Pineapple upside down cake is secretly one of my favorite desserts. I say secretly because it is so dated and retro, it’s ridiculous! Obviously I love retro recipes, given my blog name, but I also am a self described foodie. For me, the age of the recipe shouldn’t matter if it is good. I love the caramelized brown sugar top with the fruit and those bright red cherries. I love this cake so much it was a request for my mom to make at my own baby shower! Needless to say, the baby was happy.
Some old recipes need to be put to rest, but the pineapple upside down cake is just too good. I wanted to recreate one of my favorites using blood oranges instead of pineapple. I had a bag of blood oranges on my counter and thought they would be so stunning on a cake. The cake still is reminiscent of the old favorite, but the blood oranges gave this cake a beautiful sweet and citrusy flavor. The presentation of the caramelized blood oranges is a WOW!
I am a huge fan of blood orange because they are absolutely beautiful. The flesh ranges from a deep merlot to a pale raspberry. They are a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Not to mention, all the antioxidants to help prevent a variety of diseases and cancer! With one slice into the fruit, you will see quickly why they call them “blood” oranges.
Why no maraschino cherries?
Working in the food industry I know way too much about what goes into food. Its a blessing and a curse because many of my favorite foods have been ruined. Recently, I had a meeting with a sales representative for a company that sold maraschino cherries cherries. He actually told me the cherries are heavily before they are dyed. I can never look at them the same. Not a very good sales men, but at least he was honest!
How to make the Blood Orange Upside down cake?
Although, the recipe calls for blood oranges you can certainly use any orange. This cake is so moist and simple.
- In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter, brown sugar, salt and 1 tbsp of water. This will be the brown sugar top to the cake. Pour into a greased 9 x 1.5 inch round cake pan (or similar).
- Peel the blood orange with your hand. To remove most of the white rind you can use a paring knife. Sliced the fruit into ¼ inch wheels. Arrange the blood orange wheels in the brown sugar mixture.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the wet ingredients: milk, unsalted butter, egg and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, mix for about 45 seconds. Be careful not to over mix because it can make the cake chewy. Pour the batter over the fruit in the cake pan. Spoon the batter carefully so the fruit is not disturbed.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-34 minutes. Use a toothpick or knife to check if the cake is done. They will be clean after being inserted.
- Let the cake cool for at least 5 minutes. Loosen carefully with a knife and invert the cake onto a plate. Voila! This cake is a great birthday or breakfast cake.
Blood Orange Upside-Down Cake
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 blood orange
- In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter, brown sugar, salt, and 1 tbsp water.
- Grease a 9x1.5 inch round cake pan. Pour the melted butter and brown sugar mixture into the pan.
- Peel the orange or use a paring knife to carefully remove the rind of the blood orange. Slice into 1/4 inch thick. Arrange each orange slice in the cake pan with the brown sugar mixture.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the milk, softened butter, egg, and vanilla to the bowl. With an electric mixer over medium speed, mix together (45 seconds). Carefully spoon the batter over the fruit in the cake pan.
- Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30-34 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for at least 5 minutes. Loosen cake from the pan with a knife and invert onto a plate.
- Use any orange you have on hand. Feel free to double the orange slices for more citrusy flavor.