Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

The only good thing about January is blood oranges.

As I write this, it’s rainy and cold and crappy outside (such lack of light before and after work is the reason for only one photo in this post), but I’ve got a blood orange in the fridge that I’m thinking about.  Not only are they juicy and delicious, but they are about 1000x more beautiful than your average orange.  It looks like tie dye in a fruit.

This brings me to this cake.  Upside down cakes are so easy and versatile, you can basically use any fruit, lay it out and pour batter on top and bake and you have an impressive dessert.  This one doesn’t disappoint, and the almond meal gives it a delightful texture, slightly crumbly with a crisp outside.

So don’t let January get you down, go find some blood oranges and make the most of it.


  • 1 cup, plus 3 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium blood oranges, including 1/2 tsp grated zest from one
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut meal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch cake pan, pie pan or cast iron skillet.

Melt 3 tbsp butter over low heat and stir in brown sugar and lemon juice.  Stir over heat until sugar dissolves and pour into prepared pan.

To prepare oranges, cut away peel and pith, following the curve of the orange.  Slice peeled orange crosswise into wheels and arrange in a tight layer on top of the sugar mixture in the pan.

Stir orange zest, nut meals, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.  Beat butter and sugar together until combined, then add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Beat in sour cream and vanilla.  Fold in dry ingredients until just incorporated, careful not to overmix.

Pour batter on top of oranges.  Place the cake on a baking sheet (in case of any drippings) and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, slide a knife carefully around the edges, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool before serving.


Recipe adapted from NYT Food



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