Food For Four

The Cookbook Challenge Week 20: Sticky Orange and Vanilla Upside-down Cake

Posted on | April 5, 2010 | Cookbook Challenge, Recipes, Western | 14 Comments

Sticky Orange Upside-down Cake

Theme: Tangy

I love anything citrus. I decided to make the orange upside-down cake for this week’s Cookbook Challenge theme of “tangy”, as I couldn’t resist the look of the caramelised oranges on the cake.


The sweet, tangy, vanilla, citrusy, caramelised oranges is the star of this cake. I thought using two oranges was too much and I only used one, but I wished I have used two oranges because every bite of cake needs this great tasting caramelised oranges. The orange peel makes this cake really tangy. Even my husband who is not a big fan of eating oranges really likes the caramelised oranges. I also love the sweet fragrance and taste of the vanilla bean in this cake.

Sticky Orange Upside-down & Vanilla Cake

Sticky Orange and Vanilla Upside-down Cake
From Seasons by Donna Hays
Serves 8


4 eggs
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup self-raising flour
150g butter, melted
1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

sticky orange topping
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
2 orages, very thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

To make the topping, place the sugar, water and vanilla bean in a 2.5 litre capacity (10 cup) 20cm non-stick ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the orange and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes or until the orange is soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 8 – 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick, pale and tripled in volume. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and fold through. Fold through the butter and almond meal. Pour the mixture over the orange and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn out onto a platter to serve.

Cooking Notes:

Instead of baking the cake in the ovenproof frying pan, I transferred the orange mixture to a 20cm x 4.8cm baking pan to cool and then to bake the cake in it.

Upside-down Orange Cake

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14 Responses to “The Cookbook Challenge Week 20: Sticky Orange and Vanilla Upside-down Cake”

  1. Simon Food Favourites
    April 6th, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

    oh wow. this looks amazingly yummy. mmmmmmm :-)

  2. Anh
    April 6th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    I made something similar once, but in tart form. Love the flavours, but it’s quite messy to cut through the orange slices, right? :D

  3. Ange
    April 6th, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    Wow, this cake looks truly sensational, well done!

  4. Amy @
    April 7th, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    This cake looks so pretty and luscious. I love cirtus desserts and this would please me to no end.

  5. Conor @ HoldtheBeef
    April 8th, 2010 @ 1:06 am

    Quite possibly the best orange cake I’ve laid my hungry eyes on. Great take on the tangy theme!

  6. Yen
    April 8th, 2010 @ 11:15 am

    Anh, you’re right, the orange slices is messy to cut through.

    I had this cake the next day and all the orange syrup goodness soaked into the cake and it was really good.

  7. April @ My Food Trail
    April 11th, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    Wow, this cake looks so wonderful! The caramelised orange slices on the cake top of the cake (or should it be bottom since it was turned upside down?! :P ) make a beautiful decoration.

  8. Yen
    April 11th, 2010 @ 11:43 pm

    Thanks April, the orange slices makes a beautiful decoration, and tastes great too.

  9. Joanne @ secondhelping
    April 12th, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    All I can do is echo the “wow”‘s from the others. It looks fantastic and I am sure ti tasted even better

  10. Glutenshmooten
    April 12th, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    wow this looks amazing, love anything orange and this looks so yum

  11. leah
    July 10th, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    i have a friend that was curious if orange upside down cakes were even possible. i told him i would google it and see if i can’t make it happen. i came across your page on google and i am very excited to make this. it looks lovely and delicious.

  12. Brittany
    September 12th, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    Your cake looks truly fantastic! I made Donna’s cake about a week ago with a bit of a variation (and posted it on my blog) but yours look spectacular..well done

  13. Helena Gonçalves
    February 27th, 2012 @ 12:53 am

    Lovely cake, looks great!

  14. Louise
    March 5th, 2013 @ 12:29 am

    woweeeeeee, i am 100% making this this week! thank you!

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