Every Sunday evening, while my grandparents were alive, my family would visit them. My Grandma L would often have a candy dish to raid, or a homemade dessert to eat if we were lucky. One thing that she would make quite often was a lemon cake. It’s been a while since I’ve had it, but I remember it was soooo good. Come to find that all that the cake was, was a yellow cake box mix with lemon jello poured over top after it was baked. No idea.
That kind of reminds me of how my sister found out that my Grandma B would use Stovetop brand stuffing for her thanksgiving stuffing (with a few extra ingredients so she could call it her own). I guess there is a lot of truth to the concept of tasting the love in something because it obviously overpowered the processed taste I believe I would recognize.
I have gone through my grandmothers’ recipes and have tried to come up with ways to make the dishes allergen-friendly. Some recipes are impossible (can’t exactly make an egg-free angel food cake), some are just not worth the bother, and some I’ve actually had success with. The lemon cake kind of fell into the first category and a little bit of the second.
A couple of months ago, okay, probably a year ago, I saw this recipe for a citrus upside down cake. It looked so beautiful, I had to try it. Fast forward a year later, and while at the store yesterday I noticed that the blood oranges were on sale. I remembered that recipe, and impulsively bought a half dozen blood oranges. Thankfully I ended up having all of the other ingredients needed to modify the original recipe into one that was more allergen-friendly.
The result of this recipe was amazing, and, as you can see by the pic, beautiful. That first taste definitely took me back to having my Grandma L’s lemon cake, but thankfully, no artificial lemons were harmed in the making of this cake.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 6 medium blood oranges
- 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
- 3 tablespoon brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 2 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup applesauce, mixed with 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- Zest of one blood orange
- 1/2 cup So Delicious cultured coconut, plain (coconut yogurt)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch round, 2-inch-deep nonstick cake pan; set aside. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, add coconut oil, brown sugar, and juice, stirring until sugar dissolves. Stir in cardamom and transfer mixture to prepared pan. Zest one of the oranges if you haven't already, slice the ends of the oranges and place flat end on cutting board. Slice away the rind and pith from the top to the bottom, following the curve of the fruit. Slice into 1/4" wheels, be sure to remove any seeds (blood oranges have just a few, but nobody wants to chomp down on one of those). Lightly set the orange slices in a single, tight layer over the mixture, doing your best to cover the bottom. Set aside while preparing cake.
- Whisk brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cardamom, xanthum gum, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk granulated sugar, brown sugar, and and applesauce mixture together in large bowl until smooth, about 45 seconds. Slowly whisk in coconut oil until combined. Add cultured coconut, zest, and vanilla; whisk until combined. Add flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and gently spread evenly over the oranges. Bake until cake is golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Cool pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run paring knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place wire rack over cake pan. Holding both pan and rack tightly, invert cake pan and wire rack together; lift off cake pan. Place wire rack over baking sheet or large plate to catch any drips. If any fruit sticks to pan bottom, remove and position it back on top of cake (no one will ever know). Let cake cool 20 minutes (or longer to cool it completely), then transfer to serving platter, cut into pieces, and serve.
- No need to waste an orange to get the 2 tablespoons of juice needed for the topping, I find that I can easily get the amount of juice I need from squeezing the sections of peel I cut off of the oranges. What can I say, I don't like being wasteful.