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Blood orange upside down cake on a marble slab and with orange slices in the corner of the photo.

Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake

  • Author: pate giltner
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9 inch cake 1x
  • Category: cake
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american


This blood orange upside-down cake is the perfect treat to brighten dreary winter days. The tart sweetness of the blood oranges is the perfect complement to the almond cake base


Units Scale
  1. 4-5 blood oranges, thinly sliced
  2. 1/2 cup butter (8 tablespoons)
  3. 1 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour
  7. 1 tablespoon bourbon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  9. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Line a 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper and butter or oil the paper.
  3. Arrange the sliced oranges over the parchment, starting at the bottom and working your way up. I stared with the darkest slices and ended with the lightest. 
  4. Make the caramel by combining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water with 3/4 cup sugar. Stir to combine and then heat over medium-high heat until it turns amber. Do not stir the mixture while it is heating (about 10-15 minutes). Remove from heat, add the 1 tablespoon bourbon, and pour evenly over the blood orange slices.
  5. Make the cake batter by beating the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then beat in the vanilla and almond extract.
  6. Whisk together the flours and baking powder and then slowly beat it into the batter.
  7. Pour the batter over the blood orange slices and smooth the surface.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for 15-30 minutes before turning it out. 


  • Use a cake pan, not a springform pan. If you use a springform pan, the wonderful caramel will leak out all over your oven.
  • Line your pan with parchment paper and then butter or oil the parchment. Caramel is very sticky, so to ensure that your beautiful fruit topping stays intact, line the pan with parchment so it can be easily removed. 
  • Watch the caramel. Caramel is very particular, once it's on the heat, it cant be stirred, and it goes from underdone, to ready, to burnt very fast. So watch it very closely. Wait until it turns amber, then remove from heat. 
  • Thinly slice the oranges; since we keep the peels on the oranges, too thick slices will be bitter. Shoot for 1/2 centimeter in thickness. 

Keywords: Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake