Blood Orange Upside-Down Semolina Cake

blood orange cake recipe
Blood oranges slices are arranged on the bottom of a cake pan with a light sprinkling of sugar. Once baked, the sugar and the orange juice turn into garnet-colored syrup that is soaked up by the tender semolina cake. Requiring only extra-virgin olive oil and no butter, the cake batter can be prepared very simply by hand in one mixing bowl.

Blood Orange Upside-Down Semolina Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cake, Dessert, Vegetarian
Serves: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 4 blood orange, peeled, deseeded (if necessary) and cut horizontally into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • ⅔ cup very fine semolina flour
  • ⅔ all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup whole milk (or ¼ cup milk plus ¼ cup vodka)
  1. Preheat the over to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch round pan and sprinkle ¼ cup of sugar all over the bottom of the pan.
  3. Arrange the orange slices in the bottom of the prepared pan; set aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients; set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, olive oil, the remaining sugar, vanilla, and milk until smooth. Whisk in the dry mixture ⅓ at a time, making sure there are no lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and bake until until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 45-60 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.


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