I am very fond of upside down cakes, and bake them often in the summer, with all the juicy ripe fruits. Now that it’s the midst of winter, the selection of fruits at the store is far from bountiful, so I realized it was time for experimenting.
I’ve decided to prepare the cake with oranges, but most recipes I’ve checked called for cooking the unpeeled orange slices first in heavy syrup, while I wanted a quicker and lighter procedure. So I’ve opted to use peeled oranges instead, and hoped the orange slices will hold their shape after baking.
While at it, I decided to add some anise seeds to the fruit layer, as I’m very fond of orange-anise combination (like in THIS recipe tasty cookies). I also scattered some sliced almonds all around for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
While baking, the kitchen was filled with amazing aroma of orange and anise. Once the cake was done, the result was very pleasing: the cake had wonderful flavor and the bright color of the oranges was just the perfect spirit uplifting needed on a very cold winter day. I have no doubt I’ll be baking this cake again. Try it and enjoy.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
2 large oranges
For the fruit layer:
1/3 stick (35 grams) butter, soft
1/3 cup sugar
Orange slices (see step 1)
1 heaped tsp Anise seeds
¼ cup sliced blanched almonds
For the batter:
½ cup milk (see step 1)
½ cup fresh orange juice (see step 1)
2 Tbs orange zest (see step 1)
2/3 stick (70 grams) butter, soft
¾ cup sugar
2 L eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Wash and dry the oranges. Grate the zest from one of the oranges and measure 2 Tbs. With a sharp knife, remove the rind and slice into medium thick slices. Juice the second orange and measure ½ cup juice. In a small bowl, mix the milk, orange juice and orange zest.
2. Preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Spread the butter for the fruit layer over the bottom of a 9½” (24cm) deep cake pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter. Arrange the orange slices on top and sprinkle the anise seeds and sliced almonds all around. Place the pan in the fridge while preparing the batter.
3. The batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar , then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the milk-orange mix and whisk again. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to a smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter over the fruit layer, from the center and out. Don’t spread the batter all the way to the sides of the pan (this will make it easier to release the cake from the pan after baking).
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Take out of the oven and let the cake stand for 1 minute in the pan.
6. Place a plate (the size of the pan or bigger) on top of the pan. Using oven mitts (remember, the pan is still hot!) hold both the plate and pan together, and turn the pan upside down over the plate, and, carefully, remove the pan. If some bits still stick to the pan, scrape them gently and add to the top of the cake. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.