Make Faiza Hayani Bellili's caramelised plum upside-down cake

From the Hubb Community Kitchen's new charity cookbook comes Faiza Hayani Bellili's delicious recipe for caramelised plum upside-down cake

Faiza Hayani Bellili's caramelised plum upside-down cake

Serves 10

Preparation time 40 mins

Cooking time 1 hour

In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, a group of local women gathered together to cook fresh food for their families and neighbours. Over the chatter and aromas of the kitchen they found that cooking and eating together restored hope and normality, and provided a sense of home.

Word spread and more local women began to join in, embracing community and supporting their neighbours in their time of need. Soon there were women from different cultures all cooking, swapping recipes, talking and laughing. This was the beginning of the Hubb Community Kitchen, which finds its home in the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in West London.

This delicious recipe for caramelised plum upside-down cake comes from the community kitchen's charity cookbook: Together: Our Community Cookbook. The idea behind the cookbook is to spread the love ("hubb" means love in Arabic) and raise £250,000 for the Hubb Community Kitchen and its work within the community. 

"As soon as I heard about the Kitchen, I volunteered to help, cooking recipes from my homeland, Algeria." Says Bellili of her recipe feature in the Together cookbook. "This cake is one my Mum used to make. She always said plums are an unreliable fruit – they can be quite sour when raw. This brings out the best in them."

Want to discover more great recipes? Click here to order your copy of Together: Our Community Cookbook.


  • 2 tsp sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 100g unsalted butter, very soft
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 8 plums, halved and stoned
  • 40g dark brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 25g cornflour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease a 23cm round springform cake tin with the sunflower oil and place on a baking sheet.
  2. For the caramel, put 225g of the granulated sugar into a small, wide, heavy pan on a low heat. Without stirring, let the sugar dissolve completely. Once liquid, let it gently bubble for 15–20 minutes or until it is a deep golden colour. Add 10g of the butter, half the vanilla extract and the salt, gently swirling the pan to combine the butter as it melts. Once fully incorporated, immediately remove from the heat and pour the caramel into the prepared cake tin. Place the plum halves on top, cut-side down, nestled tightly together, and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the remaining butter together with the remaining granulated sugar and the brown sugar until pale and creamy: this will take 2–3 minutes using a handheld electric whisk; if you don't have one, use a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Once the eggs are well combined, add the remaining vanilla extract, the cornflour, ground almonds, flour and baking powder to the bowl and fold through with a metal spoon until just combined (taking care not to over-mix), then pour over the plums. Smooth over the top, then bake for 40–45 minutes until cooked through: a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
  4. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a serving plate. To do this, put the serving plate on top of the tin and flip over before releasing the sides of the tin and removing the base. Let the cake cool for a further 5 minutes before slicing.

From Together: Our Community Cookbook; photography by Jenny Zarins. Published by Ebury Press