I just love how pretty upside down cakes are!! What is the point of decorating a cake when your cake literally pops out of the pan looking this gorgeous?! This orange upside down cake comes together pretty easily and is a true show stopper.
What orange can you use for an upside down cake?
Any! I used cara cara oranges which are a beautiful shade of light orange, almost pink and have a delicate sweet, less tart flavor.
Blood oranges are also super common for baking, especially in upside down cakes. But honestly I would not rule out any variety of orange, or citrus for that matter. Lemons, limes or grapefruits would be delicious in this recipe as well.
How do the oranges need to be sliced and peeled?
First, I do not even peel the oranges. The candying process reduces the bitterness of the orange peels. The oranges are thinly sliced into rounds.
Then the orange slices are simmered in a sugar syrup to candy. Those sugary candied orange slices are layered and arranged in the bottom of the cake pan before the cake batter is poured over.
If you have extra candied oranges, they can use used as garnishes for drinks or just nibbled on for a snack!
What type of pan to use for an upside down cake?
I like to use a round spring form pan. I think it makes such quick work of prepping the cake and especially removing the cake.
How to make an Orange Upside Down Cake
- Candy the oranges - simmer orange slices in a simple syrup (water + sugar)
- Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt
- Combine wet ingredients: butter, sugar, sour cream, orange extract, zest, eggs, salt
- Add the dry ingredients and orange juice to the wet ingredients
- Arrange the orange slices in the bottom of the cake pan, then pour the cake batter over the orange slices
Tips on getting an upside down cake out of the pan!
- The most important thing is to properly prep your pan.
- Use a spring form pan - This really makes getting the cake out of the pan so easy. No worries about getting the sugared orange slices stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Also I like to double up by adding a parchment paper circle inside the bottom of the pan. Tear out a square of parchment paper, trace the outside circle of the cake pan on the paper and cut out the circle. Now you should be able to fit the parchment paper inside the cake pan easily!
- Once the bake is baked and you're ready to unveil. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Invert the cake pan, pop open and remove the spring form sides. Now you should be able to easily remove the bottom of the pan. Lastly, slowly peel away the parchment paper from the orange slices and enjoy!
Orange Upside Down Cake
- 3 oranges I used Cara Cara oranges, thinly sliced
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1¾ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup butter unsalted
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 3 eggs
- In a saucepan, over medium heat add 1 cup of water and ¾ cup sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved in pan. Layer in the orange slices. Bring down to a simmer and cook for about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the orange slices onto a baking sheet or parchment paper, set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of 9 inch spring form cake pan with parchment paper. Trim the parchment paper to fit inside the pan, you do not need any parchment on the sides of the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Cream together the butter, sour cream, orange extract and orange zest. Add the sugar, mix until the mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, mix until combined. On low speed, add in the dry ingredients and orange juice alternatively, until just combined.
- Arrange the candied orange slices in the bottom of the cake pan (on the parchment paper). I like to start with a slice in the center and then fan out the orange rounds around until they're used up.
- Pour the cake batter into the pan over the orange slices. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan, flip the cake pan over, loosen the spring form and remove the edges of the pan from the cake. Carefully remove the bottom of the cake pan from the cake (bottom separates from the pan in a spring form pan). Slowly peel away the parchment paper circle. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream