Man, it took me forever to cut into this little lady. It was so breathtaking, so ripe with color, so gorgeous to look at, I cringed at the thought of ruining it. But then I came to my senses and hunger got the best of me and it was gone in an hour. Blood oranges are a glorious gift to mankind in winter. It's nature's way of saying, "Hang in there buddy! You got this!" So forgive me if there are multiple blood orange recipes- they are just that beautiful and delicious. This upside down cake is an artful nod to the dreamsicles of our childhood. The oranges are bursting with flavor and caramelized juices while the double-vanilla cake is tender and the perfect catch-all for the sweet juices that runneth over from the top. Serve it warm, serve it room temperature, serve it cold- anyway you slice it, it's heaven.
In a small saucepan:
1/2 stick (56 grams) butter
1/2 cup (125 grams) light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (170 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 whole egg
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
In a measuring cup:
1/2 cup buttermilk
On the sidelines:
2-3 blood oranges, skinned and sliced thinly
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the ingredients together until melted and thoroughly combined. Pour into a 9-inch cake pan and swirl around to ensure it's evenly coated along the bottom. Place on top of the caramel the sliced, segmented oranges in any design you like. Set aside and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In the first bowl, cream together the ingredients for several minutes.
Add in the second bowl to the first bowl and continue to mix for another minute.
Add in the buttermilk and continue to mix.
Lastly, add in the flour and mix until just combined but ensure that the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and carefully smooth over the oranges. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and baked through- about 45 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for five minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake pan and place a plate on top. Carefully flip over the pan onto the plate and let sit for a minute if the cake doesn't immediately release. If any oranges stick to the pan, remove and place back onto the top of the cake.