This blood orange chocolate upside down cake is decadent, moist, and accidentally vegan. It’s chocolatey, full of citrus flavor, and comes out beautifully with the blood orange slices on top. The best part? You’ll find it extremely easy to make. The hardest part is slicing the oranges. Which… spoiler alert… is not really that hard!
I love cooking with citrus in the winter, especially with the fruit that are hard to find in the summer – like blood oranges! Citrus tastes like summer and is a reminder that warmer days are around the corner!
Also… given the egg shortage these days, you’ll be happy to find that this blood orange chocolate upside down cake is egg-free! Accidentally vegan as I like to say 🙂
Growing up, I loved to snack on Terry’s orange chocolate (orange-infused chocolate in the shape of the fruit). So to me, orange and chocolate really do go hand in hand. You could use any orange for this cake, but the blood oranges have such a beautiful and unique color I find best suited for this cake! If you like citrus cakes, I’m sure you’ll love my lemon poppyseed loaf too!
- Blood oranges
- Baking powder and soda
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Pure vanilla extract
- Kosher salt
- Boiling water or coffee
How to make the blood orange chocolate upside down cake
- Zest the oranges and massage the zest into the sugar until fully combined and fragrant.
- Slice a blood orange into 1 inch thin pieces and slice off any extra pulp from the edges. Place the orange slices at the bottom of a lined springform pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the sugar, and the wet ingredients. Stir to combine. Add the boiling water last and stir until a batter is formed.
- Pour the batter over the sliced oranges in the pan and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.
- Once baked, let the cake cool and flip upside down. Slice to serve.
Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions
- While this is a blood orange cake recipe, you theoretically could use any type of orange. It’ll have a slightly different look, but just as beautiful
- In a pinch, you can substitute a neutral oil for the olive oil
- Lemon juice is the acidic element to activate the baking soda. You will not taste it at all in the cake, and if omitted, the baking soda won’t have an activator.
- Similarly, espresso powder and/or coffee will not leave a coffee flavor. However, if you can omit and simply use boiling water and the recipe will still be wonderful
Lastly, if you do make this blood orange upside down cake recipe (first of all, thank you!!), be sure to leave a comment and rating below! It would mean the world to me if you tagged me on Instagram or TikTok so I can see your creations.
Blood Orange Upside Down Cake (Vegan!)
- 4 blood oranges
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder optional
- ½ cup olive oil plus more for greasing
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (juice of half of one lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup filtered water or coffee boiling
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line and grease the bottom of a springform pan. Place 1 cup of water or coffee to boil (or use a kettle)
- Zest the four oranges. Put the zest in a bowl and set the oranges aside. Add the sugar into the bowl and massage together with your fingers for about 1 minutes, until the sugar is orange and aromatic. Set aside.
- Slice an orange into one-inch pieces. Cut off the extra peel left, so that the orange rounds do not have peel left. Place the sliced oranges onto the bottom of the springform pan. If you want a more full look, feel free to slice another ½ orange the same way to fill up the pan
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder (if using) into the strainer and sift until the dry mixture is all in the bowl. This helps getting the clumps out of the flour and cocoa powder and helps combine.
- Add in the orange sugar mixture, olive oil, lemon juice, and vanilla in the bowl. Juice the oranges into the bowl as well. Stir until the batter is combined.
- Pour the batter over the sliced oranges in the springform pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Once done, let cool, then flip upside down. Enjoy warm or cold!