Upside down blood orange, semolina, almond and olive oil cake


This moist upside down blood orange, semolina, almond and olive oil cake also includes whole wheat which makes it quite substantial. A small piece goes a long way. The moist crumb with a slight bite, coupled with the almost marmalade like topping is an absolute delight.

Blood oranges are very aesthetically pleasing, with the vibrant hues in their flesh. Their flavour feels like a blend of orange and grapefruit with hints of raspberry. With the European orange season in full swing, the markets are full of a variety of citrus offerings and a few of these blood oranges found their way into my shopping trolley too.


I’ve been meaning to make an upside down blood orange cake for a while and now seemed to the perfect time for it. In addition to whole wheat flour and other ingredients, I added some semolina, almonds and olive oil. The semolina gave a slight bite to the cake. I especially loved the sticky, almost marmalade like topping!

A few things to keep in mind-


This is not a difficult cake to make, but it does have a few steps. So being organised is the key to making this cake.

The blood orange slices-

I cooked the blood orange slices in sugar syrup for a few minutes before adding to the baking pan. Make sure to slice them as thinly as possible. As the slices in this cake include the rind as well, it will have a slight bitter note to it which didn’t bother me; but it is something to keep in mind. Having said that, the flavours do mature and the cake does taste better the next day, even lessening the bitter notes.

Different colours?

Some of my blood oranges were darker in hue than the others, hence the difference in shades.


This cake is not overtly sweet. It is not a rich and indulgent cake but one that you can add to your plate alongside your cuppa. And it is definitely moist.

The moist crumb

The baking pan-

Make sure to grease the baking pan well. Also, don’t forget to line the bottom of the pan or else the orange slices will stick to it when you try to turn the cake upside down.


This cake is more of a snack cake. It is not overtly sweet, relatively simple and will be a great accompaniment with a cuppa.


Any uneaten cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for two days. In fact the cake tastes better the next day!

Continue reading for the full recipe for this upside down blood orange, semolina, almond and olive oil cake.

The sticky shiny top!

All the baking recipes on this website can be found here.

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Recipe card-

Upside down blood orange, semolina, almond and olive oil cake

Upside down blood orange, semolina, almond and olive oil cake

Sunita Bhuyan
A visually appealing upside down cake, not overtly sweet; perfect with your cuppa.
Course Dessert, Snack


The blood orange slices

  • 2 blood oranges, thinly sliced (save the end slices for later)
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup water

To be ground together ( does not need to be a fine powder

  • ¾ cup plain whole wheat flour (atta)
  • ¾ cup semolina
  • ½ cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest of two blood oranges
  • juice of 1½ blood oranges ( the zest and juice when mixed together filled ½ a cup)


  • In a pan, add the ½ C caster sugar and ¾C water over low to medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Arrange the orange slices in the pan and simmer for about 10 minutes over low to medium heat. With the help of tongs, gently turn them over every now and then.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square pan with some olive oil.
  • Place a piece of baking paper to cover the bottom of the baking pan and grease the top of the paper with a little more olive oil.
  • Gently lift the orange slices from the syrup (tongs will help) and arrange them on the baking paper in an overlapping manner.
  • Save any remaining syrup for later.
  • Pre heat the oven at 160 deg C.
  • Add the eggs and the other ½C of caster sugar to a bowl.
  • Beat with an electric whisk till pale and fluffy.
  • Reduce the speed of the whisk. Keep beating the egg mixture with one hand and with the other keep pouring the extra virgin olive oil in a steady stream till all of it is used up.
  • Add ⅓ of the flour mixture and fold in gently with a spatula.
  • Add ⅓ of the zest and juice mixture and fold in.
  • Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and juice mixture till everything is used up.
  • Tip the batter over the orange slices in the baking pan and smooth the the top.
  • Tap the pan gently against the counter to release any air bubbles.
  • Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for 35-39 minutes or till a toothpick inserted through the centre comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
  • Run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the cake.
  • Remove the cooling rack from under the pan and place it on top of the pan upside down.
  • Very carefully, holding the rack and the pan together turn the cake pan upside down. The rack should be at the bottom now and the right way up.
  • Lift the pan away from the cake.
  • The cake is now upside down; carefully peel off the baking paper to reveal the orange slices.
  • Brush the top with the reserved syrup from cooking the blood orange slices.
  • Cool the cake completely on the rack.
  • Cut into squares and serve.
  • Store any remaining cake pieces in an airtight container at room temperature and use up within two days. The cake tastes better the next day.


Keyword almond, baking, blood orange, blood orange cake, cake, dessert, olive oil cake, semolina, semolina cake, snack, snack cake, upside down, upside down cake, upside down orange cake

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Until next time,



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