Orange Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake

Orange Poppy Seed Upside Down Cake


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This is a very moist and sticky orange and poppy seed cake. If possible don't change anything because it works very well. I know the preparation time is a bit long but it is well worth it.


Serves: 24 

  • Caramelised Orange Slices
  • 6 medium oranges
  • 3 small lemons, optional
  • 2 cups (440g) white sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (65ml) brandy
  • Cake Tin
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (80g) brown sugar
  • Cake
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 2 cups (440g) sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon rum or rum essence
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) brandy, orange brandy or cointreau
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds
  • 4 cups (500g)self raising flour
  • orange juice as needed (about 2 cups)

Preparation:30min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hour10min 

  1. Caramelised Orange Slices: Scrub oranges and lemons well. Grate the rind of 2 oranges and 2 lemons and put aside. Slice those 2 oranges and 2 lemons into approximately 5mm thick slices. Juice remaining oranges and lemon for cake and glaze.
  2. Place the 2 cups of white sugar into a heavy saucepan and slowly add the water. Avoid splashing syrup against the sides of the pan and use a wet pastry brush to wipe away any remaining sugar crystals. Dissolve the sugar and add the orange and lemon slices.
  3. Bring to boil, lower heat and slowly simmer until slices are tender. If the syrup gets too heavy add some orange juice and, if desired, brandy. Remove the slices from the syrup and reserve both the syrup and the slices.
  4. Glaze: Reduce remaining syrup by boiling vigorously, add some brandy and orange juice. When reduced to a thick syrup, remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Cake Tin: Separate sides and base of two 23 cm spring form cake tins. Grease and coat sides liberally with breadcrumbs Cover base with baking paper and join both sides. Over the base each tin pour 1/2 of the melted butter. Over that sprinkle 1/2 of the brown sugar. Arrange the orange and lemon slices on top of the brown sugar. Dice any remaining slices and set aside.
  6. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  7. Cake: Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs and all flavourings. Keep mixing to a smooth and creamy consistency.
  8. Add the grated rind, poppy seeds and the diced pieces of oranges. Sift in the flour just enough until combined. Add enough of the orange juice to make a slightly runny mixture.
  9. Pour into prepared cake tins and bake for 40 - 50 minutes. Test with skewer just before baking time is finished. The skewer should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it. Do not overcook or the cake will get dry so cooking time needs careful watching.
  10. Leave the cake in tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a plate to cool. Whilst cake is still hot sprinkle or brush some of the orange and lemon juice over the top and let it absorb. Repeat a number of times.
  11. Let cool a bit then pour the glaze over.

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