Clementine Upside-Down Christmas Cake

Clementine Upside-Down Cake

A festive take on the traditional pineapple upside-down, this cake is perfect as an alternative Christmas cake or simply a great way to use up that merry crate of clementines around the season. 

With it’s gentle spice and warm glow, this cake is perfect for the winter months – the addition of the whole spices make it look like a pretty stained glassed window. Ground almonds in the cake batter help to create a lovely dense texture whilst the yoghurt keeps it moist. Use firm clementines where possible as they are easier to zest and slice. 

Clementine Upside-Down Cake

Clementine Upside-Down Cake

5 from 1 vote
Course: Cakes, DessertCuisine: BritishDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Ground almonds in the cake batter help to create a lovely dense texture whilst the yoghurt keeps it moist.


  • Topping
  • 80 g unsalted butter

  • 150 g light soft brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

  • 8 firm clementines, zested, peeled & sliced into 5mm thick rings (save half of the zest)

  • 2-4 small cinnamon sticks, optional

  • 2-4 star anise pods, optional

  • Cake
  • 300 g golden caster sugar

  • 120 g unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 200 g plain flour

  • 50 g ground almonds

  • 2 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp finely ground star anise

  • 150 ml natural yoghurt


  • Topping
  • Place the butter, sugar and vanilla bean paste in a small saucepan over a medium heat and cook until melted and fully combined. You could also do this in a heatproof bowl in the microwave. Pour the caramel into the cake tin. 
  • Arrange the peeled and sliced clementines on top of the caramel till the base is completely covered. Arrange cinnamon sticks and star anise pods amongst clementines if using. 
  • Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the sugar, butter and clementine zest to a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl and beating before adding the next. 
  • Add the flour, almond flour, baking powder and ground spices then beat briefly till combined. Finally add the yoghurt and beat again till smooth. Pour the batter over the clementines and level out with a spatula. 
  • Bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Cover the cake with foil if it looks as if it is beginning to brown too quickly. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a plate. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, ice cream, custard or yoghurt. 

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