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Mandarin Orange Upside Down Cake with Poppy seed

A delicious show stopper coffee cake for the weekend


The citrus fruits have inspired me so much this season and I have enjoyed creating new cake recipes with them as well as other recipes like my Blood Orange Lemonade, Traditional Homemade Lemonade or the vibrant and beautiful Citrus Fruit Salad

Even if I try and try really hard to concentrate on other topics apart from cakes, I find myself mostly coming up with cake recipes.. Do I have a problem? Yes, I do, and I admit it :) But am I sorry? No, definitely not! :D You know why? Because that is the reason why so many delicious recipes have been born and I have been then able to share them with you. So you know, pays off to have a problem like this :D

When I was thinking about this recipe, I was looking to create a simple and easy to make coffee cake (so a cake without any frosting in between the layers or on top, keep it simple kind of cake), which would still taste great and look great. That is when I came up with the idea of an upside down cake and because I just recently bought this gorgeous square cake pan, for which I have developed a crazy crush on now, I wanted to make a square shaped cake. 

Usually upside down cakes are made with the fruit being only at the bottom of your cake pan, so that once you turn it around after baking, you have the beautiful fruit on top. But why leave it there when you can also decorate the sides the same way :) Also this way you have more fruit in the cake, YAY! :)

I find that with many cakes you should prepare them a day before and allow them to kind of develop the flavor for at least a day. That was also the case with this cake. I did try my first slice on the day I baked it, but I found that it tasted better on the next day and had absorbed more flavor from the glaze by that time. That is why I have also suggested in the recipe that you make it a day before you plan on serving it.

Happy Baking darlings!



Step by Step Video


Mandarin Orange Upside Down Cake with Poppy Seed

A delicious show stopper coffee cake for the weekend


  • 3 eggs

  • 150g sugar

  • 50ml olive oil

  • 200g plain yogurt (10% fat)

  • 1tsp vanilla paste

  • 170g flour

  • 1tsp baking powder

  • ½tsp baking soda

  • 30g poppy seed

  • 6-7 mandarin orange

  • juice of 1 mandarin orange

  • 50g powder sugar


  1. Whisk the eggs shortly in a medium bowl with a fork. Add sugar and mix again until combined.

  2. Add in the olive oil and whisk it in.

  3. Then add yogurt and vanilla paste, swap the fork to a spatula and mix until everything is well combined.

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the baking soda and start sifting about 1/3 at a time to the wet ingredients folding in shortly in between additions. This will help you to combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients without over mixing and to achieve a lump free batter. Once you have added all of the dry ingredients mix well until you have a smooth batter.

  5. Add in the poppy seed and mix shortly just until combined.

  6. Peel the mandarins and slice them into fairly thin slices.

  7. Brush a 20cm x 20cm square ceramic cake pan with some olive oil and cover both the bottom and the sides with the mandarin slices. Pour the batter on top and smooth it out. Optionally you can use an aluminium cake tin/pan or a silicone form but in this case make sure to adjust the baking time as the cake will most likely bake faster.

  8. Bake the cake in 170°C bottom top heat at the middle shelf of the oven for 70-75 minutes. Check the cake towards the end to ensure it is browning evenly and turn it around if needed. Before removing the cake from the oven check with a wooden skewer that it has baked through. The cake is baked through when the wooden skewer comes out clean.

  9. Allow the cake to cool shortly before removing it from the cake pan. If your cake has risen unevenly you can place some weight on top of it for 10 to 15 minutes to even out the top before removing it from the cake pan. (See video)

  10. Remove the cake from the pan and allow it to cool for a little on a cooling rack until warm to touch.

  11. To make the glaze, juice one mandarin and combine it with the icing sugar. Sift the icing sugar prior to mixing in the juice to avoid any lumps in the glaze. Cover the warm cake with the glaze both from the top and from the sides. Make sure to use all of the glaze even if some of it ends up dripping of the cake. The cake will soak this up over time. Then allow the cake to cool completely before serving.

  12. I suggest to prepare the cake beforehand and serve it on the second day, as then it will have enough time to soak up some of that glaze and it will be softer and have more flavor to it.

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