orange olive oil upside down cake

Orange and Olive Oil Upside Down Cake

Orange Upside Down Cake

I’m a huge fan of upside down cake. So much, in fact, that I have two other upside down cake recipes already on this site— banana and pineapple. However, while I’d heard of olive oil cake, I hadn’t had the opportunity to try eating or making it.

I love olive oil too, more so than most, I expect—yet I was uncertain whether or not I’d like this cake. Would the olive oil flavor be too much? Would the orange rind be bitter?

Before putting the cake in the oven, I stole a fingertip full of batter. Ew! The oil taste was overwhelming. Well, I’d come this far. Nothing I could do about it now except wait and see.

The cake smelled great while it was cooking. When I pulled the pan from the oven, the top of the cake, which would become the bottom, was evenly cooked and the color of toast. After flipping it over, it looked even better. The oranges were a pretty burnt orange color and they were dripping with caramelized sugar.

How did it taste? Delicious! This recipe is adapted from the one on Rachel Ray’s website.


2 oranges, sliced to 1/4″ with a mandolin
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cup (297 grams) sugar, divided
1.25 cups (150 grams) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbl butter
1 oz Grand Marnier
Whipped cream, for serving


Preheat oven to 350°F.


  1. Line a sheet tray with paper towels.
  2. Cut oranges into round slices using a mandolin, about 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Place slices onto paper towel-lined tray.
  4. Once the sheet tray is full, cover with another layer of paper towels and gently press to dry them out a bit.
  5. Set aside.


  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 cup sugar.
  2. Mix until smooth.
  3. In another bowl, mix together 1.25 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt.
  4. Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into the wet until smooth.
  5. Set aside.


  1. Place a 10” cast-iron skillet over high heat and add 2 Tbl butter.
  2. Pour remaining 1/2 cup sugar onto a plate.
  3. Remove paper towels from oranges and, working quickly, coat both sides of the orange slices with sugar, shaking off any excess.
  4. Place the sugar-coated orange slices into the hot skillet.
  5. Completely cover the bottom of the pan and place any extra orange slices over them.
  6. Once all the orange slices are in the pan, sprinkle remaining sugar evenly over them and cook 1-2 minutes or until sugar bubbles on the sides.
  7. Carefully add in the shot of orange liqueur—it may ignite, so be prepared.
  8. Cook for a few minutes.
  9. Pour cake batter into center of pan, directly over the oranges.
  10. Spread batter out a bit.
  11. Place pan in oven and bake 35 minutes.
  12. Cool 15 minutes, run a knife around the edge to loosen it from the sides and invert onto a plate.
  13. Set aside for a few hours before slicing .
  14. Optional: serve with whipped cream.

This orange olive oil upside down cake serves 8 people.
Approximately 262 calories per slice – does not include whipped cream.

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