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citrus upside down cake
Lucy Schaeffer

Winter citrus is celebrated through this beautiful upside down cake and will take you all the way through summer. There's nothing extra complicated about this cake, but the little extra effort of slicing citrus and fanning them out in the bottom of the cake pans results in a something so very beautiful.

The fruit and butter mixture keeps the cake moist and while the thyme is completely optional, it's SO good in the cake. Rosemary could be used as well if you prefer. Any of your favourite citrus can be used. (We used oranges, grapefruit, and lemons). Do your best to really fill the entire bottom with fruit, trimming slices and overlapping slices as you need.  

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Makes: 8 - 10 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
For fruit topping

Cooking spray

4-5 citrus fruits, such as a variety of oranges, grapefruits, or lemons

100 g

caster sugar

4 tbsp.

butter, melted

For cake batter
185 g

plain flour 

1 tsp.

baking powder

1/2 tsp.


115 g

butter, softened

100 g

caster sugar

55 g

packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tbsp.

freshly chopped thyme

Zest of 1 orange


large eggs 

1 tbsp.

pure vanilla extract

180 ml


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (160ºC fan). Grease a 23cm round cake pan and line with parchment. Slice fruit 1/2cm thick. Use a pairing knife to cut peel and as much of the pith off as you can. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and melted butter. Pour into bottom of prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Arrange fruit on top, overlapping slightly so that the bottom is completely covered.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. 
  4. In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter, sugars, thyme, and orange zest until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients and beat until almost incorporated. Add buttermilk and beat until everything is just combined. Pour batter over arranged fruit and spread, carefully, into an even layer. 
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Let cool completely.

Lucy Schaeffer
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