Upside-down mandarin polenta yoghurt cake

This delicious and impressive looking mandarin upside-down cake is a little tricky to make but is oh so worth it. Better still it is gluten-free so everyone can enjoy it. Use a microplane to zest the fruit for best results.

  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 16
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Upside-down mandarin polenta yoghurt cake
  • 5 seedless mandarins (500g)
  • 2 cup (440g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 125 gram unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated mandarin rind
  • 1 cup (170g) fine polenta
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar, extra
  • 1 cup (280g) greek-style yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 cup (180g) ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Mandarin yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) mandarin juice
  • 1 cup (280g) greek-style yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind


Upside-down mandarin polenta yoghurt cake
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm (8-inch) square cake pan; line with baking paper.
  • 2
    Peel mandarins then scrape away white pith from the outside of the fruit; separate into segments. Arrange segments in alternating rows over base of pan.
  • 3
    Stir sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil without stirring, for 10 minutes or until mixture turns a golden caramel. Quickly pour half the caramel over mandarin segments. Cool remaining caramel in saucepan (don't worry that the caramel hardens on cooling, you reheat it later).
  • 4
    Beat butter, eggs, rind, polenta and extra sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Stir in yoghurt and combined sifted ground almonds and baking powder. Spoon mixture over mandarins and caramel in pan.
  • 5
    Bake cake for 1 hour or until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand cake in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate; cool until just warm.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, to make mandarin yoghurt stir sugar and juice in a small saucepan over low heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil without stirring for 3 minutes or until syrup reduces slightly. Cool. Combine yoghurt, rind and cooled syrup in a small bowl. Cover; refrigerate until needed.
  • 7
    Just before serving, heat remaining caramel over low heat, without stirring, until melted. Taking care, pour hot caramel over top of cake. Serve with mandarin yoghurt.


You will need a total of 8 mandarins for this recipe. Mandarins are softer than oranges and lemons which makes finely grating the rind a little trickier than usual; try using a microplane grater if you have one. This cake is best made on day of serving. Use gluten free baking powder to make sure this cake is truly gluten free.