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Triple Layer Orange Upside Down Cake

A beautiful mini cake that is perfect for any day or celebrations!

Course Dessert
Keyword #blood organges, #layer cake, #orange cake, dessert, gluten free
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Linda Spiker


The Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or see my recommendation for gluten free flour above
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic granulated sugar (I love the course texture for this cake)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 3 eggs, room temp
  • 2 small blood or juice oranges (one zested, one thinly sliced)
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk, room temp

For Frosting:

  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese, room temp
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • orange zest, from one small orange


  1. Pan prep:

    Preheat oven to 350, place oven rack in center position. To prevent the cake from sticking you can use non stick pans, then use a paper towel to wipe sides and bottom of pans with soft butter. Dust with flour. OR fold a large piece of parchment paper in half twice. Use bottom of cake pan and pencil to trace a circle on parchment, then cut paper so you end up with three circles. Place parchment circles into the bottom of pans and spray with organic non stick spray. This is my favorite method. Sprinkle bottom of one pan with 1 tablespoon of course granulated sugar (this will be the pan you place orange slices in)

  2. Cake Prep:

    Place flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, whisk and set aside

    zest 1 orange, scraping until white is exposed and then moving on to a new area, set aside, slice second orange as thinly as you can

    Use a mixer to beat together butter, 2/3 cup sugar, and coconut oil

    Add vanilla paste or extract, eggs (one at a time) mixing until incorporated

    Add buttermilk and flour alternately and mix until smooth

    Add half of the orange zest, mix well

    place very thinly sliced orange slices into bottom of pan with sugar, slightly overlapping the slices (you may have leftover slices) then sprinkle the oranges with one more tablespoon sugar

    Pour batter as evenly as you can into the three prepared pans

    Tap pans on counter to take out any bubbles

    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean

    Allow to cool then remove cakes from pans before frosting

  3. Frosting Prep:

    Place butter, cream cheese, vanilla paste or extract, remaining half of orange zest into a bowl and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated. If needed, thin with a little buttermilk (don't make the icing too thin or layers will slide around)

    To get the "semi naked" look, frost the first layer generously , adding a little more frosting around the edges of cake. Then place the second cake layer and repeat. Last place the top layer (with orange slices) on. Hopefully some frosting is being pushed out between the layers, use a spatula to spread icing around the sides of cake, adding more if desired

  4. Slice and serve