Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound Cake Recipe

This picturesque cake will wow your guests — it’s gorgeous and packed with delicious fresh flavors and buttery goodness! Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound CakeInspiration for my recipes comes from all over the place.
Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound CakeIt can be anything from the produce that’s in season and the temperature outside, to the mood I’m in and flavors I’m craving.  It can also be pictures in magazines, aromas in the air, what’s in my pantry, and a million things in between.  Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound CakeFor this recipe my inspiration was color.  I wanted to paint a picture, if you will — of the fiery red of blood oranges and the brilliant gold of turmeric. Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound CakeI knew the flavors would marry beautifully, and I just had to see those deep, rich colors together — in a cake!  Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound CakeYou will be a star when you serve this at your next get together.  It’s beautiful inside and out!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound Cake Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 to 3 blood oranges
  • ¼ cup low or full-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated turmeric (here's How to Use Fresh Turmeric)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and adjust a rack to the center. Use a pastry brush, or a bit of the butter wrapper, to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with the tablespoon of softened butter. Set aside.
  2. On a clean, dry surface, use a paring knife to cut about ½-inch off the top and bottom of each blood orange. Then to remove the skin, set them down on one of their flat surfaces and use a the knife, moving downwards, just inside the skin, cutting only slightly into the flesh. (Here's a photographic guide for cutting citrus this way.) Now, cutting horizontally into the blood oranges, create round slices that are about ¼-inch thick. Place them on the bottom surface of the buttered cake pan, covering as much of the space as possible. The edges of the orange slices should be touching each other. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the milk with the freshly grated turmeric. (Here's How to Use Fresh Turmeric.) Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a strong simmer. Then turn off the heat, cover, and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, cardamom and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
  6. Now strain the turmeric milk. Use the bottom of a spoon to gently press on the grated turmeric to get as much liquid out as possible. Set aside.Blood Orange-Turmeric Upside Down Pound Cake
  7. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the egg mixture and the strained turmeric milk. Once it's blended in, fold in the melted butter. Continue to fold the batter until it's smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan with the blood oranges and place it on a baking sheet, and then into the preheated 350 degree F oven. Bake until it's golden and set, about 30 minutes.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then invert it onto a a serving plate or platter. (The cake is best served at room temperature.)


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  1. hothousetomato says

    With such a bold presence of moist ingredients I’m not sure how to convert this recipe to Gluten Free Flour and Guar Gum. I’m concerned it would become a gorgeous but leaden hockey puck. Do you have recommendations?

    • valentina says

      Hi there. I haven’t made a gluten-free version of this recipe. That said, my instinct would be to try it with a gluten-free 1 to 1 baking flour, such as this one. 1 to 1 flours typically contain blend of a few GF flours and xanthan gum. I think you’d have success with it. Thanks for visiting my site and checking out the recipe. Let me know if you try it, and I’ll let you know if I do. 🙂

  2. says

    Wow, the colors in this cake are unbelievably gorgeous! I don’t think I’ve ever baked with turmeric, but I’m certainly intrigued. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • valentina says

      Hi Summer, I haven’t ever tried this with an egg substitute. I found this great “cheat sheet” for substituting eggs that I think will be really helpful. For this cake, I’d really try to stay away from substitutes with strong flavors — you don’t want to take away from the turmeric! 🙂 My instinct would be to try the flax first. Good luck!

  3. Julia says

    Hi there! Does anybody have an idea with what I could substitute the blood oranges for now? They’re not in season yet around here, but I’d still love to make that cake for my mom’s birthday in early November. Would love to hear some ideas! Thanks! 🙂

    • valentina says

      Hi Julia, You can use Naval oranges — and, you might see Cara Cara’s early Nov (but could be too early) — they’re a great pinkish color. The Navals would be lovely — just a different look. Enjoy!

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