We Have a Winner: Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

I am typing this post from sunny Sicily, where I am eating fresh blood oranges and drinking Etna Rosso.

Don't I wish.

The title calls this cake a "winner", because it is.

I bake a lot of cakes, ones that appeal to my tastes, simple cakes made w/ nuts, apples, and olive oil.

This is one of those cakes, and it's a winner, trust me.

The only reason January is tolerable (here in NJ), is the citrus coming from Florida (and Sicily?).

Blood Oranges are now grown in the US, thankfully, and are available RIGHT NOW, so go and get 'em.

They are a pain to peel, and stain like beets, but they are worth the trouble.

I pinned this recipe for a blood orange upside down cake, and it was the most perfect cake I have ever made.

Moist as can be on the inside, with a nice golden crust on the outside and those delicious caramelized sliced blood oranges on top. And what a smell! Beautiful!

I followed the recipe exactly, and to my surprise, the cake came out of the pan WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM!

A Christmas miracle (I know, Christmas is long gone).

I have made this cake twice so far, both times with amazing results. It also freezes beautifully.

If you can find some blood oranges (you only need 2), then I suggest you make this gorgeous cake right away, before spring comes, and you can't find them anymore.

It's the perfect cake.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake (adapted from Coffee & Crumpets)

1 1/2 cups/225g all purpose/plain flour
3/4 cup/110g cornmeal, organic
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup/200g cane sugar
1 1/2 sticks/170g butter, softened
1/4 cup/60ml neutral flavored olive oil (or veg or canola oil)
1/2 cup/120ml blood orange juice (I used 1/4 c of regular orange juice mixed w/ 1/4 c of blood orange juice)
3 eggs, large and organic
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla

"Upside Down Part"
4 tbsp butter
1/3 cup of dark brown sugar
2 blood oranges, (preferably organic), sliced thin, rind/skin left on

In a 350F preheated oven, melt the 4 tbsp of butter and the brown sugar in a 9" heavy round cake pan (I used a Nordicware cake tin). This should take 5 minutes.
Spread the butter sugar mixture with a silicone spatula to cover the bottom of the tin.

I buttered the sides of the pan as well, after removing the pan from the oven, because I wanted to guarantee NO STICKING.

Lay the thinly sliced oranges on top of this mixture in the pan, it's ok to overlap them, because they do shrink after baking. 2 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 in the juice and oil last and mix together.
Add the wet to the dry and mix to form a nice batter.

Pour into the pan over the orange slices in the butter/sugar mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Let rest only 5 minutes in the pan (you may need to run a knife around the edges, but I did not).

Invert onto a cooling rack and tap lightly to release.

My cake came out of the pan like a dream.

Let fully cool before slicing (you want the top to harden a bit).

One of the best cakes I have made in a long time (until next week, you know I will post something else yummy!).



Ciao Chow Linda said…
Darn you Stacey. Just when I decide to stay off cakes for a while you go and post this beauty. How am I going to resist baking this? I'm not.
Penny said…
I love blood oranges. Added to frosting they make it the prettiest of pinks. Your cake looks delicious.
I can't come here, I want this cake but I don't have the beautiful genetics that you have, I', still on lockdown...Do you know how lucky you are!! xo
Anonymous said…
Do blood oranges taste different than regular oranges? I've never seen them in the store here so I'm wondering if this cake could work with regular oranges or clementines. Maybe ruby grapefruit?
Anonymous said…
Sent this post to my mom. She's making her big blow out Sunday special soon - German style thyme herbed pork roast & gravy, mashed taters, sauerkraut, peas & carrots. Guess what I'm bringing for dessert? Do you a springform pan would work, Ms. Snacks?
Stacey Snacks said…
No springform pans for upside down cakes. Get a nordicware 9" traditional cake pan. U need one.
Stacey Snacks said…
Anonymous #1. Yes, Blood oranges do taste different than regular oranges. I would not use grapefruit here. That would be a grapefruit upside down cake different animal. Trader Joe's has Sunkist blood oranges for very cheap price right now
Cindy said…
I assume you add the oil with the rest of the wet ingredients?
Stacey Snacks said…
you would assume right! I will revise the recipe.

Anonymous said…
Hi Stacey, yikes in the middle of making this cake, where it says add salt, but no salt is noted in ingredients. I called my friend who owns Sag Harbor Baking Co., (a must stop when you take your next Hamptons vacation) and she suggested 1/2 tsp. how much did you use? Thanks!
Lisa from Sag Harbor
Stacey Snacks said…
Lisa. Sorry about that. A pinch of salt is fine. It wouldn't miss it. I always put a link to the original recipe in the post too. I always use a pinch of salt when baking a cake, don't know if its really necessary.
Hope u enjoy the cake as much as we did!

Foodiewife said…
Genetics, Schmenetics. I'd eat this without any guilt. I didn't see blood oranges on my Friday TJ's visit. I'm scouting...
Wow... this is amazing, it looks so good. I like it very much. Chinese New Year is coming soon, I am thinking to make this. And I will have heaps of Chinese oranges, not sure can do this with it. :)
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yung@foodyoo.com said…
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Robbie said…
Best cake I have ever made!!!!

I love you!
Anonymous said…
Loved this cake, the texture of the brown sugar and cornmeal are so darn good! We brought it to a dinner party, along with 1/2 pound chocolate chip cookies and I was the star! Just wait until I bring traveling shrimp! Thanks Stacey!
Lisa from Sag Harbor
Anonymous said…
Ms. Snacks - the cake released PERFECTLY, cooked just right, neither over or under browned, it rose PERFECTLY, and is beautiful - just like yours. I love that it is both a homemade looking cake & a sophisticated looking cake - with that pretty top paving of candied blood orange slices. Bringing it to my mom's house soon - can't wait to know how it tastes. Smelled WONDERFUL baking.
Anonymous said…
Inspired by the citrus cake's rave reviews, my husband just made this one and it looks beautiful!
Thanks, Stacey and comments, esp ones about salt and not using spring-form.
Dennee and Ubaldo LA
Unknown said…
Wont the pith and rind be bitter? Or does the magic of sugar make it better?