10 Dec 2012

Eric Lanlard's Spiced Orange Upside-down Cake

The festive season is well and truly upon us. December is a month of indulgence; so many parties, weddings, events (UpperCrust Magazine’s 10th Food & Wine Show is taking place in Mumbai this weekend) and of course Christmas! Festive baking is one my favourite things to do and I just love how the kitchen fills up with the aromas of cinnamon, raisins and gingerbread, not to mention mulled cider on the side...

This year, I decided to bake something I had never tried before. After watching several contestants on MasterChef Australia bake upside-down cakes, I thought I too would give it a try. I Googled it (but of course) and there were tons of pineapple and apple cake recipes, but I really wanted to use these gorgeous oranges available in the market. Then I came across Eric Lanlard’s recipe for an Orange upside down cake on Baking Mad, and it seemed perfect. Eric is a French patissier and a celebrity chef who owns the luxury cafe-patisserie Cake Boy in London; he has written multiple books on baking (I’m currently coveting his book Home Bake) and he has his own baking show on British telly. Oh, did I mention that he is cute too?!

I have adapted his recipe slightly, so here’s my Spiced Orange Upside-down Cake. This recipe serves 8-10 people, depending upon portion sizes! You can scale up the recipe as per your requirement. You can change the spice levels as per your taste. Also, experiment with other fruits.

You’ll need:
For the Cake
  • 150g All-purpose Flour
  • 150g Butter (I use salted butter; if you’re using unsalted butter, remember to add a pinch of salt to the dry mix)
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped (or 1tsp Vanilla Essence)
  • 2tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 2tsp Orange Zest
For the Poaching Syrup
  • 1 large Orange
  • 1-2 sticks of Cinnamon
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 100ml Water
  • 100g Sugar
How to:
  • To make the poaching syrup, mix the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and set it on low heat.
  • Meanwhile, slice the orange into thin round slices, keeping the peel on.
  • Once the sugar is almost dissolved, add the cinnamon & star anise to the syrup. Place the orange slices in.
  • Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Turn off the heat and let the orange slices soak in the syrup.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease an 18cm cake tin and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour and baking powder.
  • Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  • Add the dry mix, about 1/3rd at a time and keep mixing till well incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla, cinnamon powder and orange zest.
  • Remove the orange slices from the poaching syrup and arrange at the base of the cake tin till it’s covered well.
  • Pour the cake batter over the orange slices and bake for 40-45 minutes, or till a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Let it cool completely and then turn it over onto a plate or cake stand.
  • Slice and serve with some of the poaching syrup.

A tip – after removing the orange slices from the poaching syrup, I tossed in the used vanilla bean to enhance the flavour of the syrup.


  1. love this hot looking cake; nice recipe and totally looks scrumptious. I have never attempted an orange upside down cake; gotta try this

    1. Thank you, Priya! If you do try it, let me know how it turns out :)

  2. i totally expected to start smelling the cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest while reading ur blog!!!!

    im dont cook, however, it is not too much for me to ask one of my family members to make this one for me! YUM!

    1. Hi, thank you so much! Hope you do get someone to make it & you can enjoy it :D

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! Do try & let me know how it turns out :)

  4. I tried it and brought it to work to show off cos it looked so amazing (and I'm really NOT a good baker)Tastes amazing too and everyone wants the recipe, so thanks! :-)

    1. So glad you liked it!! It's one of my favourite cakes to bake :)