Caramelised Orange and Cardamom upside-down cake

Cardamom and Orange upside down cake recipe - sticky, fragrant and absolutely divine! |

This is my favourite type of cake.  The best type of cake.

The top is sticky and jammy. The caramel oranges glisten in their shimmery golden pool. Almost toffee like on the edges, it’s all I can do to resist simply pick away at the topping.  The cake underneath itself is pillowy soft, and more than just a canvas for the caramelised fruit, as the scent of cardamom wafts into the air as you cut into it.

It’s not the type of upside down cake I remember baking at school. It’s more grown up, less sickly sweet, but yet it retains all the messy joy that makes upside down cakes a favourite for all ages.

If it’s been an age since you baked an upside down cake, it’s time for a trip down nostalgia lane, in the best, most wonderful and slightly more sophisticated way with this Cardamom and Orange Upside-down Cake.

Cardamom and Orange upside down cake recipe - sticky, fragrant and absolutely divine! |


Cardamom and Orange upside down cake recipe - sticky, fragrant and absolutely divine! |


4.7 from 3 reviews
Cardamom and Orange upside cake recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cake base adapted from Donna Hay's Pineapple & Ginger Upside Down Cake
Serves: 10
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 2 tbs water
  • 30g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 oranges, skin, pith and any seeds removed, sliced
  • CAKE:
  • 190g (6 oz plus 1½ tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 275g (1¼ cups) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g (2 cups) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 3 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb (baking) soda
  • 60g (1/2 cup) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and grease a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.
  2. Begin by making the caramel for the topping. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir well. Place over a medium high heat and bring to a boil. Let the sugar bubble away until it turns a pale golden and remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir well until all the butter is incorporated and pour into the base of the prepared cake tin. Top with orange slices, making sure to fill in any gaps with pieces of orange trimmed to size.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, around 10 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition, until well combined. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and ground almonds in a bowl and stir to combine. Switch the mixer to it's slowest speed and add half the flour mixture along with half the yoghurt. When combined add the remaining flour mixture and yoghurt and beat until the mixture just comes together.
  4. Carefully spread the cake mixture over the top of the oranges and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour, then loosely cover with foil, and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes before removing the cake from the tin.


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12 Comments on "Caramelised Orange and Cardamom upside-down cake"

July 29, 2014

Jennifer – your recipe took second place at the San Diego Fair for the cakes with fruit category – thanks for sharing it!

Delicious use of cardamom here. Love upside down cakes. This looks divine, Jen :)

March 6, 2014

Beautiful cake, I love the mix of oranges and cardamom!

March 6, 2014

This cake is so gorgeous! Great job :)

March 5, 2014

It looks beautiful and delicious. The orange base looks so vibrant and enticing. Yum!

It’s a shame that the good old upside down cake isn’t particularly popular any more. They’re so easy to make and they can look beautiful, just like this one!

March 4, 2014

I love upside down cake! My Mum makes a version with mangos and I love making it with dulce de leche and banana too. Orange sounds wonderfully sophisticated and right up my street!

March 4, 2014

Beautiful and very tempting! This is a wonderful recipe.