California Prune Upside Down Cake with Toffee and Sesame | Bayou Saint Cake

Bronwen Wyatt –  of Bayou Saint Cake’s – California Prune Upside Down Cake with Toffee and Sesame has a deeply flavourful California Prune-toffee-sesame layer on top of a rich and moist brown butter cake. Use edible flowers and whipped cream to decorate for a decadent dessert! If you love upside down cake – or just dessert in general – this recipe is for you.

Makes: 8Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 50 miinutes


  • For the sesame-California Prune layer:
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 cups California Prunes, sliced longways in three
  • 2 Tablespoons good-quality vinegar, such as apple cider or rosé vinegar
  • For the cake:
  • 1 ½ sticks butter S
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon good-quality vinegar, such as apple cider or rosé vinegar


For the sesame-California Prune layer:

Line a 9” round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with baking spray.

Place all the ingredients with the exception of the sesame and California Prunes in a non-reactive pot. Warm over low heat, stirring the mixture gently with a heat-proof spatula, until the butter melts. Switch to a whisk, raise the heat to medium, and whisk the mixture until it becomes cohesive. Allow the caramel to simmer gently for about 1 minute.

Add the sesame seeds and stir to combine. Immediately pour into the bottom of the prepared pan, tilting the pan so that the caramel coats the pan evenly. The caramel will thicken rapidly as it cools, so you want to do this while it’s still warm.

Place your sliced California Prunes in a decorative pattern in the bottom of the pan, pressing them gently into the caramel layer. Allow to cool completely before proceeding to the next step.


For the cake:

Preheat the oven to 175°C.

In a medium non-reactive pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stirring the butter frequently, cook it gently until it begins to smell fragrant and nutty, and the butter begins to brown. Once the butter is brown, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool completely while assembling the rest of your ingredients.

Combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

Cream the cooled brown butter and the brown sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and mix just to combine, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add the zest, orange juice, olive oil, and vinegar, and mix just to combine. Add the dry ingredients in two additions, mixing just to combine.

Scrape the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan, leveling it so it covers the caramel portion completely in an even layer.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, rotating the pan once halfway through baking. When the cake is done, it should be an even deep golden brown, and the cake should spring back lightly when pressed in the center.

Allow the cake to cool for ten minutes (if you let it cool much longer, the caramel portion will stick to the bottom of the pan when unmolding). Using a knife, gently separate the edges of the cake from the pan.

Using potholders or a towel, flip your cake over onto your serving plate and remove the pan. If any of the California Prunes slices stick to the bottom, you can simply press them back into place on the surface of the cake. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes further before slicing.

Serve plain, slightly warmed, as a treat at breakfast, or dress it up with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream as a dessert.


Bronwen Wyatt

Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake in New Orleans, LA., creates magical Instagram-famed cakes with local and premium ingredients – and she’s a huge fan of prunes!