Yum Hey What's for Dinner Mom?: Orange Upside Down Cake & bonus Candied Orange Peel


Orange Upside Down Cake & bonus Candied Orange Peel

I bought a case of oranges 2 weeks ago and we have been plowing steadily through them. I love my winter oranges. Not particularly for myself, I get funky mouth sores, but my kids love them and eat them almost daily for snacks, or lunch. I had all 3 boys here Tuesday for lunch, while I was was peeling oranges I decided to leave them unsectioned and slice them in rounds. They looked like beautiful jewel slices and I was suddenly inspired to make an orange upside down cake.

And that's exactly what I did. I've never bothered to use cake flour in any cake recipe but for some reason I found a coupon from BlogHer Food 09 right before I went on my weekly grocery trip. I bought some Soft-as-Silk by Pillsbury with the coupon. I'll have to do some research and find out what it's all about but it did produce a light tender cake. I also used my homemade vanilla sugar in place of vanilla so the cake was a pretty creamy white. All in all a nice baking experiment. Simple and good. Oh and all the boys loved it, which pretty much means it's decimated.

Orange Upside Down Cake
3 large oranges, peeled but left whole, save peel
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
1 3/4 cup of cake flour
2/3 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup of milk
1 egg
1/4 softened butter

slice the oranges crosswise into approximately 1/2 inch slices set aside the end pieces for hungry kids
you will need about 8 nice round slices
place an 8 inch cake pan over medium heat, melt the butter in it
add the sugar and stir to disolve, remove from heat
lay the oranges in the buter mixture and set aside
preheat oven to 350˚
in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl add your dry ingredients
give them a whirl to mix through
add the wet ingredients, mix on low, scraping sides as needed
when all ingredients are incorporated
mix on medium speed for 1 1/2 minutes-this is where I love my stand mixer, during this time I walk away and clean up my mess, when I come back the mess is controlled and the cake is mixed
pour the cake mixture over the oranges, spreading carefully
bake 30-35 minutes or until it's done
cool for 15 minutes
if your cake is slightly uneven, slice off any high pieces because
then invert a cake stand over it and carefully (HOT) flip the entire thing over and gently remove the cake pan
serve warm or cold

I'm always looking for ways to use 'every little bit' not only to save money but as an active form of recycling, upcycling or repurposing items. The orange peels created a bit of a dilemma for me: my chickens won't eat them, they take a coons age to compost and worm bin worms don't like them. Off course the obvious solution is to throw them out I mean how long could I possibly debate the purpose of ornage waste right> HA! I decided to candy them. I've only seen this done once and it was distasteful to me because I was poor and cleaning houses to buy MY OWN HOME back from my ex-husband (not to be confused with my 'real' husband I have now) and the woman making the candied orange peel was throwing out the whole orange. For some reason that stuck with me, here I was cleaning her toilets so I could keep my house and she had the audacity to be rich...and stupid...and careless. So I had a grudge against candied orange peel. Being the trooper I am, I sucked it up and made them anyway. They are interesting. Of course most things are when you get harried and slightly overcook them but whatever. I'm nibbling them.

Pretty basic recipe. Take the 3 peels from the above oranges and boil them for 20 minutes in a saucepan of water. After 20 minutes pour off the water and let them cool. When cool carefully cut the white pith out of them. Get as much as possible or they will be bitter. When they are trimmed as close as possible slice them into strips from 1/4 inch wide to 3/8 inch. Make a simple syrup of 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water, stir over medium high heat in a sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and the orange peels. Simmer the peels for 40 minutes. Remove to waxed paper and let them cool completely. Roll in sugar or leave plain for garnishes. Excellent upcycling of potential trash if I do say so myself.

before pith removal


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and look at this beautiful day we had, cold but pretty


  1. How unique.. an orange upside down cake, great idea.. and perfect use of leftovers. Ill have to remember that next time I go to toss the peels. Sometimes I simmer them with cinnamon sticks for a nice smell in the house:)

  2. Love the orange upside down cake idea!! I've never made an upside down cake myself, but yours may have just convinced me it's the way to go!
    Ugh yeah I hate that lady too! Don't blame you! I made choc covered orange peels on my blog last year. Maybe 08? I don't pre-boil or cut off the pith though, interesting. I was trying to copy ones I've gotten at candy stores. Not too bad but I also overcooked a few of mine too so some were more like gummy bear texture. Darn ADD in the kitchen!!
    Love the sky pics at the end! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Found it!!
    Boy was I wordy back then! And I don't mention it, but we split the orange. I'd never throw out food like that, I'd have a guilty conscious for days!

  4. wow what a different kind of cake. Sounds yummy. Have a great weekend.

  5. You are too funny! I have a pile of oranges I need to work through too. I've been saving the peels in a zip lock bag in the fridge for zesting. Candying them is a great idea!

    Love the cake, BTW. Might have to try it this rainy, gloomy weekend

  6. Christina did you just say chocolate covered orange peel-I think I love you! Such a great idea because just like everything is betta with feta everything is great with choco-late

    Alright I'm a dork!

  7. oh what a wonderful cake and beautiful snow picture lol Rebecca

  8. Now this is a change from the pineapple upside down. Love it. Is that lonely little slice of the cake pedestal for me? ;-D

  9. Dang that looks delicious! My celiac daughter, who is the baker in the family, converted a Williams Sonoma Orange Chiffon cake to gluten-free last night and I'm suffering the consequences. :) Love your blog, recipes and photos.

  10. I can't believe she threw away the whole orange just to make candied orange peels! Why not make juice or just eat them? What a wasteful woman. I would have held a grudge too, but not against the oranges (ha!) but against her.

    Yummy cake and I really like the picture of the the cake slice on the cake stand.

  11. I would be easiest to do BEFORE you peel the oranges, but you could make and dehydrate orange zest to use for other recipes. It can be done in a low (200) oven for an hour or so until its really dry.

  12. Hmm, so what happens to the pith then, or do you find a way to reuse that, too? ;)

    You know you've teased me twice now on the buying the house story, and now I'm truly intrigued.

    But that cake? Oh, it looks gorgeous. I would never have thought to do that. I have some tangelos that I just bought after we finished our box of clementines, and Mister Man is done with oranges for right now (sigh). I may have to go down this path. Yum!

  13. OH! And you might want to specify not putting a glass cake pan on the stove. It's possible I did this once after newly graduating college and making flan for the first time and having the caramel harden too quickly and then ummm exploding the pan all over my kitchen. Glass + stove = disaster. The stove is MUCH more concentrated heat than an oven. Thank GOD for tempered glass.

  14. Oh that cake sounds and looks so refreshing - I love the photo of the last piece on the cake stand. ~Mary


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