Upside Down Blood Orange Buttermilk Cake

Upside down blood orange buttermilk cakes with honey.

The title says it all, a delicious upside down blood orange buttermilk cake is just what this gloomy winter weather needs. Without snow, winter is just grey and boring, so I made a little citrus color pop to get you in the mood for spring! Blood Oranges are my favorite winter citrus, the colors and the flavor are far superior to their orange cousins. For me anyways 🙂

Upside down cakes are really quite simple to make. Just sprinkle the bottom of your pan with sugar and then add a layer of thinly sliced blood oranges. I remove the peeling, but you can leave it on. The result is a gorgeous display of pink and orange hues atop a soft buttermilk cake.

Sliced blood oranges in a row.

Upside down blood orange cakes with whipped cream.

Tips for Making

Upside Down Blood Orange Buttermilk Cake:

  • Use fresh blood oranges!
  • Slice the blood oranges thinly with a sharp knife. Then, take your knife and cut the center away from the peeling in a circular motion. You can also peel the orange completely and then slice it. I just seem to squish my orange when I do this. But, if your hands are steadier than mine, by all means peel first.
  • Prepare your cake pans with a light coating of baking spray and then coat the bottom in a thin layer of sugar.
  • This recipe will make two 6 inch cakes or one large 10 inch cake.
  • Arrange the orange slices in an even layer across the bottom of the pans. I cut a few to fill in the gaps and had a couple slices that overlapped.
  • When making the batter start with the melted butter and both sugars. Beat them with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  • Then add buttermilk , orange zest, orange juice, and eggs one at a time.
  • Spoon in your flour mixture while the mixer is on medium.
  • Scrape the sides and bottom of your bowl to make sure everything is mixed evenly.
  • Weigh your buttermilk cake batter and evenly divide it into each cake pan.
  • This is a thicker cake batter, so smooth it evenly across the oranges with a small spatula.
  • Place the cake pans directly on the lowest oven rack to bake.
  • Check each cake with a toothpick in the center to make sure its done. Only crumbs should be on the toothpick. One cake may bake quicker than the other based on your oven, so don’t assume, check both!
  • Let cakes cool on a rack for about 15 minutes.
  • Place a plate face down on the cake pan and flip upside down. Cake should fall onto plate!
  • Serve with honey and whipped cream!

Blood orange upside down cakes with whipped cream and honey.

Orange upside down cake recipe with buttermilk.

Upside Down Blood Orange Buttermilk Cake

Upside Down Blood Orange Buttermilk Cakes made with a layer of fresh blood oranges and a soft coconut sugar and buttermilk cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword blood oranges, buttermilk waffles, cake
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 12 slices


Orange Layer:

  • 3 Blood Oranges sliced and peeled
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar

Cake Batter:

  • 1 Cup (128 g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups (192 g) Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 Cup (150 g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup (50 g) Coconut Sugar
  • 8 Tbsp Unsalted Butter Melted
  • 3/4 Cup (187.5 ml) Buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp Blood Orange Zest
  • 2 Tbsp Blood Orange Juice
  • 3 Eggs


  1. Preheat Oven to 350 F (175 C) Prepare two 6 inch cake pans with baking spray.

  2. Divide the 1/3 Cup of sugar between the two pans with a light even layer.
  3. Arrange the blood orange slices across the bottom of each pan.
  4. Set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl hand whisk together flours, salt, and baking powder.
  6. Set aside.
  7. In bowl of stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat together sugars and melted butter.
  8. Add orange zest, orange juice, and buttermilk. Mix until incorporated.
  9. Add each egg one at a time, mixing in between.
  10. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl as needed.
  11. Slowly spoon in flour mixture and mix on medium until cake batter is formed.
  12. Divide cake batter evenly between the two pans.
  13. Smooth the top of the batter with a small spatula.
  14. Bake cakes on middle to lowest rack of oven.
  15. Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  16. Check each cake individually.
  17. Place cakes on cooling rack for 15-20 minutes.
  18. Run a small knife around the edges to loosen cake from pan.
  19. Place a place upside down on cake pan, then flip over to allow cake to drop.
  20. Serve with a honey drizzle and side of whipped cream!

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