I am very fond of upside down cakes, and make quite a few of them in the summer, with all the juicy ripe fruits. When I looked at the selection of fruits at the store, I realized it was time for experimenting.
I decided to make the cake with oranges, but wanted a quicker and lighter recipe, as most recipes call for cooking the unpeeled orange slices first in heavy syrup. So, I removed the rind altogether and hoped the orange slices would hold their shape after baking.
While at it, I decided to add some anise seeds to the fruit layer, as I like the orange-anise combination (see THIS recipe for tasty cookies with this combination) and then scattered some sliced almonds all around.
While baking, the kitchen was filled with amazing aroma of orange zest and anise. Once the cake was done, the result was very pleasing both in texture and 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.
I’m sure you would too, once you’ll try it.
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 on the bottom of a 9½” (24cm) deep cake pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter. Place 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 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 on the plate. 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.