This picturesque Turmeric Cake with Blood Oranges is an upside down cake that will wow everyone! It’s an unexpected dessert that’s packed with flavor and buttery goodness.
Inspiration for Turmeric Cake
Inspiration for my recipes comes from all over the place.
Inside, outside, books, magazines, mood, weather . . . .
It can be anything from the produce that’s in season and the temperature outside, to how I’m feeling, and flavors I’m craving.
Aromas in the air, what’s in my pantry, and a million things in between.
For 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.
I knew the flavors would marry beautifully, and I just had to see those deep, rich colors together — in a cake. Sometimes a vision must be realized.
And it’s every bit as delicious as it is beautiful!
What’s in this recipe?
- blood oranges
- fresh turmeric
- baking powder
How to make Turmeric Cake
– Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with softened butter.
– Use a paring knife to cut about inch off the top and bottom of each blood orange. Cut off the skin and then cut the oranges horizontally into round slices that are about ¼ inch thick. Place them on the bottom of the buttered cake pan.
– Combine milk with freshly grated turmeric in a pot and bring to a strong simmer. Then turn off the heat, cover, and let the flavor infuse. Strain and use the bottom of a spoon to gently press on the grated turmeric to get as much liquid out as possible.
– Combine the flour with the baking powder, cardamom and salt. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla.
– Pour the egg mixture and the strained turmeric milk into the dry ingredients. Once it’s blended in, fold in the melted butter.
– Pour the batter into the cake pan with the blood oranges and bake in a 350°F oven until it’s golden and set, about 30 minutes.
– Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then invert it onto a serving plate.
(More detailed instructions are below.)
What makes this cake so special?
- Gorgeous color. Cakes with Turmeric will have a stunning golden glow to them.
- Comfort food. Cakes with Turmeric are not a comfort food just because they are sweet dessert, it’s more because turmeric is a warming spice. It’s rich in astringent tannins that help tighten tissues and absorb excess water from the body, which results in “drying.” And that in turn, raises the overall body temperature. So the cake could potentially warm you up in cold weather! 😉
- Delicious flavor. Turmeric has subtle scents of orange and ginger. The overall flavor is mild, though it can be slightly bitter. In a cake, all of this is balanced and enhanced with the sugar and rich butter.
- Wow factor. This cake will wow your friends and family. And that’s a promise.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Gluten-free? You can use Cup4Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour to make a gluten free version of this Turmeric Cake.
- Can you use turmeric powder instead of fresh grated turmeric? You can substitute turmeric powder for the fresh turmeric if you’d like. Use about 2 teaspoons of the powder if you’re substituting.
- Be sure to very thoroughly grease the bottom and sides of the cake pan. And if you have a non-stick cake pan, use it.
Can you Make it Ahead?
- This cake can be made one day ahead of time. It can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature. I do not recommend freezing this cake.
Turmeric Cake with Blood Oranges is beautiful inside and out. I hope you love it as much as my family and I do!
More turmeric and blood orange recipes:
Turmeric Cake with Blood Oranges
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
- 2 to 3 blood oranges
- ¼ cup low or full-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh turmeric, freshly grated
- 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 extract
- Preheat the oven and prepare the pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and adjust a rack to the center. Use a pastry brush, or a bit of the butter wrapper, to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of a 9 inch cake pan with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Melt the remaining cup of butter and set it aside.
- Cut the blood oranges and line the pan with them. 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. 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.
- Infuse the milk with the turmeric. 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.
- Begin making the cake batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the baking powder, cardamom and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Set both aside.
- Strain the turmeric milk. Strain the turmeric milk in a fine mesh strainer. Use the bottom of a spoon to gently press on the grated turmeric to get as much liquid out as possible.
- Finish the batter and bake. 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. 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°F oven. Bake until it's golden and set, about 30 minutes.
- Cool and serve. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, and then invert it onto a serving plate. (The cake is best served at room temperature.)
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