Upside-Down Blood Orange Cornmeal Cake

Lindsey Leichthammer

This recipe was entered in our We ♥ Local Cornmeal recipe contest by Lindsey Leichthammer.

Prep Time

60 minutes

Cook Time

40 minutes


1 Cake


11 tablespoons butter, unsalted (divided)
2⁄3 cup brown sugar (plus 1/4 cup)
1 lemon (juice of 1 lemon)
3 blood orange (zested (zest reserved))
1 1⁄2 cups flour, all-purpose (sifted)
1⁄3 cup cornmeal (yellow)
3⁄4 cup sugar
3 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt, Greek
2 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon honey


Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan that is 2" deep.

Zest the blood oranges and reserve the zest. Juice half of one blood orange and reserve. Cut the ends off the remaining 2 1/2 blood oranges and place flat side down on a cutting board. Run knife in rounded motion along the flesh of the orange to remove the pith and peel. Slice oranges into 1/4-inch thick wheels.

Melt 3 Tbsp of butter in a small saucepan. Add 2/3 cup brown sugar and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Pour the butter/sugar mixture into the prepared 9-inch cake pan. Arrange orange wheels in a tight pattern in the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare cake batter.

In one bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, and orange juice. Pour yogurt mixture and melted butter into flour mixture and stir just to combine.  Pour into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly over the orange wheels. Place cake pan on a sheet pan in case of any bubbling over. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cake cool for 10 minutes and then run a knife around the edges. Invert onto a cake plate or stand (don't let the cake cool completely before doing this or the oranges may stick to the bottom of the pan).  Once inverted, drizzle with honey and cool before serving.