So, I guess I’m into upside-down cakes. I just love the buttery fruit ‘crust’ on the top, or is it the bottom? Either way, you can’t beat how easy they are to make. With blood oranges being the new ‘in’ citrus, and still in season, it’s the perfect delight for any dessert. Maybe you’ve seen a few Blood Orange Upside-Down cakes on the interwebs lately, but this version is easy to make and super delish. Give it a try for your Valentine this Sunday.
How to remove skin from citrus
You can take a look here for how to remove the skin and white pith from any citrus fruit. It can take a bit of practice, but it’s a good skill to have. The pith can be very bitter, so it’s best to remove it completely. So remove as much as you can, to reveal the gorgeous ruby skin within.
- it’s the white pith behind the zest that’s bitter
- always zest your citrus before cutting into it, much easier that way
- to make your house smell heavenly, add the peeled skins to some water and simmer on the stove, add a cinnamon stick. Free aroma-therapy!
Here are some other outstanding upside-down gateaux and desserts to try
Tips for making this yummy upside-down cake
- combining flour with cornstarch and whisking well. We pretty much create cake flour
- don’t forget to give the buttermilk a good shake, it can settle as it sits in the fridge
- have your ingredients at room temperature so they blend together better
- be sure each egg is blended into the batter before adding the second egg, just trust me on this
Ruby-red blood oranges make a delicious ‘topping’ for this upside-down cake. Use two loaf tins or a cast-iron pan to make one larger round cake. The decision is yours. Whatever you do, be sure to share with those you love.
- ¼ cup butter + more to grease sides of loaf tins
- ½ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is fine)
- 3 blood oranges, zested (save for cake), white pith trimmed, and thinly sliced*
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature and well shaken (sour cream or yogurt work too)
- Creme fraiche (or whipped cream) for serving
FOR THE TOPPING:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Prepare 2-9 x 5″ loaf tins by spreading some butter along the sides. Set aside.
- *With a Microplane grater, zest the blood oranges. With a sharp knife, slice off the root end and stem end, then remove the skin from the orange, following the curve. Try to save as much juice as you can, and add the juice to the butter-sugar mixture.
- In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, add the butter and melt until it becomes bubbly, foamy, and lightly browned (keep an eye on it!). Add the brown sugar and stir until melted and evenly distributed for about 2 minutes. Equally pour into the prepared loaf tins, then arrange the blood orange slices on top of the mixture in each pan, overlapping slightly. You may wind up not using all the orange slices, depending on their size.
FOR THE CAKE:
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the zest from oranges and set aside.
- With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the olive oil and sugar on high for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- With the mixer on medium speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add vanilla and mix well.
- Turn the mixer to low, alternate adding half the flour mixture with half the buttermilk, repeat. Work quickly (but gently) as to not over mix the batter (or it will be a tough cake). Scrape down the sides to check there isn’t any dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. The batter should be slightly thick.
- Equally pour the batter evenly over topping, spread with an offset spatula to the edges.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out with a couple of moist crumbs. Check around 25 minutes for doneness.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. Using hot-pads or towels to protect yourself from juices overflowing and the hot pan, invert the cakes onto a serving platter. Cool the cakes completely at room temperature before slicing and serving with a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream.
By using cornstarch with regular all-purpose flour, you essentially have created cake-flour.
Keywords: blood orange cake, citrus cake, citrus olive oil cake, upside down cake, mediterranean cakes, blood orange upside-down cake