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Upside Down Orange Cake

A cast iron skillet makes this Upside Down Orange Cake super easy to whip together and caramelizes the Valencia orange slices, peel and all! Find more olive oil cake recipes here.

Upside Down Orange Cake by FamilySpice.com

I know, I know. Isn’t it horrible of me to post a dessert recipe? Especially after professing about my own resolution to stay away from this stuff??? But, seriously, we had family visiting this weekend and not everyone is on a diet!

I love taking advantage of sharing the calories with family and friends so I don’t stuff my face with my own baked goodies. Especially when I make an Upside-Down Orange Cake!

I admit that I have a weakness for desserts, especially cakes and cookies. YUM!

Valencia Oranges by FamilySpice.com

I totally go ga-ga for fruity desserts (although chocolate isn’t too far behind).

I am still plowing through my endless supply of Valencia oranges, and knew an Upside-Down Orange Cake was needed to share for a family party.

Making of Upside Down Orange Cake by FamilySpice.com

This cake is really, REALLY simple. It’s easy to mix together and assemble. By using thin-skinned Valencia oranges, you don’t have to peel the oranges that are cooking and caramelizing on the bottom of the cast-iron skillet.

This was super important to me. The fewer the steps, the better!

You start with a hot cast iron pan, melting butter and browned sugar. Oh yeah, we are off to fabulous start! Layer in your slices of oranges as beautifully as you can with the smell of melted butter and sugar tinkling your senses.

Making of Upside Down Orange Cake by FamilySpice.com

Then pour the orange scented cake batter over your buttery, sugary slices of orange goodness. Pop it in the oven to continue baking and try not to drool while your kitchen fills up with even more orange smells tantalizing you.

The cake is light and fluffy and really bursting with orange flavor, from freshly squeezed orange juice (WITH pulp, thank you) and lots and lots of orange zest. The marmalade-like orange slices on top really finish that orange-love going around. No bitter taste, whatsoever.

Upside Down Orange Cake by FamilySpice.com

I can’t seem to get enough of this stuff!

Yield: 10

Upside Down Orange Cake

Upside Down Orange Cake

A cast iron skillet makes this Upside Down Orange Cake super easy to whip together and caramelizes the Valencia orange slices, peel and all!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes


  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 TBS light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Valencia oranges
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup thick plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 TBS orange zest
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Using a 9-inch cast iron skillet, heat over medium-high heat and melt butter.

When butter is bubbling and just starts to brown, stir in brown sugar.

Cook until sugar has dissolved into the butter and starts to melt, then remove from heat. Spread sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Remove pan from heat.

Thinly slice oranges and arrange orange slices over the brown sugar into desired pattern and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, mix together sugar, yogurt, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil and eggs until combined.

In batches, mix flour mixture into yogurt mixture and stir until combined.

Pour cake batter evenly over the orange slices in your cast iron pan.

Place cake in the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Run a knife blade along the sides of the cake to insure a clean removal.

Place serving plate over the cast iron skillet and carefully invert the cake. Keep the skillet on the plate until the cake falls into the plate.

Remove skillet and allow cake to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour before serving.


Cooking Tips: Thick Greek yogurt, like the Fage brand, is used in this recipe. If you do can not find thick yogurt, drain your regular yogurt with a cheese cloth or coffee filter until it becomes thick like sour cream.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 297Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 5g