Blood Orange Cake is light and fluffy with a surprise crumb layer on the bottom, and a luscious layer of juicy blood oranges on top! Easy to make but it will completely wow anyone who lays eyes on it!
It’s blood orange season and I’m taking full advantage! I think I’ve gone through about 3 bags full already. No shame – they’re just SO good! I think my fingers are permanently stained hot pink, too, after making this cake a few times – but it was worth it. Now, let’s talk about how to make this cake. If an upside down cake seems intimidating to you – never fear, it’s actually SUPER simple.
How to Make an Upside Down Cake
First, we’ll let our fruit, in this case it’s blood oranges, rest in a bowl of sugar, to get the fruit juices going. Don’t skip this step! Then we’ll generously butter a cake pan, dot it with some more butter, and arrange our orange slices. Start with the center slice, then overlap in rings, moving outward.
Mix up the batter – it’s super simple, and super moist thanks to the addition of greek yogurt. When you add the orange juice, the batter may turn an odd gray color – but it’ll return to a normal color as you add the remaining ingredients.
Mix up the crumb topping (er, I guess it ends up on the bottom, but you get the point. Hehe.). Pour the batter over the oranges, and sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter. Then bake away!
This cake bakes for about an hour – a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs on it. We’ll let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, but not longer, because the fruit juices can start to harden and the cake can get stuck.
Flip the cake out of the pan, and prepare to fall in love with those gorgeous oranges! If you have a few oranges that stuck in the pan, don’t fret – it happened to me too. Just gently pick them up and press them back into place on the cake. No one will ever know. Let the cake cool for a few more minutes, then cut into it!
And that, folks, is how you’re going to make the most show-stopping cake in the room. Promise me you’ll treat yourself to a piece of this beauty – ok? Ok. Now, run out and get yourself some blood oranges.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
Light and fluffy with a surprise crumb layer on the bottom, and a luscious layer of juicy blood oranges on top! Easy to make but it will completely wow anyone who lays eyes on it!
- 4 blood oranges 3 for slices, the 4th for zest + juice
- 2/3 cup granulated or cane sugar
- 5 tbsp butter + additional for greasing the pan
For the Cake
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp cane or granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- zest of one blood orange
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup full fat greek yogurt or full fat sour cream
For the Crumb Layer
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp white whole wheat flour can sub AP flour
- 1/4 cup cane or granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- pinch of salt
Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 inch cake pan well. Cut the 5 tbsp butter into small chunks and scatter them in the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Slice your blood oranges: cut each end off, then stand the orange on end and slice the outer skin off. Cut into thin slices. Set on a large plate and pour the 2/3 cup of sugar over them. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Lay oranges in an even layer in the bottom of the pan and set aside.
Make the cake batter: Cream softened butter in a large mixing bowl until smooth and creamy. Then ad the sugar and mix until creamed together. Mix in one egg at a time. Add the orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla and mix until just combined.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, 1/3 of the mixture at a time, alternating with the greek yogurt. Scrape the bowl to make sure everything is combined. Pour batter over the oranges in the cake pan.
Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, stir together the flours, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until different size crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cake batter.
Bake: Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. When done, a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge to loosen and then invert the cake onto a cooling rack. Don't let it sit longer than this because the oranges can begin to stick in the bottom of the pan. If the cake seems to be sticking, gently but firmly tap on the bottom of the cake pan with the butt of a butter knife while the cake pan is flipped upside down on the cooling rack. If any stray oranges stuck to the pan, gently remove them and place them back on the cake.
Let cake cool for 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
Store: Store at room temperature for up to 4 days, tightly covered with foil, plastic wrap, or in a large tupperware container.
NOTE: You may notice that I left the orange peel on in the cake pictured here. I tried it again without the peels and liked that result better - the peels didn't lose their bitter taste in the oven so I recommend cutting them off.
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