This cake is a beautiful and delicious way to embrace citrus season.
My inspiration came from a memory of a similar cake I made several years ago, and a recipe I found on a website called Baking the Goods while perusing the web to try and find that old recipe I'd once made. I never found the old recipe, but I was very pleased with this cake. Most of my changes were focused around making the recipe vegan. Miyoko's vegan butter is specifically noted because it is the only vegan butter I've ever tried and it's quite good. I also cut back on the amount of sugar used and decided to use almond extract versus vanilla. Enjoy! —Denise
Put 3 tablespoons of of flax meal + 9 tablespoons of water in a small bowl, whisk together with a fork, and set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter and pour into bottom of cake pan.
Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter in cake pan.
Zest all 3 oranges and set zest aside.
Thinly slice oranges, leaving peel intact, and gently place enough slices over the butter and brown sugar to cover the bottom of the cake pan.
Slice off the peels of the remaining orange slices, rough chop, and fill in the open spaces around the slices in the cake pan. Set extra chopped orange pieces aside.
Crack open cardamom pods, remove seeds, and crush seeds in mortar with pestle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, polenta, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.
In a second medium bowl combine raw sugar, yogurt, and 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk together until combined and smooth.
Take flax meal and water you set aside earlier and whisk with fork one more time. It should have thickened by now. Add all of it to wet ingredients, along with almond extract, and whisk again until combined and smooth.
Add orange zest and any remaining chopped orange pieces to wet ingredients and gently stir to distribute evenly.
Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, adding only 1/3 of dry ingredients at a time. Fold each addition gently, only folding until all dry ingredients are wet.
Gently and evenly spoon the batter over the orange slices in the cake pan and carefully smooth out the top. It needn't be perfect. The top of the cake will eventually be the bottom of the cake.
My cake baked in only 25 minutes, but my oven runs pretty hot. What you're looking for is a light golden brown cake into which you can insert a sharp knife or toothpick into the center and have it come out clean. Maybe check it for the first time at 20 or 25 minutes and then go from there, keeping an eye on it and testing it at 5-minute intervals.
Remove the cake from the oven once the knife/toothpick comes out clean and let it rest in the cake pan for 15 minutes.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Place a plate on top of the cake pan and hold the cake pan and plate together with a thick folded dishtowel/pot holders/oven mitts (the cake pan is probably still hot) and invert it quickly. The cake should release onto the plate. Mine did.
Let the cake cool for a bit on the plate. I think I waited about 10 or 15 minutes before taking my first slice..