Upside-Down Blood Orange Cupcakes

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. Bake: 15 min. + cooling


2 dozen

Updated: Aug. 23, 2023
When blood oranges are in season, this is one of my favorite ways to use them. I start with a cake mix and bump up the flavor with essential oil. No one knows these cupcakes are not from scratch. —Monica Chadha, Fremont, California
Upside-Down Blood Orange Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 medium blood oranges
  • 1/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 package orange cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 to 4 drops orange oil, optional
  • Optional: Creme fraiche or sour cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or line 24 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. Cut a thin slice from the top and bottom of each orange; stand orange upright on a cutting board. With a knife, cut off peel and outer membrane from orange. Slice oranges; trim to fit muffin cups. Place 1 slice in each cup; top each with 1/2 teaspoon cranberry sauce. Bake 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cake mix, water, olive oil, eggs and, if desired, orange oil; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Remove pans from oven; fill with prepared batter.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Remove liners; serve with creme fraiche if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake: 130 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 23mg cholesterol, 137mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (11g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1 fat.