February 1, 2022

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake

Citrus is my favorite. Grapefruits, lemons, lines, oranges, clementines I love them all. When I was a kid my grandpa who was almost seven feet tall would visit with a giant bag of Navel oranges that he hauled up in his Buick from Florida. We would make fresh orange juice and I remember thinking that was the coolest thing ever in our very Midwestern kitchen.

When I was writing my cookbook I realized how often I use citrus in recipes. It makes sense when you think about the composition of a recipe and that you are looking for a balance of salt, fat, heat, and acid* like Samin Nosrat taught us in her famous cookbook of the same name – it is a great read. I zest every piece of citrus I use and I am always using lemon and lime juice in salad dressings, marinades, cocktails, and now in citrus cake!

This citrus cake is a little fussy because you need to take the pith off the slices but its a very showy cake and tastes great.

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake

Yield: 8-10 cake slices

This is a beautiful, citrusy upside down cake. It's crammed full of citrus flavor, and you can use anything from lemons to grapefruit.


  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1 tangelo, small grapefruit, blood orange, or another citrus of choice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup almond flour (I used Bob's, Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper so that it covers the bottom and goes up the sides of the pan. Spray paper with non-stick spray.

Slice your preferred citrus into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Use a paring knife to cut the pith and the skin around the flesh of the citrus. (like cutting off the outer ring).

Microwave the sugar and water together until the sugar dissolves completely, about 1 minute and 15 seconds. Line the bottom of the prepared cake pan, with the prepared citrus fruits. Once arranged, pour the sugar-water over the citrus. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, orange juice, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla, and almond extracts. Add the Greek yogurt and sour cream and combine.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, whisking to combine. Add the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until everything is combined. The mixture will be thick.

Pour the batter over the prepared citrus slices, spreading it evenly to the edges.

Bake for 35 minutes, then allow cooling completely before inverting onto a serving tray.

I have been having a great time producing recipes for Lakewinds Food Co-ops. I am a big believer in coops and shop at them often. The process that they go through for vetting the products on their shelves and making sure they are organic, healthy, and not full of preservatives is way more rigorous than you would guess. I know when I buy things at the coop that they are good for me and my family. You can also find this recipe on

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