Who still needs their serving of fruit today?

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

I have the best way for you to get it. In one delicious slice, covered with cold vanilla whipped cream!

You might want to sit down for this one.

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

When I was super young, we lived in this house that had a crawl space in the garage. It was more than a crawl space – it was practically another room or attic-like storage spot that I could walk around in since I was so small. My mom had some pantry items in there, things that wouldn’t spoil, and my earliest memory of being in that space is when she told me that a six-pack of coke bottles were going to be used for a pineapple upside down cake.

What? I have zero idea why I remember THIS exact sentence, exactly where I was standing and how I can hear her voice saying it, but I don’t even think that’s a thing, is it? Were coke bottles used for upside down cake?

I should probably just ask her, but since I’m the epitome of laziness, propped on the couch, watching the first season of Gilmore Girls (I’m hooked) and my phone is about four feet away, I’m going to skip the call. I wonder if she meant to say “angel food cake” in that moment, because my secret old school brain semi-remembers that maybe THAT was a thing back in the day. Cooling and angel food cake over a coke bottle? Was that a thing?

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

Yes, I’ve officially lost my mind and that was my very first memory of hearing about an upside down cake in life.

I don’t even think I tasted one for ten plus years later. At least!

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

I don’t LOVE pineapple upside down cake but I don’t hate it either. I’m quite apathetic to it, in fact. I’d never choose it as dessert off a menu, but I also *might* take a few bites if it’s the only dessert available and I’m having extremely sweet teeth.

I’m pretty sure this is the exact definition of a FLAKE.

(Hold on, let me check.)

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

A blood orange cake though? SIGN ME UP. I’d do a few other flavors too, but I’m positive that no other flavor would look as gorgeously neon and pink as this blood orange does. We should start counting how many times I say that this year so we can put it in a burn book.

Since citrus doesn’t get as caramely as, say, pineapple, I also made a blood syrup to go over top.




I want to drink it alone. It’s delicious and when drizzled over whipped cream ON TOP of the cake?

No really. What else do you even need?!*

blood orange upside down cake I howsweeteats.com

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

5 from 3 votes
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blood orange syrup

  • 1/3 cup blood orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar

vanilla whipped cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with nonstick spray.
  • Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and once melted, whisk in the sugar and the cinnamon until it starts to bubble. Remove it from the heat and pour it in the bottom of the cake pan. Place the blood orange slices over top, covering the bottom of the pan completely.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • To make the cake batter, place the butter in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Beat in the sugar and gradually increase the speed to high, beating until fluffy and scraping down the sides if necessary, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in each egg until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and scraped seeds from the vanilla bean.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and stir until the batter just comes together.
  • Place dollops of the batter all over the oranges and gently spread evenly to cover. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and only let it cool for about 5 minute, just so the fruit settles and stops bubbling. After 5 minutes (no longer!), run a knife along the edges of the cake and place a cake plate over top, then gently flip the cake to remove it from the pan. Here, you can fix any fruit than has slid off or rearrange it if desired. Let the cake cool completely before topping it with the blood orange syrup and serving it with the whipped cream.

blood orange syrup

  • Heat the juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble. Let cool completely to room temperature.

vanilla whipped cream

  • Place the cold cream and vanilla  in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until peaks form. Beat in the powdered sugar and serve.


[cake adapted from my bourbon peach cake]

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*besides champagne.