We’re still waiting to get the heavy rains here in Southern California today. It was supposed to happen yesterday, but not a drop here in Los Angeles. During a rainy day, there’s nothing like baking to set the mood for a cozy home. When the oven is heated up to help raise the thermometer, it’s always a nice feeling compared to the damp air outside. I enjoy the slight sweetness in the air at my house when I’m baking, and often stop and just take it all in.
Citrus fruits are here for the next couple of months, and I mentioned I was going to take full advantage of this situation. Blood oranges just happen to be one of my favorites for several reasons. The colors are wildly awesome, and the flavors are different than a traditional orange – sweet & sour, yet mild. I love to bake with blood oranges and creating a gluten-free cake seemed like a great idea.
In this recipe, I used a combination of almond flour and gluten-free flour to give the cake a little more body. I also like the taste of almond in a cake when it contains citrus, because the nutty notes highlight the gorgeous tart fruit. The vibrant hues of this cake are also outstanding, and a simple caramel sauce that glues the oranges into place when inverted, adds a peek-a-boo view that’s irresistible. This cake can be served as dessert, but it’s not bad for breakfast either.
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 large or 3 mediums blood oranges
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt
(Makes 9-inch Cake)
- Grease a 9-inch cake pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt brown sugar and 4 tablespoons butter, stir. Turn off heat and add lemon juice, stir. Pour caramel into bottom or prepared pan, set aside.
- Slice top and bottom off oranges. Then, slice sides off oranges and cut horizontally into slices (see picture). Place orange slices on top of caramel in pan in a circular pattern. Do not overlap.
- In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, gluten-free flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- In a stand mixer, cream remaining butter and sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of pan, and add eggs one at a time, mixing in between. Add vanilla and mix again for 1 minute.
- Add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk in thirds. Spoon batter over oranges in pan, smooth out on top. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes almost clean. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before inverting.
- Invert cake onto a cake plate or stand. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!