This orange upside down cake was create as part of a gifted collaboration with Denby Pottery.

This orange upside down cake is a modern-twist on the retro upside down pineapple cake. It’s made with zesty, sweet oranges and a delicate sugar syrup. There’s something about oranges that I absolutely adore in a cake. They add pizzazz to an otherwise simple cake batter and the juices permeate all the crevices for a seriously moist crumb.

You could use a combination of both regular and blood oranges in this recipe. Blood oranges tend to be less tangy than standard oranges with a more floral flavour that would create a more Spring-like dessert. If standard oranges is all you can come by, make this for an easy-peasy summer showstopper. I promise you, there won’t be any left by the end of the day.

Orange Upside Down Cake

How to create a stunning orange upside down cake:

Want to create the most stunning orange upside down cake? Here are my top three tips for ensuring you get the perfect release and a beautiful top!

  1. Minimise the amount of space between the oranges. To create a visually stunning upside down cake, you want the oranges to cover as much of the base as possible. Cram them in and make sure they sit right to the edges. You could even keep some to layer on top of the cake after it’s been baked to cover up any patches.
  2. Choose a combination of blood and normal oranges. This will give your cake a gorgeous colour that stands out from the beige of the cake mixture itself.
  3. Remove the cake from the pan while it’s warm. This is super important as it’ll help avoid any sticking. If you let the cake cool too much in the pan, the sugar-fruit mixture will harden and your cake will stick. Let the cake cool for 5 minutes, then remove from your tin immediately for the perfect release.
Orange Upside Down Cake

Got a question about this orange upside down cake?

I’m here to help. If you have a question about how to make this, take a look below. I cover some of the most common questions when it comes to making upside down cakes. Don’t see what you’re after? Feel free to drop me a DM on Instagram and I’ll be more than happy to help.

How do you avoid your cake going soggy?

The oranges will give this cake additional moisture, so there are a few ways to ensure you don’t end up with a soggy cake. Firstly, make sure you’ve cooked this orange upside down cake for long enough (see How do you know when your upside down cake is done?). Secondly, be sure not to add any additional liquid to your batter, or syrup after baking. Remove as much juice from your orange slices by patting them with kitchen towel before placing them in the base of the cake.

How do you know when your upside down cake is done?

The sides of your cake should be a beautiful golden colour and the centre of the cake should be firm. There shouldn’t be any jiggle in the batter, and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean.

How do you flip this orange upside down cake?

The key to flipping your upside down cake without any issues is to do it while the cake is warm. If you leave the cake to cool for too long, you’ll run into trouble as the caramel layer begins to set and stick. This will make it near impossible to invert the cake without causing a sticky mess. Place a plate on top of your tin and flip the whole thing over in one, fluid motion. Leave it for a few minutes, then remove your springform tin.

How long will this orange upside down cake last?

It’s so delicious, I doubt it’ll last very long in many kitchens. But if you want to store it, pop it in an airtight container and eat within three days.

Orange Upside Down Cake

What fruit can I use in this upside down cake instead?

If you’re not a fan of orange but still want to make this cake with something else, here are my best suggestions:

1. Pineapple. A absolute classic. This tropical fruit is both delicious and nostalgic. Use a cookie cutter to cut perfect rounds from your slices.
2. Cherries. A little more fiddly, because it requires halving and pipping the cherries, but nonetheless DIVINE! Lay the cherry halves flat side down and cover the bottom of the cake tin entirely before pouring your batter on top.
3. Apricot. Small enough to halve and spread over the base of your cake tin, and small enough to bake through properly when cooked.
4. Apple. Another classic that will go down a treat at most tables. Cut thin slices and arrange them concertina-style over the base – overlapping them so you get a good even coverage.
5. Pear. Delightful with crunchy hazelnuts on top once inverted and a sure favourite that will be enjoyed by everyone. Choose either Bartlett, Bosc, or Anjou pears, which are ideal for baking!

Discover my cake stand hack over on Instagram!

Orange Upside Down Cake

Orange Upside Down Cake

This orange upside down cake is perfect for a summer's evening. Serve with fresh whipped cream, crème fraîche or ice cream.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 slices


  • 3 oranges
  • 380 g caster sugar
  • 180 g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 180 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  • Put 200g sugar and 120ml water in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat on the hob. Slice your oranges into 3mm rounds and add to the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer, and leave to bubble for 15 minutes until the oranges have softened slightly. Remove from the heat.
    Orange Upside Down Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 180C / fan 160C and grease a 20cm round cake tin. Line with parchment paper, then arrange the orange slices on the bottom, starting from the centre and working your way outwards, overlapping the rounds. Drizzle over a tablespoon or two or leftover sugar syrup and set aside.
    N.B. Keep your orange sugar syrup for later.
    Orange Upside Down Cake
  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl then add the orange zest and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat the softened butter and remaining 180g sugar with an electric whisk for 5 mins until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition, then gently mix in the flour mix until just combined. Be careful not to overman Once incorporated, stir through the milk.
    Orange Upside Down Cake
  • Pour the batter into the cake tin, over the oranges slices, then smooth the top. Bake for 40 mins until the cake is golden, and a skewer or cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, then run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it slightly. Invert immediately onto your plate, peel off any parchment paper to avoid it sticking to the sugar syrup and leave to cool completely.
  • Transfer to a wire rack, peel off the paper and drizzle with another 2 tbsp orange syrup. Leave to cool completely, then serve with the extra syrup or a dollop of crème fraîche, ice cream or cream.
Keyword cake, orange, summer, tropical, upside down

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July 27, 2022