Vegan Upside Down Orange Cake

 reading time: 3 min

Hello my fellow cake-lovers! My Mum made this cake for my Dad's birthday earlier this year, using this German recipe by Toastenstein. It looked so pretty – and tasted so good! – that I was itching for an opportunity to make it myself – so here we are!

Doesn't this cake scream summer and sunshine to you?!

It's a very easy-to-make, but stunning-to-look-at upside down cake with candied orange slices that makes for a great bring-along for any vegan or non-vegan get-togethers (once those are actually allowed again ...). This orange cake is light, moist, fluffy, not overly sweet, with a lovely citrusy tang, and of course very nice to look at! Plus, it is one of the easiest cake recipes there is.


original recipe from Toastenstein

Preparation time: 1 h
Main ingredients: spelt flour, oranges, vegan butter
difficulty level: easy
yields: 10 slices (26 cm- or 10-inch springform pan)
suitable for: vegan, lactose-free, wheat-free, egg-free, soy-free


250 g (1 2/3 cups) spelt flour (type 1050) *
180 g (1 cup) raw cane sugar or xylitol
1 package (15 g) baking powder
220 g (1 2/3 cups in solid form) vegan butter, melted
3 tbsp lemon juice (or more orange juice)
1 organic orange, zest and juice
4 tbsp soy flour (see notes below for substitutes)
4 tbsp water

2 organic oranges *
6 tbsp raw cane sugar or xylitol

* You can keep the peel on or remove it. When using non-organic citrus fruit, make sure to remove the peel!!

* If you are confused about that flour type, check out this website which explains the difference between German flour types and US-American flour types.  


Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F. 

Prepare vegan "eggs". In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tbsp of soy flour with 4 tbsp of water. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine spelt flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add melted vegan butter, vegan "eggs", lemon juice, as well as the zest and juice of 1 organic orange. Mix well to form an even batter, but don't overmix.

Line the bottom of your
26 cm- or 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Distribute 3 tbsp of sugar evenly on the bottom of the prepared cake pan.

With the skin still on, cut the remaining 2 organic oranges into thin slices. Make sure to remove any seeds. Arrange the orange slices in a single tight layer over the sugar – you may not need to use all the orange slices. You could also place some slices along the sides of the pan, like I did. (They should cover the bottom of the pan pretty tightly because the orange slices will shrink slightly due to the baking process!) Sprinkle another 3 tbsp of sugar evenly on top of the orange slices.

Pour the batter over the sugared orange slices and spread evenly to the edges of the pan.

Transfer springform to the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes at 180°C / 350°F, until golden and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning it out.

To do so, remove the sides of the springform pan. Place a cake platter or large plate over the cake, flip upside down,
orange slices now facing upwards. Wait 30 seconds. Then carefully lift the cake pan, gently peeling off the layer of parchment paper.


Let the cake cool completely before slicing and serving. This cake is the perfect mate for a big dollop of vegan whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Store at room temperature for up to 4 days, tightly covered with foil, or in a large air-tight container.

- Instead of oranges, you could also use a mix of different citrus fruit (such as blood oranges, grapefruit, lemons, or a mix of all) or even pineapple rings / slices!
- If you don't have any soy flour, you can also replace the wet ingredients in this recipe (4 tbsp of soy flour + 4 tbsp of water as well as the melted vegan butter, lemon juice and orange juice) with 250 g freshly squeezed orange juice + 40 ml sunflower or canola oil.
- Add a sprig of fresh rosemary, finely chopped, to the batter for a nice herby flavour.
- Try swapping some of the flour for ground almonds for that orange-almond flavour combo which works so well. Half and half or slightly higher ratio of ground almonds should work well here.
- Instead of making one large cake, you could divide the batter into several muffin tins. Prepare the tins by sprinkling a bit of sugar at the bottom and putting one citrus slice each before spooning the batter on top.

If you are looking for more vegan dessert recipes featuring citrus, check out some of my favourites:

Vegan Orange Walnut Scones

Easy Vegan Lemon Cake
Vegan Orange Rice Pudding