For those who don't know, citrus season is during the winter months, with most citrus fruits being in season from about December to April. With that said and considering what month it is (hey April), I wanted to do a citrus recipe that not only highlighted their flavor but also showed off their beauty. Enter this upside-down blood orange cake.


I'm the kind of person who looks forward to citrus season almost more than any other season (watermelon season might be a tie though). I fully embrace the season by making anything from my favorite sangria (I'll post the recipe for that in the near future) to grapefruit loaf cakes to blood orange doughnuts. I also get so much use out of my older-than-me juicer that I inherited from my mom, and drink as much fresh cara cara juice as I can.


Today we are utilizing blood oranges and with that I must advise not wearing a white t-shirt for the sake of not looking like you were just part of a crime scene. But besides their dyeing affects, blood oranges are incredibly beautiful fruits mostly for the reason that you can have an array of color ranging from a deep red to a lighter orange. 


I feel like this cake is one that you whip out when you want to show off: the topping of sliced oranges is an absolute showstopper and even if it doesn't come out perfectly (i.e. some of the topping may stick to the pan), the color alone will impress whomever you baked it for, including yourself. It's also exciting and slightly nerve-racking to see what the top will look like after you flip it. If you've never flipped a cake before, don't be worried! I've done it by myself plenty of times and it's a lot easier than you think - just move quickly and swiftly and you'll be oohing and aahing at your creation before you know it.


Upside-Down Blood Orange Cake

Adapted Slightly from Bon Appétit


  • Nonstick cooking spray

  • 1/4 cup raw sugar

  • 2-3 blood oranges thinly sliced with seeds removed (make sure to have at least two other blood oranges for the zest and juice that will be added to the cake later)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • 3/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 tsp. blood orange zest

  • 2 tbsp. blood orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray a 10 in. cake pan with the nonstick cooking spray (rather be safe than sorry when flipping the cake upside down!). In an even layer, sprinkle the raw sugar on the bottom of the cake pan and then place the orange slices on top. You can place the slices whichever way you want, whether in a random fashion or layered to cover the entire pan like I did.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk, buttermilk, melted butter (make sure it's not too hot), zest and juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until incorporated.

  4. Pour the batter over the orange slices evenly and bake it in the oven for 35-40 minutes - the top will be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out fairly clean.

  5. Allow the cake to cool for about 5 minutes. In preparation of inverting the cake, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Using your desired plate or cake stand, place it upside down on top of the cake and as quickly as possible, flip the cake over. Lift the cake pan up and if the cake is still not coming out, tap the cake pan with the butter knife. Enjoy!