Blood Orange Vanilla Upside Down Cake.
Who still needs their serving of fruit today?
I have the best way for you to get it. In one delicious slice, covered with cold vanilla whipped cream!
You might want to sit down for this one.
When I was super young, we lived in this house that had a crawl space in the garage. It was more than a crawl space – it was practically another room or attic-like storage spot that I could walk around in since I was so small. My mom had some pantry items in there, things that wouldn’t spoil, and my earliest memory of being in that space is when she told me that a six-pack of coke bottles were going to be used for a pineapple upside down cake.
What? I have zero idea why I remember THIS exact sentence, exactly where I was standing and how I can hear her voice saying it, but I don’t even think that’s a thing, is it? Were coke bottles used for upside down cake?
I should probably just ask her, but since I’m the epitome of laziness, propped on the couch, watching the first season of Gilmore Girls (I’m hooked) and my phone is about four feet away, I’m going to skip the call. I wonder if she meant to say “angel food cake” in that moment, because my secret old school brain semi-remembers that maybe THAT was a thing back in the day. Cooling and angel food cake over a coke bottle? Was that a thing?
Yes, I’ve officially lost my mind and that was my very first memory of hearing about an upside down cake in life.
I don’t even think I tasted one for ten plus years later. At least!
I don’t LOVE pineapple upside down cake but I don’t hate it either. I’m quite apathetic to it, in fact. I’d never choose it as dessert off a menu, but I also *might* take a few bites if it’s the only dessert available and I’m having extremely sweet teeth.
I’m pretty sure this is the exact definition of a FLAKE.
(Hold on, let me check.)
A blood orange cake though? SIGN ME UP. I’d do a few other flavors too, but I’m positive that no other flavor would look as gorgeously neon and pink as this blood orange does. We should start counting how many times I say that this year so we can put it in a burn book.
Since citrus doesn’t get as caramely as, say, pineapple, I also made a blood syrup to go over top.
I want to drink it alone. It’s delicious and when drizzled over whipped cream ON TOP of the cake?
No really. What else do you even need?!*
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 blood oranges thinly sliced and rind removed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean seeds scraped out
blood orange syrup
- 1/3 cup blood orange juice
- 1/3 cup sugar
vanilla whipped cream
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
- Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and once melted, whisk in the sugar and the cinnamon until it starts to bubble. Remove it from the heat and pour it in the bottom of the cake pan. Place the blood orange slices over top, covering the bottom of the pan completely.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
- To make the cake batter, place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the sugar and gradually increase the speed to high, beating until fluffy and scraping down the sides if necessary, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in each egg until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and scraped seeds from the vanilla bean.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter just comes together.
- Place dollops of the batter all over the oranges and gently spread evenly to cover. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and only let it cool for about 5 minute, just so the fruit settles and stops bubbling. After 5 minutes (no longer!), run a knife along the edges of the cake and place a cake plate over top, then gently flip the cake to remove it from the pan. Here, you can fix any fruit than has slid off or rearrange it if desired. Let the cake cool completely before topping it with the blood orange syrup and serving it with the whipped cream.
blood orange syrup
- Heat the juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Let cool completely to room temperature.
vanilla whipped cream
- Place the cold cream and vanilla in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and serve.
Did you make this recipe?
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35 Comments on “Blood Orange Vanilla Upside Down Cake.”
Love this color! Nice pics
The gorgeousness of blood oranges are unreal! Have never made upside down cake either but serving this to people would be ?
I love this!! I’ve never seen an upside down cake made with citrus and blood oranges are just stunning!!
Oh my, what gorgeousness! Oranges have never look more delicious than they do on this cake. I’m so going to have to try this one!
It looks pretty and delicious! The perfect combo x
Jessica — NinetyCo
Omg! This cake! The best part of winter is the blood oranges. And I absolutely love that you incorporated them into this cake. So gorgeous! Can’t wait to give this a try!
This is so pretty! I love blood oranges but normally just have one with lunch everyday, I can’t wait to bake this!
I’m totally with you on the pineapple upside-down cake thing. I never understood that one. But this! This looks amazing! And I’m thinking the citrus would prevent it from being so sickening sweet like the pineapple versions. ;)
This is beautiful! I’m not so much a fan of pineapple upside down cake either, but add blood oranges and I am SO in.
I like pineapple upside down cake, but it’s nowhere near as sexy as this blood orange dream. Also, not sure about the coke bottles, in reference to the angel food or upside down cake. Crazy the things we remember from childhood.
If this counts as a serving of fruit, I’m totally in!
This is absolutely gorgeous! Crushing on this
This looks wonderful! I love any excuse to make cake healthy
This is gorgeous, girl! I saw some Nordicware baking pans yesterday that would be perfect for this… the Nordicware Citrus Slice Loaf Pan!
OMG I just got hooked on Gilmore Girls, too!! I watched some episodes with my mom and it was the perfect bonding activity. And by some I mean that’s all we did for a week :)
I love that story! I definitely remember my mom making Angel Food cake and then cooling it upside down over a tall glass coke bottle!
This is SOOO pretty!!! The only upside down cake I’ve ever made is a Betty Crocker vanilla sprinkle cake I made once upon a time that I dropped on the ground upon taking it out of the oven. (I have this thing where I’m terrible about putting on oven mitts so I grabbed the pan with a dishtowel and realized about 2 seconds before being close enough to the counter that it wasn’t thick enough to prevent my hand from being burned…. youchhhhhh.) I think I like your upside down cakes more! :)
Delicious – looks amazing!
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This cake is a unique. I’m very curious to taste that deliciousness!
Swoon. This cake is gorgeous! Such a great way to use winter citrus!
Beautiful cake. Amazing flavors. Absolutely perfect!!
Looks lovely – I AM a fan of pineapple upside down cake (I make extra caramel with the fruit and serve it with caramel sauce). That’s the way my mom made it :) This variation is one I have to try!
And I’m old enough to remember homemade angel food cake from scratch cooling under a coke bottle (wine bottles work too, if you don’t drink much coke)
Thanks for the inspiration!
this WITH champagne…perfection! the color is my favorite.
i would love pineapple upside down cake if it weren’t for the gross maraschino cherries. just like raisins, the devil’s food ;)
What a lovely and delicious twist on the original!! Can’t wait to try this – will be on the look out for blood oranges!!
Beautiful! Citrus is such a great counterpoint to the January blahs.
I made this blood orange upside down cake on Monday night and by Tuesday afternoon it was gone! My family loved it. Thank you for a great recipe.
i’m so glad! thanks karen!
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Mine is very dense and I found the batter much stiffer than other upsidedown cakes I’ve made, maybe because many recipes call for sour cream or yogurt. I’ll give it another go in a few weeks. Also, unless the blood oranges are really miniscule, 2 is enough to line the bottom.
Made this tonight- delicious! Subbed a gluten-free flour mix + a scant tsp of xantham gum for the wheat flour and it turned out great! Same experience as Heather above, the batter was fairly stiff (which I originally attributed to the xantham gum but apparently not!) and I also only needed two blood oranges to line the bottom. Oh, I also just baked this in a cast iron skillet (that I melted the butter in) instead of transferring to a cake tin- less dishes FTW! It ended up as a fairly dense cake (kind of like I think of coffee cake) but absolutely delicious and I would make it again!
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Ok can’t wait to try to try this! My husband sent me a recipe similar to eccept made with semolina flour a few years ago so I made it for his birthday this year as a surprise. It was pretty, tasted grainy. My husband HATED it I could tell and only politely ate a few bites. I then ended up sadly eating small pieces a couple times a day becuse I loved the glaze and didn’t want to throw it away it away. Just poured more and more glaze on it 😂 I am so excited to try yours!
It includes the original blood or not ?