Orange lemon upside-down cake

Orange lemon upside-down cake


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About this recipe: This is a very moist and sticky orange, lemon and poppyseed cake. If possible, don't change anything because it works very well. I have made this cake numerous times and it is well worth it. If you have a juicer you can make your own orange juice and it will taste even better.



  • For the caramelized orange and lemon slices
  • 6 medium oranges
  • 3 small lemons
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 500ml water
  • 4 tablespoons brandy
  • 4 tablespoons marmalade
  • To prepare the cake tins
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • brown sugar
  • breadcrumbs or biscuit crumbs
  • For the cake
  • 250g butter
  • 450g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 lightly beaten eggs
  • 1 teaspoon rum flavouring
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 125ml brandy or cointreau
  • 30g poppy seeds
  • zest of oranges
  • 500g self-raising flour
  • about 500ml orange juice

Prep:30min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    For the caramelized orange and lemon slices

  1. Scrub oranges and lemons well, then grate the skin of 2 oranges and 2 lemons, put zest aside.
  2. Slice those 2 oranges and 2 lemons into approx 1/2cm thick slices. Juice remaining oranges and lemon - you will use this juice for the cake and glaze.
  3. Place 450g caster sugar into a heavy pan and slowly add the water. Use a wet pastry brush to stir and wipe away any remaining sugar crystals that might splash up the side of the pot. Slowly let it come to the boil; add the orange and lemon slices, lower heat and slowly simmer until fruit has softened. Remove the fruit slices and reserve the syrup to make the glaze.
  4. Making the glaze: Reduce remaining syrup by boiling vigorously, add 4 tablespoons brandy, orange juice and marmalade at this stage to flavour the glaze. When reduced to a thick syrup, remove from heat and let cool. If marmalade has been added, strain through a sieve to remove solids. You will spread this on the cake when it has cooled.
  5. Preheat oven to 160 C / Gas 2/3.
  6. To prepare the cake tins:

  7. Separate sides and base of two 23cm springform cake tins. Grease and coat the sides liberally with breadcrumbs or biscuit crumbs. Cover base with baking paper and join both sides. Over the base of each tin, pour 1/2 of the melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange the orange and lemon slices on top of the brown sugar. Dice any remaining slices and set aside.
  8. To make the cake:

  9. Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, rum flavouring, vanilla extract and brandy (or cointreau). Keep mixing to a smooth and creamy consistency.
  10. Add the grated zest, poppy seeds and the diced pieces of fruit. Sift in the flour just enough until combined. Add enough of the orange juice to make a slightly runny mixture. You can reserve the rest for pouring over the cooked cake. Pour into prepared cake tins.
  11. Bake for approximately 40 to 50 minutes. Test with skewer just before baking time is finished, skewer should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it.
  12. Leave the cake in tin for 10 minutes before flipping the cakes out to reveal the fruit slices underneath. Whilst cake is still hot, brush orange juice over the top, let it absorb and repeat a few times. Sandwich the cakes together and finish by brushing over the glaze.

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