Blood Orange Upside Down Cake


Hello, hello!! It’s been sometime since I published a new recipe on my blog. I have been extremely busy enjoying family time with my sister & parents. The only silver lining of this pandemic for me is that due to online schooling and work, my sister and parents have been staying with us for a few months. I hadn’t seen my sister and her family for two years… so you all can imagine my joy and excitement on having them here with me. She lives in Denver so it’s not a small distance away from Philly. A full four hours plane ride away. But these past few months have been THE BEST! Hearing my 3 year old nephew call me “Leena Ammi” and playing with me are moments I will cherish forever. I’m already dreading their leaving at the end of this month. I have started to tear up at the thought but this is life. Sigh! Those of you who have family living close by, you are so lucky. Cherish and enjoy those moments. I pray that someday I can have my family nearby. But I should stop before we all are sobbing and missing our families. Let’s focus on this beautiful plate of sunshine on my table instead.

Citrus to me is nature’s gift during the gloomy and grey winter season. A burst of sunshine for us to have inside instead of waiting woefully for the actual sun to shine down upon us. The fact that we all need a lot of Vitamin C during these long winter months reaffirms that this nature’s citrus bounty is indeed a blessing. So let’s make the most of it by incorporating clementines, oranges, lemons, and grapefruits in our winter diet. Unlike other citrus fruits, here in the US, you get Blood Oranges only for two months. I love their dazzling color when I cut into them.. so magnificent. Make sure to taste the blood orange before using in your baking. Some might be slightly bitter while others are nice and sweet. Also, definitely try to peel and remove the rind as well as the white pith as much as you can to save your baked goods from becoming bitter. A vegetable peeler works very well to peel off all of the bitter parts.

This cake is so beautiful with its jewel-toned, crimson tinged, blood oranges drenched in their juice and caramelized sugar. Underneath it’s magnificent surface is a buttery, tender, citrus kissed cake infused with orange zest and vanilla. This is a very simple recipe but the results are amazing. If you can’t find blood oranges, then do not worry. You can make this cake with navel oranges too. This is the kind of cake that will take you from breakfast to afternoon teas and if you pair it with some marmalade, then that would be simply marvelous!

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

This is a winter cake that brings a bit of much needed sunshine to your table.

By Leena Ali


  • Butter – 3 tbsp + 12 tbsp, softened at room temperature
  • Brown sugar, 2/3 cup
  • Fresh lemon juice, 2 tsp
  • Fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup
  • 3 medium blood oranges
  • Eggs, 2 large + 1 egg white (room temperature)
  • Salt, 1/2 tsp
  • All purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp
  • Granulated sugar, 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
  • Orange essence, 1/2 tsp
  • Grated orange zest, 1/2 tbsp
  • Sour cream/yoghurt, 1/3 cup
  • Method:
  • – Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9inch cake pan.

  • – Peel all the oranges using a vegetable peeler if necessary to remove all the rind and pith. Cut crosswise and place the slices in a decorative pattern in the prepared pan. Make sure all the oranges are sweet and not bitter.

  • – In a skillet set on medium heat, melt 3 tbsp butter. Add in light brown sugar, lemon juice, orange juice and orange zest. Stir till sugar melts and cook until mixture is bubbling, for 4-5 minutes. Pour the mixture in the orange lined pan. Set aside.

    – In a bowl sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

    – In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (you can use a regular hand mixer as well) cream together granulated sugar and orange zest with 12 tbsp butter. Keep beating till the mixture becomes pale in color.

    – Add in eggs, one at a time, ending with egg white and beating after each addition.

    – Add in the vanilla and orange extracts.

    – Using a spatula, start adding in the flour mixture in three batches, folding and mixing well after each addition. Mixture will be thick.

    – Put blobs of the batter on the caramelized orange and spread with the spatula.

    – Bake at 350F for 45 – 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

    – Remove from oven and cool on the cooling rack for 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife all around to loosen the edges. Invert the cake on the serving plate and let it cool completely before serving.

    Enjoy with tea or coffee.

    With love,

    Leena 💕

    2 Comments Add yours

    1. mrfasko says:

      Awesome cake. Love the presentation.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Leena says:

        Thank you so much for the appreciation!


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