Ombré Citrus Upside-Down Cake

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This ombré citrus upside-down cake looks like you spent all day making it. Luckily, looks can be deceiving. Whipping up this beauty is as easy as slicing a few different types of citrus fruit, layering them in the bottom of your cake pan and pouring the whole-wheat batter on top. Oh, and quick tip: You can find red-fleshed cara cara oranges near the navel oranges at the supermarket.



3 tablespoons unsalted butter

⅓ cup light brown sugar

1 Meyer lemon, halved and thinly sliced

1 navel orange, halved and thinly sliced

1 cara cara orange, halved and thinly sliced

1 blood orange, halved and thinly sliced


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

½ granulated cup sugar

½ cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ cups sour cream


1. Make the Topping: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan generously with the butter, being especially generous when coating the base of the pan.

2. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the base of the pan. Arrange the citrus in lines across the cake pan, starting with lemon slices on the left side. Follow with lines of navel orange slices, then cara cara slices and finally blood orange slices to create an ombré effect. Overlap the pieces slightly to fit in as many as possible.

3. Make the Cake: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well to combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine.

5. Add the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.

6. Add the sour cream and mix well to combine. Pour the batter over the prepared citrus slices and gently spread into an even layer.

7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes inside the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Nutrition Facts
  • 253 calories

  • 17g fat

  • 25g carbs

  • 3g protein

  • 15g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...