Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Hi friends! Y’all know my kitchen is far from perfect and I love trying new recipes and learning new techniques, right? So, I feel safe sharing with you that I’ve never made an upside down cake. This is because most of my family are not pineapple fans. (Freaks! I love Pineapple! Mushrooms too, but that’s another story.) Pineapple seems to be the most popular kind of upside down cake, so it wasn’t something I thought to try. All that changed however when I got some gorgeous Blood Oranges from Melissa’s Produce. I knew I wanted to do something with them and a quick Google search revealed a recipe for individual Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes. Score! Time to try something new!

These cakes are full of orange flavor. They have blood orange zest, a slice of blood orange on top and a sweet and sticky blood orange syrup for garnish! I am on orange overload here!

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

To start, I zested two large oranges. This came out to almost two tablespoons worth of zest. When you make these, your amount may be different depending on the size of your oranges. That’s Ok! Just throw it all in the batter. It’s there for extra orange flavor.

After your oranges are zested, cut them in half and juice them. Save it all! You will need it for the syrup.

The batter goes together very easily and since it’s an upside down cake, you’re going to need to slice up two more oranges. That’s where the upside down part comes in! The orange slices (along with a teaspoon of brown sugar) line the bottom of each cavity of a 12 cup muffin tin.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

After the sugar and orange slice, the batter gets scooped on top. Slide it into the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. While the cakes are baking, make the blood orange syrup!

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

When the cakes are done, remove them from the oven. Wait just two or three minutes, then flip the cakes over on a cooling rack.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Here is where my imperfect kitchen kicks in! See how the cakes are puffed out over the edges of the muffin cups? Well, I flipped them over without cutting off their muffin tops. Do not do this! You want the cakes to have nice flat bottoms so they will sit nicely on a plate. I admit it! I was anxious to see if the orange slices looked cool and if the cake set up properly. They turned out great, except the bottoms. They are more like weeble-wobble Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes. Look at the extra edges of cake at the bottom. Not so pretty! They still tasted delicious, but they won’t win any beauty contests.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Once the cakes are flipped and released from the pan, pour a tablespoon of blood orange syrup over each one. Let the syrup soak in, then pour another tablespoon of syrup over them. YUM!

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes

These are perfect individual desserts topped with gorgeous blood orange slices and blood orange syrup!

  • Four Blood Oranges
  • 1 cup butter - at room temperature
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs - at room temperature
  • finely grated zest from two of the blood oranges
  • 12 teaspoons brown sugar - one teaspoon for each muffin tin cavity
  • 1/2 cup Blood Orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Zest two blood oranges. Place zest in a small bowl and set aside.

Juice the zested oranges and set juice aside

Carefully peel and slice remaining two blood oranges into 12 equal slices, each approx 1 cm thick)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy

Add eggs one at a time, beating for a full minute between each addition

Add orange zest and mix carefully.

The mixture may look a bit curdled, but that's ok

Sift baking powder in with flour, then slowly add to egg and sugar mixture until just combined

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon brown sugar in the bottom of each muffin cavity.

Lay one orange slice on top of the sugar, trimming to fit if necessary

Measure out batter equally among muffin tins. (I used an ice-cream scoop)

Bake for 25-30 minutes

While the cakes are in the oven, combine blood orange juice and 1/2 cup sugar in a small saucepan.

Simmer until the sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to thicken slightly.

When the cakes are done, allow them to sit on the counter for just two to three minutes.

Use an off-set spatula to gently loosen cakes.

Trim any excess cake that rose above the edges of the muffin tin so the cakes are flat.

Take a cooling rack and lay it upside down on the muffin tin.

Flip the muffins over and lift tin to release the cakes.

Cakes should slide out easily.

While cakes are still warm, spoon one tablespoon of syrup over each cake.

Allow the syrup to soak in, then spoon another tablespoon over the top.

Serve cakes warm or at room temperature

Keep any remaining syrup in the fridge and use to sweeten iced-tea or add to ginger ale!

Recipe adapted from Drizzle and Dip


Ok, I have to admit, I was really excited (even with the weeble-wobble bottoms) at how these came out! The blood oranges are so pretty and these would make a gorgeous dessert for a baby shower or tea party! I get the whole “upside down” thing now! It’s a lot easier than I thought it would be. So, don’t be afraid to try new things, friends. Next time I’m going to try a whole cake. I’m even going to do a traditional pineapple and pray someone will help me eat it.

Until next time! Live life deliciously! And remember to cut the bottoms… tops (?) off your Blood Orange Upside Down Cakes!

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