Citrus upside down cake

Citrus upside down cake

Who doesn’t love an upside down cake? So many happy memories coming in from school to a pineapple cake my Mum made, such a treat. This is a playful twist on this classic. A citrus upside down cake bursting with oranges to celebrate beautiful winter seasonal fruit. The cake is lightly scented with lemon and cardamom too which makes it extra yummy. 

This is a fab cake you can serve warm straight out of the oven with custard at the weekend or fab with cold with a cuppa. You choose. 


For the base:

50g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar

2 blood oranges

2 oranges (navels are great) 

For the cake:

100g self rising flour 

50g caster sugar

50g light brown sugar

100g softened unsalted butter 

2 eggs

¼ tsp salt

½  tsp vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

10 cardamom pods

1 tbsp milk 

Honey (optional – to drizzle over the fruit when it comes out of the oven)

Method for citrus upside down cake

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin (20 cm) with a disk of parchment paper on the bottom of the tin. Then roll a small amount of flour around the outside of the tin and tap away the excess. This will help the cake come out of the tin easily when it’s baked. No stress. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a small bowl mix together the butter and sugar for the base until it is very light and fluffy. Then with a spatula add it to the bottom of the tin and a little way up the sides. 

Now, cut the oranges to remove the skin and pith and cut into rounds. Alternating between the blood oranges and the navals, arrange the segments on the butter and sugar mixture in the bottom of the tin. Make sure to fill in any gaps with smaller segments of the oranges for a really pretty cake that’s packed full of oranges. 

To make the cake

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Add the vanilla, lemon zest and ground cardamom to the mix and stir to combine.

Then add in the sifted dry ingredients alongside on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the milk and fold into the cake mixture. 

Spoon the cake batter ontop of the fruit and gently spread over and smooth out the top. Gently tap the cake a few times on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cake cook evenly. This should take about 35 minutes.

The cake will be golden brown and the top will spring back when you touch it when it’s baked.

Wait about 5 minutes before you turn the cake out onto a wire rack. You can serve the cake warm straight out of the oven or serve at room temperature. Custard or ice cream are lovely options. I like to serve it with a drizzle of honey and extra fruit for a really zesty citrus hit.

The cake is best enjoyed the day you make it but should keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running.

Looking for more cosy teatime ideas? Our Blackberry scones are so yummy.

If you love oranges, try our Chocolate orange nutella pop tarts, so so delicious.

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