Citrus Upside Down Cake

I was at the store last weekend and saw citruses of various shades and sizes filling the bins. There is my favorite Cara Cara Oranges, Grapefruits, Pomelos, Blood Oranges, and of course the more common Navel Oranges. My brain was baking up an image of a colorful cake with slices of these different types of citrus. I substituted the pineapples in my favorite upside down cake recipe with the oranges and it turned out beautiful!

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins


(A) Orange Slices and Caramel Sauce

  • 1 Grapefruit
  • 1 Navel Orange
  • 1 Blood Orange
  • 1 Cara Cara Orange
  • 1/4 cup sweet cream butter
  • 5/8 cup firmly pack brown sugar (original recipe called for 3/4 cup of brown sugar, I always cut the sugar down a little)
  • pinch of salt

(B) Cake

  • 1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sweet cream butter, at room temperature
  • 7/8 cup granulated sugar (original recipe called for 1 cup granulated sugar. Again, I have cut the sugar by 1/8 cup)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 Tbsp citrus zest


To make the orange and caramel sauce topping

  1. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. Use a fine grater to zest 1 tablespoon from the citruses. Reserve the citrus zest for the cake.
  3. Cut the top and bottom of each citrus and place them with a flat side on the cutting board. Use a sharp knife to remove the peel following the curve of the citrus. Remove as much white pith as possible. Slice the fruit crosswise into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Spread evenly across the bottom of the cake pan, filling up the space as much as possible.
  4. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  5. Add the brown sugar and stir until small bubbles appear, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove the sugar mixture from the heat and add the pinch of salt, stir well.
  7. Pour the caramel sauce over the citrus slices, spreading out as evenly as possible.

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg into a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until pale and fluffy.
  5. Gradually add the granulated sugar and beat for 2-3 minutes longer.
  6. Slowly add the egg mixture, beating after each addition.
  7. Stir in the citrus zest.
  8. Spoon half of the flour mixture into the butter mixture, stir, add half of the milk, and stir again.
  9. Add the remaining flour, stir, and add the remaining milk. Continue stirring, scraping down the bowl as needed, until the batter is completely smooth. Do not over-mix.
  10. Spoon the batter over the citruus and caramel sauce, spread evenly.
  11. Bake until the top of the cake is lightly golden and the center springs back when touched, about 50 minutes.
  12. Let the cakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then turn them out onto a platter and scrape the remaining juices over the top of the cakes.
  13. Let cool slightly and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serve warm.
Ready for tea!

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