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Sourdough Orange Upside Down Cake

  • Author: Make It Dough
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: One 9-inch Cake 1x


This Sourdough Orange Upside Down Cake is a refreshing, citrusy take on the beloved classic. This cake is baked with whole candied oranges on the bottom, with a thick tequila-orange caramel that bakes up into a sweet sticky topping. Herradura Ultra Añejo Tequila adds notes of toasted almond, caramel and honey that perfectly




2 oranges, thinly sliced

1 blood orange, thinly sliced

226 g (1 cup) water

200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar

28 grams (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing cake pan

28 grams (2 tbsp) Herradura Ultra Añejo Tequila


120 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour

60 grams (1/2 cup) almond flour

5 grams (3/4 tsp) baking powder

5 grams (3/4 tsp) kosher salt

2 eggs

Zest of 1 orange

200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar

70 grams (5 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

42 grams (3 tbsp) olive oil

75 grams (1/3 cup) milk

80 grams (1/3 cup) sourdough discard


Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush a 9-inch cake pan with softened butter and set aside.

Slice the oranges: Using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut the oranges crosswise into ⅛ to ¼-inch thick slices (discard any pieces that are too thick).

Make the topping: Combine water and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Gently add orange slices into sugar syrup and simmer at low heat for 10 minutes or until the peels begin to appear translucent. Using a slotted spoon, move orange slices to a plate.

Continue heating sugar syrup at medium heat for 20 minutes or until noticeably thickened. If your syrup begins to bubble wildly, turn the heat down to low and continue cooking for the remainder of the time. Stir in butter and Herradura Ultra Añejo Tequila.

Assemble topping: Set aside ¼ cup of the tequila orange syrup. Pour the remaining syrup into the prepared cake pan. Arrange candied orange slices decoratively in the bottom of your cake pan.

**Save any extra orange slices to fill any bare spots on your cake after it has baked. . 

Make the batter: Whisk together the all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder and kosher salt until no clumps remain. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the eggs until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. Add orange zest and sugar and continue beating until well incorporated. Beat butter, oil, sourdough discard and milk into egg mixture until no traces of discard remain.

Fold ⅓ of the flour mixture into batter just until no traces of dry flour remain. Alternate adding milk and flour mixture into your batter, ending with the flour mixture and mixing only until no traces of flour remain.

Bake: Pour your batter into your prepared cake pan, being careful not to disturb your orange topping. Bake the cake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.

Move the cake pan to a wire rack and let the crumb set for 10 minutes.

Enjoy: Turn your cake out onto a serving platter. Add extra orange slices to fill in any bare spots on your cake. Using a pastry brush, brush the excess orange syrup on your cake, this will result in a shiny top!

Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.


  • Don’t let the cake cool completely in the pan or your topping may get stuck.
  • Store any leftover slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. I like to let my cake slices warm to room temperature before eating.
  • When in doubt, always use the weight measures over volume measures
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