For an orange or blood orange moist and flavorful cake, French traditional yogurt cake is definitely the good choice.
I have always found orange cakes decorated with neatly arranged slices of orange absolutely gorgeous, without ever baking any thought. I recently finally decided to bake one but I wanted the recipe to come out with two ideas: a super soft and moist texture and orange slices that would be easy to cut, I mean I don’t want to smash my beautiful cake when I serve my family or guests just because orange slices would be difficult to cut and I might flatten the whole cake while trying to cut through.
Therefore I decided to use a French classic cake recipe, gâteau au yaourt yogurt cake batter recipe, and prepare the cake as I would do for an upside-down cake: topping fist, then the batter and flip the cake once baked. As for orange slices topping, they are previously candied in an orange juice syrup.
Here is some information on the recipe
- Oranges or blood oranges The recipe here is made with blood oranges, but you can make it with oranges of course. However, they are often larger, which is why I have given you the quantities in ml.
- Organic As we use zests, preferably choose organic oranges.
- Upside Down Cake The secret of this recipe is to lay parchment paper on the bottom of the pan and cover it with candied orange slices and a bit of reduced orange syrup. Once cooked and flipped on a plate, you will get this sublime cake.
- Yogurt Cake I chose a yogurt cake batter because, in my opinion, it is lighter in texture and fluffier than a pound cake batter base for example.
- Olive oil I just love to replace neutral vegetable oil with olive oil in yogurt cakes. For olive oil’s nutritional properties, but also its flavor and texture. Don’t worry as we add orange zest and juice in the batter, the olive oil taste won’t be too strong, but feel free to use neutral oil or event butter instead.
- Baking powder or baking soda The French traditionally use baking powder, but it’s true that baking soda or a mix of baking powder and baking soda give a fluffier cake, which is interesting here.
If you like French gâteau au yaourt, check the recipe I’ve been baking since I’m a kid, my yogurt cake with pears and chocolate.
Upside-down French Yogurt Cake with Oranges
- 3 eggs
- 120 gr brown sugar
- 1 yoghurt 125gr / 0.27 pound = +/- ½cup
- 250 gr flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder or half baking powder half baking soda
- 40 ml olive oil
- 60 ml orange juice +/- 1 orange
- 2 oranges zests + slices for the syrup below
Syrup and topping
- 3 oranges 150 to 200 ml orange juice
- 60 gr sugar
Start with flavoring sugar, by infusing orange zests
- Using 2 oranges, make very fine zest with a zester or peeled and minced as much as possible. Combine with 120 gr sugar and set aside at room temperature so that orange flavor will diffuse, for about 15 minutes.
- Cut these 2 oranges into thin slices, they will be soaked in the syrup and will serve as topping on the cake.
- Squeeze 3 oranges to get 150 to 200 ml of orange juice.
- Pour this orange juice into a saucepan with 60 gr of sugar and bring to the boil.
- When the syrup has reduced by half, soak the orange slices, possibly in 2 batches, candy for about 5 minutes. Take out the slices with a fork and set them aside.
- Keep reducing the syrup, until you get a thick syrupy consistency as on the photo below.
Meanwhile, prepare the cake batter
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C/350°F.
- In a bowl or using a food processor, mix the whole eggs and the flavored sugar with the orange zest. Add the yogurt and combine.
- Then add flour and baking powder, combine.
- Finally pour 40 ml of olive oil and 60 ml of orange juice (i.e. 1 orange) and mix.
Assemble and bake the cake
- Grease a mold and cover the bottom with a sheet of parchment paper. Cover the parchment paper with the candied orange slices and pour the reduced syrup over. Syrup shouldn’t cover orange slices. It must be thick enough and cover half or 2/3 of the orange slices.
- Finally, pour the batter over orange slices and bake in the oven at 180 °C / 350°F for about 40 minutes.
- Check if the cake is baked by inserting a sharp knife, it should come out dry. Once out of the oven, unmold by immediately flipping on a serving plate, remove the sheet of parchment paper.