Have you ever had a week where everything seemed just a bit off? Like none of the puzzle pieces fit into their right places? This week felt something like that for me. I’m ready to scrap the entire last five days and start over after the holiday weekend…but thankfully there is cake to discuss! Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake and a recipe you won’t soon forget.
If you follow me over on Instagram, you might remember me posting a failed attempt at a sad looking upside-down cake on my Instagram Stories. Gooey and mushy, not at all appetizing or beautifully caramelized, it was an all around fail. I had it in my heart, and mind, to make a winter citrus upside-down cake so I turned to the trusty New York Times for a recipe that was beautiful and intriguing.
This cake has a cornmeal batter which gives it a lovely dense pudding like consistency and a bit of a crunch. Somewhere in-between a sweet cornbread, cake and pudding. The blood oranges are nestled down in a quick caramel of brown sugar and butter that melts into the cake and becomes the top when flipped over after baking.
It’s the perfect after dinner cake to serve with coffee. It’s definitely sweet but has a lovely savory quality due to the cornmeal, like an Italian olive oil cake. It’s unique, and in my opinion, delicious if you (like me) are a citrus lover.
Finally, can we just talk for a moment about how beautiful it is? The blood orange slices bake down and shine out of the cake like little stained glass windows. This is a show stopper alright! Top each slice with a dollop of whipped cream or serve it alone at room temperature. Pin this recipe for your next dinner party, it’s a keeper.
- 270 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 3 tablespoons), at room temperature
- 130 grams light brown sugar (about ⅔ cup)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 medium-sized blood oranges
- 122 grams fine cornmeal (about 1 cup)
- 65 grams all-purpose flour (about ½ cup)
- 8 grams baking powder (about 1½ teaspoons)
- 2 grams fine sea salt (about ½ teaspoon)
- 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter. Add the brown sugar and lemon juice; stir until sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Scrape mixture into bottom of prepared pan.
- Grate ½ teaspoon zest from one of the oranges, then slice off the tops and bottoms of both oranges. Place oranges on a clean, flat surface, and slice away the rind and pith, top to bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Slice each orange crosswise into ¼-inch-thick wheels; discard any seeds. Arrange orange wheels on top of brown sugar mixture in a single, tight layer.
- In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together remaining 2 sticks (225 grams) butter with granulated sugar. Beat in eggs, one a time, then beat in sour cream and vanilla. Fold in the dry mixture by hand.
- Scrape batter into pan over oranges. Transfer to oven and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then run a knife along pan’s edges to loosen it; invert onto a platter and cool completely before serving.