Kick off the blood orange season with this vegan friendly mouth-wateringly delicious & crunchy upside down blood orange cake with distinct citrus notes. No flour and no refined sugar make it light, fluffy, as well as waist friendly. Enjoy it as it comes on its own or turn into a special date night dessert by serving it with a dollop of ice a cream, warm custard or cream.
I’m so excited about the blood oranges season, can you tell?! I’ve been hunting blood oranges down for a couple of weeks now until I finally got my hands on them in the local supermarket. And guess what? I couldn’t wait to come back home and photograph them, as they’re just the most perfect models, aren’t they?!
Although I’m not a cake person at all – I’d turn down a slice of cake for chocolate any day – but I’ve been wanting to make an upside down blood orange cake for so long now, so I thought it’s time to conquer the day and do it!
When brainstorming the ingredients for this cake, I wanted to make it healthy(ish), so it’s not too much of a compromise on extra calories. I came across a great recipe for this upside down blood orange polenta cake here and made some tweaks to the recipe, which I’m so happy to share with you below.
Notes on the ingredients
This cake is made without any flour (just ground almonds and polenta), which makes it rather light, fluffy & crunchy.
Using coconut sugar instead of traditional refined sugar won’t cause spikes in your blood sugars either, so you might want to go for another slice, if I dare suggest it…
I used chia eggs to make this blood orange cake vegan friendly but you’re very welcome to use eggs for a non-vegan version.
This upside down blood orange cake is delicious to eat on its own, just as it comes, but it would also make a beautiful dessert for Valentine’s Day, especially with its distinct red colours. To turn it into an irresistible Valentine’s dessert, serve it with a dollop of ice cream, warm custard or cream. I promise you there will be some hearts conquered that night!!
Why you’ll love this cake
- It bursts with distinct citrus flavours
- Light, fluffy & crunchy
- A great diet-friendly option (no flour or refined sugar)
- Makes a great centerpiece for a dinner party table
On this note, I’ll pass you right over to the recipe, which proves that you can have your cake & eat it too! I hope you enjoy it, share it with your loved ones and bake it again!
If you make this delicious blood orange cake, I’d absolutely love to see your take on it and hear your feedback, as always. Be sure to pop your comments in the comment section below and tag me @fit.foodie.nutter on Instagram or Fit Foodie Nutter on Facebook, so I can see all of your mouth-watering masterpieces.
If you’re looking for some more diet-friendly dessert inspiration for Valentine’s Day, why not try this light vegan-friendly strawberry mousse cake, zingy nectarine & mango tart, decadent yet healthy chocolate tarts or this seriously delicious plum & blackberry galette.
Have a great day and stay healthy.
UPSIDE DOWN BLOOD ORANGE CAKE (VEGAN, GF)
For the cake:
- 3 tbsp ground chia seeds
- 6 tbsp water
- 5-6 blood oranges
- 1 cup organic coconut sugar
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 + 3/4 cups ground almonds
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- 2/3 cups coconut oil melted
- Zest of 2 oranges
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cups blood orange juice
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the glaze:
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- Orange peel
For garnish (optional):
- A handful of roasted hazelnuts
- A drizzle of maple syrup
- To make chia eggs, mix ground chia seeds with water and whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 7″ cake tin with a little coconut oil. To prevent the cake from sticking to the tin, sprinkle the bottom of the tin with 1tsp polenta and swirl it around the sides tapping off excess. Place a circle of grease proof baking paper at the bottom of the tin.
- Thinly slice 1-2 oranges (reserve the orange peel) and arrange the slices at the bottom of the cake tin. Sprinkle the slices with a little coconut sugar. Set aside.
- In a big mixing bowl, combine coconut sugar, polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and mix well.
- In a separate bowl or a jug, whisk together coconut oil, orange zest, lemon & blood orange juice & vanilla extract until all ingredients are well combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix well to incorporate everything together.
- Gently scoop the cake mixture into the cake tin on top of the sliced oranges (make sure the orange slices are staying in place). Spread the cake mixture evenly around the tin by gently tapping the cake tin on the worktop surface.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 40-50mins. To check if the cake is baked, insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Whilst the cake is in the oven, prepare the syrup. Combine coconut sugar, water & reserved orange peel in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3-5mins until the syrup has slightly thickened. When ready, put the syrup through a sieve to remove the orange peel.
- Allow the cake to cool down for a few minutes before turning it upside down. Whilst the cake is still warm, brush the syrup over the cake with a pastry brush. If desired, cut extra slices of blood oranges & arrange them on top of the cake (it’s just for the visual effect, to make it look bright & colourful).
- This cake tastes best whilst still warm. If desired, add a sprinkle of roasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup just before serving. To turn into a show stopping dessert, serve it with a big dollop of ice cream, warm custard or cream.