This Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake is moist, tender, and loaded with spiced citrus flavors - a perfect winter-time treat!
Blood oranges are in season right now. Their beautiful color and citrus flavour are exactly why I couldn't resist buying a few to make this cake! This Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake is super moist and packed with citrusy blood orange flavour. It's the perfect cake for citrus lovers.
This cake is slightly spiced with vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves which give it a slightly aromatic twist. Don't let the long list of ingredients for this cake recipe bring you down - most of these are probably already in your pantry right now. There are no special techniques required either.
This cake is a great afternoon treat and a perfect way to use up extra blood oranges when in season. It's a spectacular cake that makes a comforting winter treat.
- Ingredients and Variations
- How to Make Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake
- Tips for the Best Upside-Down Cake
- Common Cake Problems and Solutions
- Storing Leftover Blood Orange Cake
- Can I Use a Different Cake Tin?
- Can I Make this with Regular Oranges?
- Can This Cake be Made Ahead?
- Other Fruit Cake Recipes
- Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
Ingredients and Variations
The Dry Ingredients - You will need flour (cake flour or all-purpose flour), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Spices and Flavoring - This cake is slightly spiced with ground cinnamon and ground cloves - they're both optional by pair beautifully with blood orange flavors. You'll also need vanilla extract for flavoring.
Sugar - For this cake, I used a mixture of granulated and brown sugar as it brings out the perfect sweetness. You can use the full amount of either one or the other.
Butter - Use unsalted butter softened to room temperature. You will need some extra melted butter to brush the bottom and sides of the cake tin.
Eggs - You will need 2 medium-sized eggs that will provide texture and binding.
Blood Orange - You will need slices, juice, and zest of good quality blood oranges. Slices of blood orange will be used to cover the bottom of the cake pan (which will be the top of this upside-down cake). You will need blood orange juice and zest in the cake batter. In total, you will need 3-4 medium-sized blood oranges.
Buttermilk - The liquid part of the batter. If you do not have buttermilk, simply stir in ⅔ tablespoon on white vinegar into ⅔ cup of milk.
How to Make Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake
Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line the bottom of a cake pan with parchment paper. For this cake, I used a round 9 inch cake pan or springform pan.
Brush the parchment paper and the sides of the pan with melted butter using a pastry brush. Then, sprinkle the bottom of the pan (parchment paper) with brown sugar.
Thinly slice 1-2 blood oranges and arrange them in a circular motion at the bottom of the prepared pan (on top of the parchment paper with butter and sugar). You will need to cover the bottom with blood orange slices. This will become the top of your upside-down cake.
Make the Batter
Sift and mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves) in a medium bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. You can use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer on medium speed. The mixture should be soft and creamy. Scrape any ingredients from the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla extract and the eggs, one by one, and mix well after each addition (1-2 minutes). Then, add a few tablespoons of juice and fresh orange zest. The batter may curdle slightly, this is fine.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix at this point.
Pour batter in the prepared cake tin, over the blood orange slices. Bake in the center of the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Please note that baking time highly depends on oven type/model and the size of your baking pan.
Cool Down & Invert
Once the cake is baked, let it cool in the cake tin for around 5 minutes. Run a sharp knife (or palette knife) along the edge of the pan. Carefully, place a large serving plate over the top of the cake pan and invert the cake tin upside down to bring out the cake.
Let it cool for 20-30 minutes, then dust with some powdered sugar, slice, and serve.
Tips for the Best Upside-Down Cake
Weigh your ingredients using digital kitchen scales - this ensures accuracy and the perfect ingredient ratio for the right cake consistency.
Use room temperature ingredients (especially butter, flour, and eggs).
Cream the butter and sugar well until the mixture is creamy. Mix well after each egg addition. This ensure the perfect spongy texture.
Do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients, otherwise your cake will be dense and hard.
Add the dry ingredients gradually in two additions to avoid any clumping.
Common Cake Problems and Solutions
Cake is Too Dense - Use the right amount of flour (I suggest weighing the flour using digital kitchen scales) and do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients.
Sunken Cake - Cake is undercooked. This blood orange cake requires 40-50 minutes of baking time at 175°C (350F). Make sure to check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. If the cake batter sticks to the skewer, it needs more baking time.
Cake Not Rising - Use the right amounts of baking powder. Make sure you are not using old, stale, or improperly stored baking powder. Try to bake the cake as soon you mix the dry ingredients into the batter, and do not leave it to stand for too long before baking.
Storing Leftover Blood Orange Cake
Store leftover (cooled) cake in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days. Make sure to completely seal the cake to prevent it from drying out.
Can I Use a Different Cake Tin?
Yes. Feel free to use a square pan or loaf tin for this cake. You can also use a larger round springform pan and double the ingredient amounts for a larger cake. Baking times may vary depending on the size of your cake tin.
Can I Make this with Regular Oranges?
Yes! You can make this as an Orange Upside-Down Cake using regular oranges or navel oranges instead of blood oranges. Feel free to use what is in season and what suits your taste!
Can This Cake be Made Ahead?
Yes! This cake actually tastes better after a couple of days as the oranges become more juicy and moist. Make sure to store the cooled cake properly in an airtight container to prevent the sponge from drying out.
Other Fruit Cake Recipes
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter melted
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 medium-sized blood oranges sliced
- 250 g flour cake or AP (2 cups)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon optional
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves optional
- 113 g unsalted butter softened (½ cup)
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ cup) see notes
- 100 g brown sugar or cane sugar (½ cup) see notes
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp. blood orange juice
- zest of one blood orange
- 160 mL buttermilk (⅔ cup)
- 2 tsp. powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and line the bottom of a 9" cake pan with parchment paper.
- Brush the surface of the parchment paper and sides of the cake pan with melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of cake pan (on brushed parchment paper).
- Arrange sliced blood orange in a circular motion on cake pan bottom.
- Sift and mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground cloves in a bowl and set aside.
- Place softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until creamy. Use a spatula to scrape any ingredients from the side of the bowl.
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition. Add blood orange juice and zest and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk in two additions and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter in cake pan over sliced oranges. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 5 minutes in the cake pan, then run a knife along the edge of the pan. Place a large serving plate on top of the cake pan and carefully invert it to bring out the cake in an upside down manner. Let cool for 20-30 minutes before serving.
- Dust with powdered sugar, as desired, slice, and serve.