I love Farmers market. Every few months you get totally different produce, and I am always excited and wait for the change. It’s almost like the fruits and vegetables give you a hint of the season to come. For example, when you start seeing Persimmons and fresh peas in the market, you know its fall where as beautiful summer corn tells you were are in peak summer. Picking up the produce at its peak, bring it home and cook something fun with it, I just love the whole process.

There are few fruits/ vegetables which make their appearance in the market for a very short time. Apricots, Green peas and Blood orange to name a few. So when I get my hands on them, for those few weeks it’s all about making recipes where that produce is the star.

For the last few weeks its has been the blood orange.

Blood orange, true to its name is vibrant ruby red from inside and has a unique flavor. Originally from Sicily and now available in other parts of the world, its a beautiful citrus. In Sicily it was considered a food for Royalty, because of its jewel like interior. I like its almost floral taste and love making Marmalade, and even curd. It also lends itself well to savory dishes or salad dressings.

When I was reading more about flavor profiles and pairing, it was interesting to read that it pairs well with spices like Cardamom, Fennel ( of course Orange and Fennel is a classic combination) along with nuts like almonds. So in today’s recipe I have played with these flavors and I must say the result was amazing.

Blood Orange Upside Down cake

Incredibly flavorful cake that showcases these vibrant blood oranges that get paired beautifully with fennel. 

Keyword blood orange, cake, citrus
Servings 10
Author Anagha



  • 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 32 Gms Brown Sugar about 1/3 cup
  • 32 Gms Sugar about 1/3 cup
  • 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Blood Oranges
  • 1 Tsp Fennel Seeds

Dry Ingredients

  • 65 Gms Corn Meal (fine)
  • 70 Gms Almond flour
  • 60 Gms APF about 1/2 cup
  • 8 gms Baking Powder about 1 1/2 Tsp
  • 2 gms Sea salt about 1/2 tsp
  • 1 Tsp Orange Zest

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 200 gms Granulated Sugar about 1 Cup
  • 4 Eggs, at room temperature I used plain whole milk
  • 1/3 Cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 Tsp Star Anise Powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F

  2. Grease a 9 inch cake pan

  3. In a small sauce pan, melt the 3 Tbsp butter. Add brown sugar, white sugar  and heat till the sugar melts. Mix the lemon juice and pour the mixture in the greased pan

  4. Sprinkle some fennel seeds into the pan

  5. Using mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the blood oranges( and  orange and kumquat if using)

  6. Arrange the slices in the pan on top of the butter sugar mixture. Try to cover the entire base, I used small kumquats in those spaces

Making the batter

  1. Mix the corn meal, almond meal, flour, baking powder, salt, ground star anise and orange zest. Give it a quick whisk.

  2. In a bowl cream the remaining butter & white sugar till pale in color

  3. Add one egg at a time to the creamed butter-sugar and continue to whisk. 

  4. Once all the eggs are added, add the yogurt and give it a stir

  5. Gently fold in the dry flour mixture 

  6. Pour the batter over the blood orange slices 

  7. Bake for 40-50 mins until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean

  8. Let the cake rest for 10 min. After 10 mins, turn it on a serving plate. Wait for a few minutes to tap on the bottom of the pan to release the cake.

  9. Serve with freshly whipped cream

Recipe Notes

  1. I have tried to give measurements in cups and spoons but to get accurate results, I would highly recommend using the weighing scale
  2. Make sure you arrange the orange slices very close to each and overlapping a bit, when they bake they shrink


The inspiration for the recipe comes from NYT, Bon Appetit and Season by Nik Sharma