Grapefruit, Orange and Gin Upside-Down Cake

I was asked to bring a cake to a surprise party for a friend and I felt like I needed to experiment with winter fruit seen that it’s in season. By now you know that I like a little a little somethin‘ something in my bakes, and this grapefruit, orange and gin upside-down cake recipe was the winter winner I was looking for!

As bright as a summer’s day and tasty too, I am happy to say it had her guests doing an “Oliver Twist”.

Ingredients for base of the tin:

  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 x Oranges, cut into ½cm slices
  • 1 x Grapefruit, cut into ½cm slices

Ingredients: Almond Sponge

  • 250g unsalted butter – softened, plus extra for the cake tin
  • 250g brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest from orange
  • Zest from grapefruit
  • 1 x juiced orange
  • 1 x juiced grapefruit
  • 100ml runny honey
  • 100ml gin


  1. Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter a deep 23cm springform cake tin and sprinkle 2 tbsp of brown sugar across the bottom. Arrange the orange and grapefruit slices in the bottom of the tin as you like.
  2. Using an electric beater, whisk together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl for 5-8 minutes or until fluffy and light. Then, slowly add in the beaten eggs a little at a time, whisking in between.
  3. Stir in the flour, ground almonds, extracts and zests using a large metal spoon.

Then spoon the mixture on top of the fruit at the bottom of the tin and spread evenly.

Top Tip: Sit the cake tin on top of a baking-paper-lined tray as some batter may come out from the base of the tin while baking.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the cake has risen and turned golden, and a
skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. It will spring back to the touch but still be a little squidgy. 

  1. Put the drizzle ingredients into a small pan and bring to a simmer for 2-3 minutes – most of the alcohol will have bubbled off but there should still be a hit of gin flavour. You can add more gin to taste at this point.
  2. Carefully remove the sides of the cake tin and pour 2-3 tbsp of the drizzle over the sponge.

Use a cooling rack to carefully flip the cake over so that the fruit is now on top. Return the pan to the heat and reduce the drizzle for another 3-4 minutes or until it is more sticky and syrupy.

Cool for 5 minutes, then spoon over the fruit.

Serve the cake with a little yogurt, crème fraiche, vanilla ice cream or double cream if you like.

This upside-down cake, with orange and grapefruit on a light almond sponge with a gin drizzle on top, is the ideal winter accompaniment with your tea or it will pair beautifully with a citrus based gin and tonic.

Cheers and Bon appétit!