a slice of prune upside down cake on a plaid plate

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

Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake’s Prune Upside Down Cake with Toffee and Sesame has a deeply flavorful 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 cake – or just dessert in general – this recipe is for you.

Bronwen Wyatt basting an cake topped with caramelized prunes

What is upside down cake?

An upside down cake is a baked with the toppings at the bottom of the pan (or skillet). Then, the batter is poured on top and the cake is baked.

This old-fashioned dessert has been around for centuries – dating back to when folks would have cooked baked goods baked goods over a fire. It makes perfect sense – adding the fruits to the bottom of the skillet results in a delicious caramelization and prevents the bottom of the cake from burning. The most popular cake in this genre is likely Pineapple Upside Down Cake, which rose to popularity in the early 20th century.

How to make Bronwen’s Prune Upside Down Cake

Bronwen prepares the sesame prune caramel mixture in a cast iron pan. Then, she pours a brown butter batter on top. After baking for 40-50 minutes, she allows it to cool. Finally, she decorates with frosting and edible flowers.

Bronwen Wyatt using fresh flowers to decorate a dessert

Want to learn how to decorate like Bronwen?

a woman sorting through a tray of edible flowers

Bronwen uses a piping bag (without decorating tips) to make her signature squiggles. She makes two small cuts at the tip of the piping bag, then fills is with frosting. After pushing the air out of the bag, she creates whimsical loops and curves (which she affectionately calls squiggles), and then tops the confection with beautiful edible flowers.

a slice of prune upside down cake on a plaid plate

Bronwen Wyatt’s Prune Upside Down Cake with Toffee and Sesame

Bronwen Wyatt
Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake's Prune Upside Down Cake with Toffee and Sesame has a deeply flavorful 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 cake – or just dessert in general – this recipe is for you.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chef Created, Holiday
Servings 8
Calories 483 kcal


For the sesame-prune layer:

  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 2 TBSP good-quality vinegar such as apple cider or rosé vinegar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds
  • 2 cups prunes sliced longways in three

For the cake:

  • 12 TBSP butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temp
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp good-quality vinegar such as apple cider or rosé vinegar
  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • ¼ tsp baking powder


For the sesame-prune layer:

  • Line a 9 inch (22cm) round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with baking spray.
  • Place all the ingredients with the exception of the sesame and prune 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 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 350F (180C).
  • 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 prune 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.



Serving Suggestion: Love Bronwen’s Bayou Saint Cake recipes? Be sure to try our Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns and Bronwen’s Spiced Prune Caramel Sauce. Both recipes are full of rich flavors enhanced by the natural sweetness of California Prunes!


Calories: 483kcalCarbohydrates: 90gProtein: 6gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 521mgPotassium: 438mgFiber: 4gSugar: 57gVitamin A: 577IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2mg
Keyword cake, caramel, prune cake, sesame seeds, upside down cake
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bronwen wyatt of bayou saint cake holding a beautifully decorated cake

Who is Bronwen Wyatt?

Bronwen Wyatt is the owner of Bayou Saint Cake. The New Orleans-based pastry chef bakes up whimsical creations locally sourced premium ingredients. Bronwen is inspired by seasonal produce, and changes her menu regularly to reflect what’s in season.

Fun Fact: Bronwen is a huge fan of California prunes and has created many recipes that feature them!

Love this cake? Try more of Bronwen’s recipes!

Almond layer Cake with Prune & Raspberry Butter and Tangy Whipped Cream by Bronwen Wyatt of Bayou Saint Cake for Cherry Bombe Media partnership

Almond Cake with Prune and Raspberry Butter

Bronwen Wyatt created this moist olive oil cake for our friends at Cherry Bombe. A delectable prune and raspberry filling is sandwiched between two layers of dense, delicious olive oil cake – and then topped with tangy whipped cream. What more could you ask for?

Chiffon Cake by Bayou Saint Cake topped with frosting and edible flower petals

Chocolate Walnut Chiffon Cake

Chef Bronwen Wyatt‘s Chocolate Walnut Chiffon Cake is layered with prunes and chicory custard and rounded out with cocoa swiss buttercream. The flavor and texture is akin to a tiramisu – soft layers that melt in the mouth.

drizzling spiced prune caramel sauce onto a bowl of ice cream

Spiced Prune Caramel Sauce

Introducing your next obsession: Bronwen Wyatt’s Spiced Prune Caramel Sauce. This caramel, redolent with warm spices and studded with chunks of chopped prunes, is amazing on vanilla ice cream or a simple Chocolate Mug Cake

Did you try this recipe? Maybe you’ve got a favorite recipe using California Prunes that you’d like to share with us? Snap a pic and share it on social using #caprunes.

Like what you see? Be sure to follow California Prunes on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more delicious recipes!