Convenience and Taste can you have it all?

I have a love hate relationship with food contests. I love to enter them, they are a lot of fun and break me out of my comfort zone when it comes to food. However, I really don't like to use pre-made products and that is what most of the contests require as they are sponsored by a company. Which I totally understand because the money has to come from somewhere and its not like I never use convenience items myself. Its just I always have left over items because I get all these great ideas for contests and then make some and then I also have to bake for my blog so it gets to be hectic and I never end up finishing all of the products I buy. And I don't normally cook with them so that makes it even harder. So while doing my spring cleaning and getting rid of some stuff in my pantry, I was faced with 3 boxes of corn muffin mix and I knew throwing them out would be the wrong thing to do. So I let them sit there and I thought about what to do with them. They sat there for 2 long weeks, and finally it hit me what to make and boy am I glad I did. This cake was delicious and I had to get it out of the house quick before I ate it all myself. So you really can have it all with convenience and taste in one great dish. This might just be the start to some new baking ideas, but don't get your hopes up I still like doing things the old fashioned way!

Plum Cornbread Upside down Cake

Cake Layer
3 - 7.5 oz boxes of corn muffin mix
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
3 cups of buttermilk
2 tablespoons of vanilla bean paste

Plum Layer
2 lbs of frozen plums, drained and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine the corn muffin mix, flour and sugar, stir to combine. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla bean paste and stir until incorporated and set aside. In the bottom of 2 9 inch cakes pans and 3 mini cake pans (or you could just get rid of the rest of the batter :) ), place 1/2 of a stick in each of the 9 inch cake pans and divide the remaining butter evenly amongst the mini cake pans. Place all the cake pans in the oven to let the butter melt. Remove from the oven once the butter has melted and add in 1/4 of brown sugar to each of the 9 inch cake pans and divide the rest amongst the mini cake pans, stir so that the brown sugar and butter are incorporated. Layer the plum slices in a decorative patter and then cover with the cake batter. Bake the 9 inch cakes for 25 -30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Bake the Mini cakes for 15- 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 5 minutes and then invert and let them cool completely.

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