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Citrus Upside Down Cake

Photo by Hetal Sheladia

Photo by Hetal Sheladia

Recipe and photo by Hetal Sheladia!

This citrus upside down cake is a piece of art, and a piece of cake to make! Spiced with cardamom and vanilla, and full of warm citrus flavors, this might just be your new go-to dessert.


  • 1 blood orange

  • 1 cara cara orange

  • 1 naval orange

  • 1 1/4 c all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1/2 c granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 c plain yogurt

  • 1/4 c olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1/4 c orange juice


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter or nonstick spray. 

  2. Zest the blood and cara cara oranges. Set the zest aside, you should have about 1 packed tbsp worth. Peel and slice all the oranges into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Arrange the blood, cara cara, and naval orange slices onto the bottom of the greased cake pan. Make there the slices are tightly packed with little space between them. Set aside. 

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. 

  4. In a medium bowl, add the sugar and zest. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers until the sugar is pale orange. This will help the zest release its oils and give the cake a stronger orange flavor! Add the egg, yogurt, olive oil vanilla extract, and orange juice. Whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated. There might be a few small lumps, that's ok!

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and gently spread the batter over the orange slices into an even later. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then flip the cake out onto a serving plate. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a dollop of whipped cream!