Salted Caramel-Orange Upside-Down Cake

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
35 min
1 hr

8 to 10 servings

  • For the caramel:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 4 to 5 oranges
  • For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick salted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Make the caramel: Combine the sugar, 1/3 cup water and the kosher salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring just until the sugar dissolves. Cook, gently swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until amber, 8 to 10 minutes. Brush any sugar crystals off the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the butter (the mixture will bubble). Pour into a 9-inch-round cake pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom; set aside.

  • Slice off the top and bottom of the oranges. Place the oranges cut-side down and cut off the peel and white pith with a chef's knife, following the curve of the fruit. Cut along both sides of each membrane to remove the segments. Set the segments aside, discarding any seeds.

  • Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl; add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt and whisk to combine.

  • Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in the orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low; beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with flour, until just smooth.

  • Arrange the orange segments in the cake pan in concentric circles. Add the batter and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. (Tent with foil if the top gets too dark.) Transfer to a rack and let cool slightly, then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a platter. Let cool completely. Sprinkle with sea salt.

  • Photograph by Kana Okada

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    Comforting Desserts