Friday, May 20, 2011

Orange Almond Caramel Upside Down Cake

Have you ever had one of those days??

You know the ones...

You have this awesome dinner planned and you suddenly decide that you need a dessert to feed your guests...but everything seems to keep going wrong.

Yeah. That kind of day.

Well, I had one of those days recently.

I had decided I was going to make a pot of gumbo to feed The Hubble and my family before The Hubble took off for Army stuff.

I was doing pretty well...until the gumbo got too big for the pot I was cooking it in. No big deal, The Hubble helped me transfer it to a large stockpot. Easy peasy.

After I set the gumbo to simmer for the first 45 minutes I decide that I want to throw together a cake.

I had this Cake Slice Bakers challenge staring me in the I figured why not make that one??

It seemed easy enough. Quite innocent really.

I went through all the steps to prepare the topping and the batter.

As I was pouring the batter over the topping, I told The Hubble that it seemed like an awful lot of batter for such a small pan. I even told him that I hoped the cake wouldn't rise too much.

Yeah...that didn't happen.

About 15-20 minutes into the baking time, the house started smelling smoky. I realized what the smell was (burnt orange) and went to the kitchen to see how bad it was. I put a baking sheet under the cake pan and thought it would be okay.

It wasn't.

The juice that had leaked out of the pan onto the bottom of the oven continued to cook into a very burnt crisp.

The house filled entirely with smoke.

I grabbed the cake out of the oven and transferred it over to the toaster oven. I turned off the big oven and took the racks out. At that point, we saw that the crud at the bottom of the oven was one solid charred piece of nastiness.

The Hubble effortlessly scooped it out with a spatula so I set about replacing the racks, turning back on the oven and putting the cake back into the big oven (I have yet to clean out the mess in the toaster oven made by the dripping cake).

Even through all of that, the cake came out great! LOL!!

My mother loved it and raved about it the next day at work. She even came over the next 2 days to take the last couple pieces off my hands. My older sister really enjoyed it as well.

I, on the other hand, thought the cake was a little beige. I wasn't super impressed with it, nor was I disgusted with it. I could take it or leave it honestly.

I am super excited that the cake didn't taste like a burnt mess for sure though.

So...the moral of this story is: if you think there's too much batter for a pan, there probably don't use it all!

Or! Get a deeper pan!

Ready to learn how to make the cake that almost burned down my new kitchen?? Let's get baking!

Let's start with the topping. Toss your almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for a bit until they are golden.

Now melt your butter in a medium saucepan until it's foaming.

Whisk in the brown sugar for a couple minutes.

Pour that mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Drizzle on the honey...

And sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top of that.

Now whisk together your dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

And in another medium bowl or glass measuring cup lightly beat together the orange juice, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together your butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.

Stir in the orange zest.

Now turn down the mixer and slowly pour in the wet mixture until incorporated. Scrape down the bowls as necessary.

Add in the flour mixture a 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

Gently spread the batter over the topping in the pan. Now toss the cake in the oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes.

After the cake is cooked, immediately invert it onto a plate and replace any almonds that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes.

Slice, serve and enjoy!!

Orange Almond Caramel Upside Down Cake
Retrieved from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman

Printer Friendly Version


For the topping

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
For the cake
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon grated orange zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round cake pan with nonstick baking spray. Make sure the pan is at least 2 inches deep to prevent overflow.
  2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast until golden, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Make the topping: Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. Scrape mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. Drizzle with the honey. Scatter the toasted almonds over the honey; set aside.
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 
  5. In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, eggs, orange juice and vanilla; beat lightly. 
  6. With an electric mixer on medium high speed, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Stir in the orange zest.
  8. With the mixer on medium low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides.
  9. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.
  10. Pour the batter over the almonds, gently spreading it into an even layer with a spatula.
  11. Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. 
  12. Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, hold the pan and plate together wearing oven mitts and invert the cake onto the plate. If necessary, replace any almonds stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  13. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm, or serve at room temperature. 
  14. Slice, serve and enjoy!!
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