Vegan Upside Down Plum & Blackberry Cake

Fresh seasonal plums and blackberries turns this brown sugar vegan cake into a autumnal treat.

So this week on the Great British Bake Off, it was dessert week. Crème brûlées, Spanish Windtorte and a stopstopper of 3-tired cheesecakes made this week a week of indulgence. However, as I am baking along with the signature challenges, I had to make a slight amendment. I really hate Crème brûlée, like really hate it. The eggy but creamy texture and burnt sugar on top is not my cup of tea. So, instead, I baked my idea of a tasty dessert. This upside-down fruit cake is flavoured with seasonal plums and blackberries, making this a true autumn bake. Also, this bake is vegan but you would never know.

This cake is my idea of comfort cake - warming and sweet sticky baked fruit resting on top of a fluffy and perfumy vanilla sponge. This sponge isn't one of those light-as-air cakes as it wouldn't be able to hold up the fruit. It is more like a Victoria sponge with an attitude. 

This cake, even though it is vegan, it still has a buttery taste. It may be because vanilla always reminds me of buttery cakes from my childhood. I love the cake layer of this dessert; a tender and moist cake with a delicate vanilla flavour as well as the flavours and juices from the plums and blackberries. The fruit juices mix together with the batter in the oven to produce this gorgeous syrupy glaze that soaks into the cake which add a lovely flavour.

Also, another plus about this cake is that you don't need to worry about buying eggs and making sure your butter is soft as all of the ingredients for this cakes are no doubt already into your pantry and fridge and don't require any real preparation. 

What turns this cake into a dessert is the gorgeous fruit layer. Fresh seasonal plums and blackberries as well as a sprinkle of raw demerara sugar creates a delicious fruity layer. I choose to use plums and blackberries as the sharpness of the plums and sweetness of the blackberries contrast so nicely together. Also, in the oven, the blackberries cook down and cover the plum slices in a wonderful purple syrup.

For me, this is definitely a family pudding; a cake you can put down in the middle of the table, freshly baked, and everyone just helping themselves. The comforting flavours and tastes of this cake is like the beginning of autumn and fall baking; using plums and blackberries as they are in abundance this time of year yet not reaching for the cinnamon and nutmeg quite just yet.   

I hope you enjoy this cake, I'm sure you won't be disappointed! It's the perfect dessert for any occasion.

If you do decide to make this cake or anything else on my blog, I would love to see it. Simply share your baking, using the tag #bakingtheday so I can see all of your gorgeous creations. 

qotd - what is your favourite autumn flavour?

Vegan Upside Down Plum & Blackberry Cake
Posted by Eve
Makes 1 cake

For the fruit layer

  • 2 plums, ripe
  • 100g fresh blackberries
  • 2 tbsp. demerara sugar
For the cake
  • 60ml soy milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground linseed or flaxseed
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 150g plain flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 80ml oil, I used rapeseed
  • 60ml soy milk
  • 60ml hot water
  • extra demerara sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc/ 160ºc fan/ gas mark 4 and grease and line a 20cm cake tin.
  2. First, prepare the fruit layer. Wash and slice up the plums and place them into the bottom of the cake tin. Put the blackberries on top. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Bake the fruit layer for 5 minutes in the oven, remove and set aside. 
  3. Now, make the cake batter. In a cup, combined the first 60ml of soy milk, linseed or flaxseed and vinegar and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to gel.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. In a spare bowl, mix together the sugar, vanilla, oil, the second 60ml of soy milk and the soy and linseed/flaxseed mixture. 
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until smooth. Add the hot water and stir in.
  6. Spoon the batter on top of the fruit in the prepared cake tin and level using a spoon. Bake the cake for 30 minutes until lightly golden.
  7. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a plate to serve.


note ~ for this recipe, I used regular sweetened soy milk as that is what I drink at home. You could use almond, cashew or cows milk instead but I cannot guarantee results.

Enjoy this cake warm for maximum taste. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


  1. We have a similar show here, the Great American Bake Off, and I want it to come back soon. I love all those cooking show competitions! This cake is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. You should definitely enter the American Bake Off, it would be so much fun, and thank you!x


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