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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

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  • 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.


[cake adapted from my bourbon peach cake]

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