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Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Follow our step-by-step, instructions to learn how to make this unique Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside Down Cake.

This recipe is made in cooperation with OXO and the Cookies For Kids Cancer Campaign. OXO has provided the recipe, and they have provided me with some of their products for review. All comments and opinions are my own.

I’m honored once again this year to work with the fine folks over at OXO to bring you another recipe and share information about their Cookies for Kids Cancer program.

I believe this is the 3rd year I’ve been able to participate, and it’s always fun to see what’s new with OXO and what recipe they offer me to prepare. This one is really unique and since it calls for cornmeal, I decided to give it a try. An old Southern boy like myself uses a lot of cornmeal in the kitchen. Smile.

OXO is committed to making up to a $100,000.00 donation to the Cookies for Kids Cancer program once again this year. They will be donating $100.00 to the program because of my posting this recipe and review. They will also be donating $5.00 for each hashtag that YOU might use in your social media circles. Just use either #oxobetter or #oxogoodcookies when you share the link to our recipe. Every dollar will help a child in need.

OXO provided me with their NEW – POP Containers to use with the recipe that was originally created by Elisabeth Prueitt.

You can view her recipe for this cake if you click this link: Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside Down Cake .

And as a disclaimer, even though they provided me with the containers, the comments and opinions about their products are my own.

I’ve got a good many OXO products in my kitchen. You’ll see several of those in the post below as you read through the recipe. I’ll tell you right up front that they make great products and I use many of them each week here at Taste of Southern.

As for this cake, I was really interested to see what a cake made with cornmeal would taste like. Surprisingly, it’s soft texture will remind you a bit of a cheesecake. It’s not overly sweet at all, and it has a very nice citrus taste from the Blood Oranges, lemon zest and lemon juice. It also contains Almond Flour, something I’ve not worked with before.

I’d also never had a Blood Orange. You really have to slice any orange that you might use as thin as possible, that way, the skins will soften and slice well when the cake cools.

So, thank you for looking over the recipe. I do hope you might consider baking one for yourself, your family and your friends. It serves about 8-10 depending on the size of the slices.

Ready to give it a try? Alright then, let’s head on out to the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking!

Cornmeal-Ricotta Upside Down Cake – You’ll need these ingredients.

OXO Pop Containers – This is the New 8 Piece Pop Container set that OXO provided for use in this recipe.

2 – 0.4-qt. Containers
1 – 1.1-qt. Container
2 – 4.4-qt. Containers
2 – 1/2 cup scoops
1 Brown Sugar Saver Terracota Disk

You’ll see these throughout the recipe below. OXO has just introduced the POP Accessories that make their Containers even more useful as they secure to the underside of the container lids.

All these pieces are airtight, stack-able, very space efficient and now they are also dishwasher safe. They’re perfect for keeping all your baking items fresh and your pantry organized. But, they’re also great in other rooms to keep craft supplies and things like that well organized.

I already had several of these containers in my kitchen, but I’m excited about the new larger sizes. I can put an entire 5lb bag of flour, or 4lb bag of sugar in one. It will stay fresh longer since it’s sealed airtight. How cool is that?

Lets get started with the recipe. Begin by placing 1/2 cup of either Brown Sugar or Granulated Sugar in a small bowl.

Add the Two Tablespoons of water.

Stir this together until it makes a paste.

Now you know that leftover brown sugar is going to get hard if you leave it in the box. It just always happens.

Here, I’ve been soaking the Terracotta stone for about 15 minutes, that will attach to the inside of the lid to my new Brown Sugar Saver Pop Container. This will keep the sugar fresh and scoop-able. No more hard bricks of sugar at my house. Smile.

You will need a 10 inch Springform Pan to bake the cake in. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan, then coat the inside edge with butter.

The recipe calls for very thinly sliced Blood Oranges. I’ve never even had a blood orange before and was lucky to find them at the grocery store this time of year. I used my OXO Professional Mandolin, set on 3, to slice the oranges. I took this photo with the first orange I tried, but got much better results with the second orange. I’d never tried to slice a whole orange with peel, but the OXO Mandolin had no trouble with it at all. I’ve had this piece of OXO equipment in my kitchen for some time now.

Be sure to remove any seeds once you have sliced the oranges.

Pour the sugar paste into the prepared pan. Swirl it around gently to fully coat the bottom of the pan.

Place one slice of orange right in the center of the pan and syrup paste.

Layer more slices of the orange all around the pan, overlapping as needed to fully cover the bottom. The slices will shrink some while baking so be sure you cover the bottom well.

Go ahead and zest your lemons and squeeze the juice from them. You’ll also want to remove the seeds so they don’t end up in the cake. Set this aside for the moment.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Set aside for the moment.

To start making the batter, place 3/4 cup of Granulated Sugar and 1/2 cup of room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl.

Use a hand mixer at Medium speed to cream the butter and sugar together for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Why yes, that IS my OXO Handheld Lighted Mixer. I just might have a LOT of OXO kitchen tools in my kitchen. I’ve been blessed to work with OXO for many years now. Great people. Smile.

Add the egg yolks, one at a time, mixing until combined as you go.

Add the Ricotta Cheese to the mixture.

Add the lemon zest.

Add the lemon juice. Be careful to not add any lemon seeds.

Add the sea salt.

Mix everything together with your hand mixer until fully combined.

Gradually add in the cornmeal, mixing a little in at the time until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Do the same with the Almond Flour. Add a little at a time, mixing until everything is fully combined. Almond Flour is a bit expensive and not something I’ll be using often. I’ll seal the rest airtight in one of the smaller POP Containers.

The batter will be kind of thick once you finish.

Place the egg whites in either a clean glass or metal bowl. Don’t use plastic. You also need to start with clean beaters. Whip the egg whites for several minutes until soft peaks begin to form.

Immediately add the egg whites to the batter.

Use a spatula and gently fold the egg whites into the batter until no white streaks of egg white are visible.

Gently pour the batter over the sliced oranges in the pan. Use the spatula to spread the batter out evenly.

Place the pan in a oven that has been preheated to 325F degrees. Let the cake bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is no longer shiny and slight browning appears on the top.

When done, remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

I agree, it does look like a pan of cornbread. Smile.  Mine had started to brown around the inside edges of the pan, but I was worried I had pulled it out too soon. The edge had not started to pull away from the pan, but I also didn’t want to over bake it.

To my surprise, after the 15 minutes  of cooling, the cake had totally pulled away from the edge of the pan. But, to be on the safe side, I still ran a butter knife around the edge to loosen the cake from the pan.

Release the clip on the Springform pan and gently remove it from the cake. The cake is sitting on the bottom portion of the pan. Be careful, it’s pretty hot.

I used a cardboard cake circle and placed it on top of the cake before flipping it upside down. Make sure you have it centered, the cake doesn’t slide once you flip it over. At least mine didn’t want to.

When I removed the bottom metal portion of the pan, the parchment paper came off with it and revealed all those beautiful orange slices on the  top, I mean BOTTOM of the upside down cake. Confused yet?

Doesn’t that brown sugar syrup look juicy?


You can see my 4.4-qt POP Container in the back left of this photo, and the Brown Sugar Saver to the back right. The lid is upside down so you can how the Terracotta stone clips on to the underside of the lid. I don’t show them, but the 1/2 cup scoops also clip on to the underside of the lids of the larger containers. How cool is that? They’ll always be right there when you need them. And, since they stay in the containers, you don’t even have to wash them after each time you use them, just clip them back onto the lid and close the container – airtight.

THANK YOU to our friends at OXO for this opportunity to work with you again, and for all you do to help raise funds for the Cookies for Kids Cancer campaign.

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