin C: 3 mg Calcium: 101 mg Iron: 0.8 mg

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Oh no! We’re glad you still enjoyed it though! Another reader mentioned there’s a sweet spot and that leaving it in the pan too long or for not enough time can make it difficult to remove. Another idea would be to add a layer of parchment paper cut into a circle on the bottom of the pan. Hope one of those suggestions helps for next time!

  1. Brittany says

    This turned out perfectly! I made a couple of adjustments:

    Subbed out brown rice flour for white rice flour and potato starch for corn starch. Each substitution was a 1 to 1 ratio.

    Something to note in regard to the cake not sticking to the pan – when I pulled out the cake at exactly 40 minutes, I set an additional timer for 20 minutes. Right at 20 minutes, I flipped the cake out onto a plate and let it gently fall onto the plate. If you flip it too early, it will tear. Too late and it will be stuck to the pan. And letting it naturally fall without disturbing it seemed to work! Good luck!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Brittany! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your tip! xo

  2. Veronique L says

    Delicious recipe! But mine did not turn out well when it was time to flip it. The cake didn’t want to take off even if I greased it well as mentioned. It was such a mess and all in pieces. I followed the exact recipe with the same ingredients except for the vegan butter which was not vegan… I cooked it for 43 min. We still ate a piece and it was so good and soft! Next time I will adjust 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for 1/4 teaspoon. Do you have an idea why my cake did not flip correctly ?

    thank you so much for this recipe! delicious just like all of your other recipes!
    Véronique

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry that happened, Véronique! Maybe the type of pan or how much it was greased makes a difference? Or perhaps the juiciness of the fruit? One idea would be to try cutting a piece of parchment paper the size of the pan and then greasing/sugaring on top of that. Then when you flip it, you can peel it off. Hope that helps for next time! Keep us posted.

      • Veronica says

        Little update on the situation!
        I used a parchment paper the size of the pan and it worked!! I waited 20 minutes before flipping it and you need to wait a bit it will flip naturally. The top was a bit soggy because of the paper so returned it in the oven for 3-4 min (cooked previously 40 min) and it was perfect. Next time will cook for 37 min.
        I used 1/4 teaspoon of pure almond since the taste was too stong for me last time and I added 1/2 teaspoon of pur vanilla.

        Voilà !

  3. Judie says

    Wow this cake is absolutely delicious! I had NO leftovers as the family devoured it! The cake is light and airy, the topping is perfect combo of tart and sweet. This cake is the perfect August cake! Great use of plums that are in season. Now off to bake another one! :0)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, YAY! We’re so happy you and your family loved it. Thank you for the wonderful review, Judie! xo

  4. Barbara says

    Absolutely delicious. I made it for the first time today using plums and my family loved it. Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Barbara! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  5. Ashley says

    Made exactly as written and it was soo delicious with a little vanilla oatmilk ice cream on the side. I doubled the recipe to make 2 with no trouble. Only issue was that they did not want to come out of the pie plate very easily. I’ll be extra liberal with greasing the dish next time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Ashley! We haven’t tested lining it with parchment paper, but wonder if that could help? Even just a layer at the bottom. Hope that helps!

  6. Danlei says

    Plums are my favorite fruit so I’m looking forward to trying to make this! How would you suggest substitutions if you aren’t gluten free? I don’t have the GF ingredients on hand readily but I do have AP flour and almond flour!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Danlei, We’d recommend almond flour + all purpose flour for the best result. Probably about 2/3 cup all purpose flour in place of the potato starch + brown rice flour. Let us know how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, possibly a lesser amount of cassava flour, but we haven’t tested it that way. Let us know if you do some experimenting! xo

  7. The Vegan Goddess says

    I made this tonight! Oh my, so much goodness!

    I was surprised that some bites tasted somewhat tart and not too sweet. It was almost as if lemon juice had been added but wasn’t. Other bites were sweeter but not too sweet.

    The plums that I have are small ones so it looked a little different than your pics but it turned out delicious.

    I used refined coconut oil instead of vegan butter and it turned out fine. Otherwise, I followed the recipe to the tee.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Fruit can add so many different flavors to dessert! Thank you so much for the lovely review. xo

  8. Donna C. says

    I absolutely LOVE this recipe!! It was so easy to make, and came out perfect. Your recipes always deliver. I am never disappointed, and I truly cannot say that about other recipe sites. There are so many misses out there. But yours are ALWAYS a direct hit.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re SO happy you have success with our recipes, Donna! Thank you for your kind words and lovely review! xo

  9. Dani says

    Can sorghum flour be used in place of almond flour at a 1 to 1 ratio? This looks AMAZING but I’m allergic to nuts.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dani, sorghum flour is more absorbent and also tends to yield more crumbly/less structured baked goods. If you want to experiment with it, we’d suggest starting with half the amount and working your way up until the batter resembles the photos.

  10. Ruby says

    I would love to try this recipe! It looks so delicious and easy to make :) Do you think it would work with pineapples as fruit topping as well?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ruby, possibly! It might add too much moisture, but we would have to test it to know for sure. Let us know if you try it out!

  11. Anna K says

    Made this as written and use pluots for the fruit, it was delicious! I can’t wait to make this again and experiment with other fruit toppings.

  12. Dav says

    It was very tasty and made me super full for the whole morning. I did all purpose flour I didn’t have applesauce, butter and nectarines. Instead I used coconut oil and can peaches. I also used less sugar. Thank you for the recipe !

  13. Anna says

    I was wondering, is it correct the equivalence from cups to grams of the almond flour? It is written 360 mL and I would like to know the amount in grams. Thank you! :)

  14. Anna says

    Trying it this week!! Do you think using coconut or olive oil instead of the vegan butter would alter the texture of the cake?

  15. Elisha says

    I made this for Father’s Day and everyone enjoyed it! I subbed a ripe banana instead of the sugar and we had it for breakfast. It’s a nice summer recipe!

  16. Emma says

    If you don’t need this to be gluten free (and don’t have Brown Rice Flour or Potato Starch but you do have Almond Flour) what would you suggest? AP Flour all the way or some Almond some AP? My daughter wants to make this today for her father for Father’s Day breakfast in the morning and hoping you can shed some light. Thank you!!! He Loves Plums and were running to the Farmers Market now.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Emma, Hope we’re not too late in replying! We’d recommend almond flour + all purpose flour for the best result. Probably about 2/3 cup all purpose flour in place of the potato starch + brown rice flour. Let us know how it goes!

  17. Stacey says

    This looks amazing! Can you suggest an alternative to the cane sugar?

    Also, would nectarines work well as a substitute, or would you consider them too sweet as you said peaches would be?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stacey, cane sugar is pretty key in this one! Coconut sugar would be the next best option, but we can’t guarantee the texture will hold up and note the color will be darker. We think nectarines would work!

  18. Joanne says

    Hi!

    I love your recipes and this looks delicious. Would coconut butter be an appropriate substitute for vegan butter or are the weights too different?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Joanne, do you mean coconut oil? We don’t think coconut butter would work, but possibly coconut oil if you don’t mind a slight coconut flavor. It would be the same amount in grams. We haven’t tested it though, so can’t guarantee the texture will be the same. Let us know if you try it!

  19. Katarina says

    This looks amazing! I know the whole point of this is an *almond* cake, but I’m allergic to nuts! :( Do you have any recommendations for substitutes for almond flour (in this recipe or just in general)? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Katarina, we find almond flour is pretty key in vegan gluten-free cakes for a good crumb texture. If you can have all-purpose flour or can tolerate eggs, using recipes with those ingredients would be your best bets. If using all-purpose flour in a recipe that calls for almond flour, keep in mind it’s more absorbent so you won’t need as much of it. If vegan + gluten-free, that’s more tricky, but experimenting with a mix of cassava flour, coconut flour (if you can have coconut), and arrowroot starch would probably be your best bet. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deborah, perhaps a gluten-free flour blend or oat flour? We can’t guarantee it will turn out the same though!

  20. K says

    Just making sure that it’s really 1/4 cup softened butter? The video looks like 1 stick, but maybe it’s a small stick? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, 1/4 cup is correct. In the video we used Miyoko’s, which is a little different in size/shape than most sticks of butter. Enjoy!

  21. Leslie Sparkman says

    Do you think you could make this cake with Gluten free flour or with a Paleo Flour that already has the almond flour, potato starch etc?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Leslie, it’s hard to say without knowing the ratio of the flours in that blend. If it’s pretty heavy on almond flour, it might work! If not, perhaps half almond flour and half that blend? You’ll likely need to play around with it until the batter resembles the photos/video. Let us know if you do some experimenting!