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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake


Make this beautiful Blood Orange Upside Down Cake in the winter months when blood oranges are in season to brighten up those cold, grey days.

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  • CAKE:
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose plain flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup neutral flavored olive oil (or veg or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure orange oil (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
  • 2 blood oranges, sliced thin, rind left on


Servings 8
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 60mins
Adapted from


Step 1

You can bake this cake either in a cast-iron skillet or in a 9" x 3" round cake pan.

In a 350°F preheated oven, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter and the brown sugar in a 9" heavy round cake pan (or cast iron skillet). This should take 5 minutes.

Spread the butter sugar mixture with a silicone spatula to cover the bottom of the tin. (I sprayed the side of the pan with Baker's Joy non-stick spray as insurance that the cake wouldn't stick.)

Lay the thinly sliced oranges on top of this mixture in the pan. Overlap them, because they do shrink after baking. (2-3 oranges should be enough.)

Set the cake pan aside while making the batter.

Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cornmeal and salt) in a large bowl.

In another bowl, beat the sugar with butter, vanilla, zest and eggs.

Add the juice and oil (and pure orange oil, if using) last and mix together.

Add the wet to the dry and mix to form a nice batter.

Pour the batter onto the pan over the orange slices in the butter/sugar mixture. Use an off-set spatula to evenly spread the batter.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Let the cake rest for only 5 minutes in the pan (you may need to run a knife around the edges).

Invert onto a cooling rack and tap lightly to release. (My cake released beautifully, but some cake stuck where I had not overlapped enough orange slices.)

Allow to cool (though I sliced into mine while just barely warm). This cake is tender and flavorful served warm or at room temperature.

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