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Blood orange upside down cake with orange marmalade is an indulgent and very easy dessert. It looks stunning and tastes incredible. Basically, this recipe ticks all the boxes if you want to impress your loved ones.

I really love using seasonal fruits and vegetables. Just by using seasonal ingredients, I can easily bring amazing flavours into my dishes with very little effort. So it’s no surprise that from December to early spring (around April) oranges, clementines and mandarins are always in my shopping cart. This is the time when they are the most delicious, juicy and fragrant.

During my weekly grocery shop, I noticed the most delicious and amazing Natoora blood oranges for sale. These oranges are the crème de la crème of zingy fruits. The moment you find them in store – believe me, you need to buy them.

Not only do they taste great, but they also have a vibrant deep red colour that just begs to be incorporated into your bakes.

With this in mind, I really wanted to showcase the astounding beauty of these fruits. One of the easiest ways to do it, is to bake an upside down cake with a stunning orange pattern on top. The other thing I really like about this cake is the balance of flavours. You have a soft, sweet sponge together with a sharp and slightly bitter caramelised topping.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Tips for the Best Upside Down Cake

To achieve the best results baking this cake, follow these tips:

  • Use very juicy oranges for this recipe. If you can’t find blood oranges, you can swap them to Seville, Navel oranges, or mandarins (clementines).
  • After you slice the oranges, make sure not to leave any of the pith (the white bits). This makes your cake very bitter and unpleasant.
  • You can swap marmalade with a simple syrup. Heat water with sugar for 5 minutes, add the sliced oranges and cook them together for 5-10 minutes. After that, arrange the orange slices in the tin.
  • Use room temperature eggs and butter.
  • You can skip the grounded hazelnuts and add the same amount of ground almonds.

If you fancy trying other recipes with oranges, take a look at these:

Rich Chocolate Cake with Orange Cream and Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate Cookies with Orange Curd

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake Recipe


3 tablespoons orange marmalade
3 blood oranges
150g room temperature butter
50g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
2 eggs
100g plain flour
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
30g ground almonds
20g ground hazelnuts
1 orange (juice)


  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and line a loose-based baking tin with a baking sheet.

Prepare the oranges:

2. Heat the orange marmalade for a minute to loosen it up a little. Then brush your baking tin with it.
3. Peel the skin from the oranges (don’t leave any pips in the fruits!) and slice them quite finely (around 2-3mm).
4. Layer the orange slices on top of the marmalade, overlapping them a little. Cover the entire tin with the slices.

Prepare the cake:

5. With an electric mixer, beat the room temperature butter with the sugar (caster and vanilla) until the batter gets pale (this takes around 5 minutes).
6. Add the eggs and whisk them together with the butter mixture (it might look like the batter has split, but don’t worry about it).
7. Sift the flour, baking powder, ground almonds and hazelnuts.
8. Add them into the cake batter. Mix everything together.
9. Juice the orange and add the juice into the cake mixture. Mix.
10. Bake the cake for around 50 minutes.
11. After the cake is fully baked, take it out the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before removing it from the tin.