Recipe: Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake (Vegan)

Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake

First there were some plums perilously close to going mouldy in the fruit bowl.  They nearly became a crumble, then I started thinking about cake.  (That happens quite a lot).  So here’s what happened next.  Juicy, over-ripe plums arranged in a pretty pattern over a lusciously lemony polenta and almond cake.  Perfect with a cup of tea and a sit down on a Saturday afternoon, or just as good as a dinner party dessert with a scoop of ice-cream (dairy-free or not, whatever floats your boat).

I’ve made this a vegan recipe, but you can substitute in butter and eggs if you prefer.  One day I’ll try making one of each, and do a blindfolded taste test.  (Purely as an excuse to eat twice as much cake, you understand). 

Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake 2


Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake
Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
Servings: 1 cake
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
  • For the plum topping:
  • 4 plums, de-stoned and thinly sliced
  • 50 g dairy-free margarine
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • For the polenta cake:
  • 3 tbsp ground/milled chia or flax seeds mixed with 160ml water
  • 200 g dairy-free margarine
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 100 g polenta (instant)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 lemons - zest and juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3. Grease a 25cm (9 inch) cake tin.
  2. Place the 50g margarine and 50g brown sugar for the topping into the bottom of the cake tin, and place in the oven until melted and bubbling. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Mix together the chia or flax seeds and water in a small bowl or mug and set aside for a few minutes until 'gloopy'.
  4. Arrange the plum slices in the bottom of the tin, overlapping slightly.
  5. In a food mixer or large bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar for the cake, until pale and fluffy. Add the chia/flax seed mix and beat again. Finally, add the ground almonds, polenta, baking powder, and zest and juice of the lemons. Mix slowly until just combined.
  6. Pour the cake mix over the top of the plums, spread evenly, and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer or knife comes out clean.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes, then place a plate over the top of the tin, flip over and carefully turn out.

Polenta cake recipe based on this one by Lesley Walters, plum topping and vegan-isation are my own!


Vegan Plum & Polenta Upside-Down Cake

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