Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-5

Hello my lovelies! How are you all doing? I’m not back quite yet but I did want to share a recipe or two before their season ends. The one problem with trying to write a seasonal blog is that you can’t really take time off! You enjoy the seasonal fruits and vegetables, and cook and bake with them, but unfortunately you can’t sit on your posts because then the season is done.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-2

I made the Blood Orange Upside Down Cake for my Super Bowl dessert and that was at the beginning of the month. The blood oranges are in season right now and in plentiful supply at the moment. I thought I’d better share my recipes before they’re all gone!

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-3

This cake is a cross between an upside down cake and a polenta cake. I was also trying to make it an olive oil cake but my olive oil is pretty strong so I opted for part butter and part avocado oil (which is very neutral tasting). I didn’t want the oil to overwhelm the subtle orange notes of the cake.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-1

This cake is quite wonderful, if I do say so myself. It’s moist, with just a little texture from the corn meal and the beautiful blood oranges on top are gorgeously candied and sweet. It didn’t last very long at home. 

I do hope you try it while the blood oranges are available. Not only is it a beautiful cake, thanks to the vibrant oranges, but it is incredibly delicious too.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-3

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Serving size: 10

Calories: 477

Fat: 26g

Caramelised and candied blood oranges top this moist upside down cake.
  • 1½ cups/225g all purpose/plain flour
  • ¾ cup/110g cornmeal, organic
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup/200g cane sugar
  • 1½ sticks/170g butter, softened
  • ¼ cup/60ml oil, neutral flavour
  • ½ cup/120ml blood orange juice
  • 3 eggs, large and organic
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • "Upside Down"
  • 1 or 2 blood oranges, scrubbed and dried, sliced thinly with peel
  • ⅓ cup/70g brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
  2. In a 10" round cake tin preferably, place the butter and sugar.
  3. Place in the oven to allow the butter to melt, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and arrange the sliced oranges into the melted butter and sugar.
  5. The orange slices will shrink so you can slightly overlap them to get better coverage on top of the cake. I only used one orange so mine are spaced out quite a bit.
  6. Keep aside and make the cake batter.
  7. Mix the flour, corn meal, salt and baking powder together in a bowl and keep aside.
  8. In a mixer bowl or with a hand mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  9. Add the orange zest and vanilla.
  10. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  11. Add half the flour mixture and mix gently.
  12. Add the blood orange juice.
  13. Add the remaining flour and mix until well incorporated.
  14. Spread the batter into the cake pan, carefully.
  15. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean and the cake is golden and puffy.
  16. Check the cake at 45 minutes and leave a bit longer if still wet in the centre.
  17. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  18. Run a knife around the sides of the cake if necessary.
  19. Unmould the cake while still warm onto a cake plate and allow to cool completely.
  20. Serve as is, or with a dollop of sweetened cream.
Make sure to cut the orange slices quite thinly without tearing the insides. The thin slices candy nicely and become soft and sweet and accompany the cake perfectly.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake-6

So, for all the big plans I had for my time off, I have done nothing. I wanted to build up post reserves, and experiment with new recipes and techniques; I wanted to learn more about food photography and practice more with my camera, and so on. In the two weeks I’ve been away, I have done nothing but shuttle children back and forth from school and various activities, and cook dinner. How can someone be so insanely busy but accomplish absolutely nothing?

I’ve also been struggling to visit everyone’s sites. I see your emails and I read them but can’t get over to you to comment. It seems like I spend my entire time in my car with just my iPhone, and with my stubby fingers, commenting on a phone is a challenge. Makes me wonder how I manage a blog at all!

So, my dear friends, I haven’t forgotten you, I do read the emails that come in but I may not be able to get over to you for every post. I hope you are well, and judging by the lovely emails that grace my inbox, you’re all cooking and baking up a delicious storm.

I have one other blood orange recipe to share and then we’ll move on from that to something else. I found this very cool seasonal food chart on this site; shows all the fruit and vegetables in season now in the Northern Hemi. 


Have a great weekend, everyone! 

    • Thanks Abeer! yes, for aeons I had no clue about seasonality! Then I started paying attention to it and it made sense 🙂

  1. Oh Nazneen…..that is a stunning cake! I love blood oranges and maybe I love them because I know how limited they are and how little time I have to spend with them! The colors are always so amazing. I love that this cake is made with cornmeal. It looks so moist and those sweet orange tones sound like heaven! And I’m sorry your time off was so busy. I know that feeling. My best laid plans for a day off from work are often thwarted! But so glad you had time to share this wonderful post!
    Anne@FromMySweetHeart recently posted..Food Blogger Cookbook SwapMy Profile

    • Thank you Anne! I think thats the same reason why I love them! We have to scramble to get them while they’re around and think about making fun things with them. The cake trend really well and was very moist. Thanks for your lovely comment!

    • Thank you Karen! This upside down cake turned out really nice and was moist too. The oranges were wonderful , all candied and sweet. Thank you for your comment!

    • You are so sweet Mireya! I appreciate your encouragement and wonderful words, thank you!

  2. Hi Nazneen, what a lovely looking cake – I see you got lucky with the blood oranges too. I bought a load once and they were actually just “orange” inside, lol. I didn’t realise that the blemishing on the skin corresponds to the flesh colour inside!… I think, at least!
    Charles recently posted..Typically Swedish: SurströmmingMy Profile

    • Oh Charles, your comments always illicit a giggle! So funny. I’ve had some of those normal oranges too, but I don’t think there’s a way to tell the colour inside.I just got lucky!

    • Thank you! Yes, the cornmeal added a nice mouth feel! And there were some crispy bits that I enjoyed 🙂

  3. Welcome back Nazeen,
    This is a very lovely cake. Although I cannot get to eat bloog oranges 🙁 I hate it since I was a little kid. I have no idea why!!! may be because of its name. Anyway lovely recipe and mouth watering pictures as usual. I like the chart too.
    Amira recently posted..Chicken Shawarma FattaMy Profile

    • BTW: I have no idea why your name is always Nazeen to me !!! may be because I have a dear sister she is called Niveen 🙂 sorry about that but you are really close to my heart like my sis.
      Amira recently posted..Chicken Shawarma FattaMy Profile

    • Thank you Amira! Blood oranges taste no different from the others! And they have a lovely colour inside. I love citrus fruit, all kinds so as soon as I see them, I’m hoarding them 🙂

  4. I am finally on a real computer and not my mobile and let me tell you this cake is just gorgeous. I love the texture and I can tell if is super moist and with those candied blood red oranges on top I know it is delicious. I also completely understand the whole commuting thing as I feel like I spend hours waiting for the bus, waiting on the train or traveling in a cramped trolly to get to my destination. I am so pinning this one! Take care, BAM
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted..Hong Zao Bread and TeaVivre GiveawayMy Profile

    • If I start eating cake while working, thats the end of it! I’m ready for a nap then!!

  5. These look so delicious! The vibrant color has made me fall in love with it …. Looking forward to bake this soon..
    Well, I usually plan a lot of things which I think is possible and end up doing just few.. and finally cannot really figure out how the time flew so quickly!
    Deepti recently posted..Eggless garlic rollsMy Profile

  6. I’ve always had a soft spot for upside down cakes. It was the first one I ever baked. I used a boxed mix and it just can’t be compared to this cake that you’re prepared, Nazneen. Your use of blood oranges made such a beautiful cake and what a nice change from the standard pineapple slices.
    I’m surprised to see this post, Nazneen. You’re on a break! I am glad to see it, though. As you know, I, too, am struggling, trying to balance blogging with everything else. As much as I enjoy blogging, it really is taking up an inordinate amount of my time. I think John, Kitchen Riffs, has the right idea. I need to set up a schedule and stick to it. Well, that’s my new plan. 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your time off. I’ll be waiting here for you.
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Mom’s Tuna Noodle CasseroleMy Profile

    • Thanks John! Yeah, I can’t stay away! I think it’s hearing from all you guys that I miss the most! Even though I chat with many of you, it’s nice to hear from everyone. But, blogging is hard work!

    • Thank you Taruna! Yes, avocado oil is wonderful, very healthy and you can sue high heat. Much better than canola or vegetable oil. Hope you can find it.

  7. Love the striking look of this gorgeous cake with the blood orange. And I love cakes with oil in it – so moist and usually keeps so well. The cornmeal is a great touch, too. It really is amazing how fast the days fly by and how busy we are though it sometimes feels like we’re not sure what we did. It’s a million little things – such it life, I guess. : )
    Monica recently posted..Leftover oatmeal muffinsMy Profile

  8. Managing time can be tough! I have more time than most, but I have problems with it, too. The only way to get stuff done is just to schedule it. And sometimes do it in bits and pieces. It goes slower and isn’t as satisfying, but eventually things to get done. Hard to do, though, I know so well! Anyway, this cake is gorgeous! I love it! Thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Braised Celery with Tomato and ParmesanMy Profile

    • I always thought of myself as organised but lately, I’m really wondering if that’s true! Time just slips through my fingers and I’m so tired at the end of the day, I fall asleep on the sofa watching telly. Sad. Thanks John! I will have to follow your tips!

  9. Nazneen – how wonderful to receive a “bonus” post from you! I think this cake is such a great combinations of flavors and textures! I have never tried avocado oil – do you generally use it in pace of canola oil? Is it healthier?
    David recently posted..Noodling AroundMy Profile

    • Thanks David! Feels good to be back even if it’s for a few. I have replaced canola with avocado totally. Once I started going GMO free, I couldn’t use canola. Even organic canola is a bit dicey purely because of how it was created and from what. Avocado oil has higher omega 3 fats which are better for me as someone who struggles from inflammation. If I need to deep fry, I try and find a GMO free sunflower as it’s less expensive than avocado. But avocado oil is def healthy.

  10. We are in.the.same.boat. I absolutely cannot type on the phone – if nothing else, the auto correct drives me nuts. In fact, did you know my blog does not even operate well on the mobile? It is a bug no one seems to be able to fix. So I can’t even visit my own blog. I cooked for 11 families yesterday, and 4 in the last, and did not click a single picture, even when the party was on. It’s just one of those things I simply am not develop a habit of. I vanish even when I make staunch resolution NOT to do it. Sigh!! I so hear ya girlfriend!

    Rant over. Now I need that bloody great piece of cake. Now if only I could bake like you…and btw you could give photography lessons. You don’t need them.
    Minnie@thelady8home recently posted..Mushroom and grape tomato bruschettaMy Profile

  11. ‘Tis the season for blood oranges, and this cake looks utterly tempting. I love this fruit and I simply am wild about polenta. I’m going to try this. Thanks!

  12. You’re back! (Almost) And with a lovely cake too. I know what you mean about running around all day then feeling like you’ve achieved nothing! I often sit in the evenings wondering how the day disappeared with me feeling like all I did was take Alfie to school, hang out some washing, clean the kitchen, do food shopping, pay some bills, do the after-school activities then supervise homework, cook dinner etc, etc and that’s the day gone. And then someone will ask me, ‘So what did you do all day?’ and if I tell them it sounds like such a lame list of things. I often wonder if it makes me sound lazy but perhaps that’s just because we’ve devalued all that stay-at-home mum’s do. Enjoy the rest of your break and know you’re not alone out there! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..The Beaches Market, WarriewoodMy Profile

    • Oh Charlie! You just described my days!! I am so tired at the end of the day that I fall asleep on the sofa watching TV! Oh well. I guess that’s our life 🙂

  13. Wow, she is a stunner daaaaaahling. I attempted to make a pie today, a key lime pie to go with my last post. Epic fail. Makes me appreciate the beauty of this one even more.
    *kisses* H

    • Hi H! How are you my dear? Enjoying Florida? I tried a key lime many years ago for one of my anniversaries, omg, it was awful, so sour that mu hubby and I couldn’t eat it but we had a good laugh! I haven’t trued one since! Have another go, you’ll make it work 🙂

  14. This is gorgeous Nazneen, mA! I just bought some cornmeal yesterday because I was planning on making a strawberry and corneal cake; this looks like a wonderful way to use some of the rest up! I’ve never eaten blood oranges but I’ve been tempted to; the color is just gorgeous!

    • Thank you, Henna! Blood oranges actually don’t taste very much different to regular oranges, but its their colour thats amazing subhanAllah. In fact, some can be down right tart! But I love them regardless, they make the best coloured desserts without the need for food colouring! Are you going to post your cake?

    • Hi Lea Ann! They had a good supply of blood oranges at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Sprouts. Hopefully, you can get your hands on some. The Trader Joe price was really excellent. I agree, they are gorgeous.

  15. This cake looks so delicious, but I can’t remember the last time I saw blood oranges! As a child we all vied with each other to buy them on the way home from school, not sure when they took over from a Mars bar! I completely understand about iphone and commenting, I never do it on my phone. Time does just go, especially with lifts and shopping and just being a Mum. May be you need a little more time, but it’s lovely to see you back even if only briefly. GG
    Glamorous Glutton recently posted..Chilli Ginger Sticky Chicken WingsMy Profile

    • Wow, from Mars bars to blood oranges? I don’t know if I’d make that switch even now! I’m a sucker for Mars bars 🙂 Don’t you get any blood oranges from Italy? We get ours from California and so quite abundant here. I was reading a blog the other day where they mentioned blood orates from Italy that go to France and Germany. Thought England might get some too. I’m taking it easy, and not hurrying to post. I have some other projects I’m woking on too so they might take up some of my time. I’ll be seeing you though over on GG. xx

  16. Looks superb Nazneen. I’ve been doing a lot of long haul lately, so before I go away for five days I like to leave my wife a cake of some description. The two best have an oil based zebra cake and a sachertorte. They both keep moist until it’s gone. I made a lemon cake last week from Raymond Blanc and it was like eating polystyrene.

    I’ve decided in future to only make oil/ground almond based cakes. I love pan orange and polenta cake. Unfortunately it’s going to have to be normal oranges.
    David Crichton recently posted..Sunday Roast.My Profile

    • Hi David! Thank you! You know, more and more I am liking cakes with oil. They are so much moister than butter cakes. I like to mix the two so I can get that buttery flavour with the moistness of the oil. Your two cakes sound delish, I love sachertorte. Lucky wife 🙂 Are you flying this way anytime soon?

  17. Great to see a post from you Nazneen! That too such a glamorous cake! I actually love cornmeal in cakes so I am going to LOVE this cake. The photographs are beautiful!
    I can imagine your busy life and need for a breather. My already hectic life just got busier. It’s been crazy and I have not been keeping well. But I just can’t convince myself to take a break. Yet! So the result is lack of sleep, back pain and so on.
    Take care and will look forward to more from your side. Hugs!
    Sugar et al recently posted..No Bake Caramelised White Chocolate Cheesecake. And a Blog Birthday.My Profile

    • Thanks Sonali! I hope you are better. As a mum, you can’t really take a break, can you? Still have to cook and look after the young’uns. Take care of yourself!

  18. Beautiful cake! I have a bowl of blood oranges staring me in the face and was just now wondering what non-fussy, not too decadent dessert to make with them. Now I know!
    Needful Things recently posted..VentingMy Profile