Upside Down Polenta Plum Pudding Recipe

This recipe is taken from our book, Honeybuns Gluten-free Baking, and is a great gluten free cake for using up any bumper seasonal fruit harvests.

Instead of plums you could use damsons or peaches – or any fruit with a bit of body. The great thing about red-skinned plums (we use Victoria plums) is that you benefit from the gorgeous colour contrast against the sunshine yellow of the polenta. The cake itself is not very sweet, but when it is turned upside down those lovely syrupy fruit juices seep into the sponge. Delicious served warm with homemade custard (you can find a recipe for this on page 147 of the book).

Upside down gluten free plum pudding

makes:?1 x 900 g/2 lb loaf cake

health: gluten free

cook: 45-50 minutes

store: best eaten on same day. Freezes well

compost: eggshells, plum trimmings, orange skins

100 g/3½ oz/scant ½ cup butter, melted, plus extra for brushing

2 eggs

185 g/6½ oz/1½ cups polenta

60 g/2¼ oz/2?3 cup ground almonds

1½ tsp gluten-free baking powder

¾ tsp guar gum

¾ tsp vanilla extract

185 g/6½ oz rice syrup

200 g/7 oz crème fraîche

2 tbsp orange juice


8 red plums, halved and pitted

4 tbsp light brown sugar

100 ml/3½ fl oz/1?3 cup orange juice

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Brush a 900 g/2 lb loaf tin with melted butter, line with a silicone loaf tin liner, then liberally butter the loaf liner.

First, make the topping. Put the plums, skin side up, in a baking tin. Mix the brown sugar and orange juice and pour over the plums. Roast in the oven for 15-17 minutes, until soft but still keeping their shape. Leave to cool in the tin.

Crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the polenta, almonds, baking powder, guar gum and vanilla extract. In another bowl, mix the melted butter with the rice syrup, crème fraîche and orange juice. Beat with an electric mixer at low speed until just combined. Don’t worry if it looks a bit curdled. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and beat at high speed until smooth and pale.

Take the plums out of the tin and put them in the loaf tin, skin side down.

Pour the syrup that remains in the baking tin into a measuring jug and pour 20 ml/4 tsp of the syrup over the plums in the loaf tin. Reserve the rest.

Spoon the cake mixture into the loaf tin and spread it gently. Bake for 30 minutes, then cover with a disc of baking parchment and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until springy to the touch; a flat cake skewer will come out clean when the cake is ready. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, loosen the sides with a knife, then place a serving plate upside down on top of the tin and turn over quickly. Remove the tin and peel off the baking parchment. Spoon the remaining syrup from cooking the plums over the cake while it is still warm.

Honeybuns gluten free baking book front cover

This recipe is taken from Honeybuns Gluten-Free Baking by Emma Goss-Custard, published by Pavilion. Recipe photography Cristian Barnett. For further information about this and other recipes from our book, do take a look at our Book FAQ’s.  

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