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A photo of an Orange Upside down Cake with a piece being removed

Orange Upside Down Cake

A delicious and easy orange upside down cake featuring beautiful candied blood orange slices.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 350kcal



    For the Oranges:

    • 1 blood orange
    • 1 navel orange
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar

    For the Cake:

    • 4 tsps grated orange zest from about 2 large oranges
    • 1 cup strained fresh orange juice you can add the juice of a lemon if you'd like some more zing
    • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
    • 1/3 cup sour cream
    • 3 large eggs



      For the Oranges:

      • Cut both blood and navel oranges into slices.
      • In a medium saucepan, over medium heat add 1 cup of water and ¾ cup sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved in pan. Layer in the blood orange slices. Bring down to a simmer and cook for about 10-12 minutes.
      • Repeat this process for the navel orange slices.

      For the Cake:

      • Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Liberally butter a 9 inch cake pan.
      • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
      • Cream together the butter, sour cream, and orange zest.
      • Slowly add the sugar, mixing until the mixture is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions and scraping down the sides.
      • Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the orange juice to the creamed mixture, beating well on low speed after each addition.
      • Add of layer of alternating orange slices at the bottom of the pan.
      • Pour batter about half way up in the pan.
      • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 35 min.
      • Cool the cake layer in the pans for 10 min. Loosen the layers by running a knife between the cake and the edge of the pan. Invert onto a rack to cool.



      • I candied my oranges in two batches, one for the navel and one for the blood. This way the colors stayed as crisp as possible but this is an optional step it you want to wash less dishes and speed the process up.
      • This cake is the perfect mate for either a big dollop of whipped cream or a nice scoop of ice cream so temper it's citrusy zing.
      • Don't try to make a blood orange reduction, boiled orange juice just isn't appetizing...
      • If you really want to add something else special to the cake then you can mix some blood orange juice with simple syrup to make a glaze for each piece. I Loved they way this tasted but it took away from my beautiful colors on top.
      • If you end up making the individual cakes in cupcake tins then you can just dip each one in the glaze before serving and you end up with a nice two-tone effect.


      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3.5mg | Sodium: 190mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.5mg