Blood Orange Pound Cake Recipe

Moist, delicious and full of citrus flavour, Blood Orange Pound Cake is an easy to make treat the whole family will love.

Blood Orange Pound Cake

Pin my Blood Orange Pound Cake Recipe for later.

Blood Orange Pound Cake is a recipe I make regularly during the blood orange season, which varies from year to year but is generally sometime during November to March. Of course, this cake is absolutely delicious made with ordinary oranges as well.  Originally from the ‘Barefoot Contessa Family Style’ I’ve adapted this recipe a bit, in particular reducing the sugar.

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I love the colour the blood oranges lends to this cake, the rosy hue of the syrup and flecks of orange rind just visible when the cake was sliced. The blood orange juice made the glaze a pretty pink too.

Blood orange juice is the most glorious colour.

Blood orange juice

The rind is beautiful too. But I’ll say it again, this cake tastes amazing made with ordinary oranges. Actually, I’m not sure there is any such thing as an ‘ordinary’ orange. Ever really looked at all those segments? Oranges are miracles of engineering.

How to Make Blood Orange Pound Cake

Blood Orange Pound Cake takes very little time to put together. Just cream 1 cup of butter and 1¾ cups sugar in an electric mixer.

Beat together the butter and sugar

Add 4 beaten eggs and ¼cup of orange zest. Then sift together 3 cups flour, ½ teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt in one bowl. In another bowl combine ¼ cup of orange juice, ¾ cup buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add these two mixtures alternately  to the butter, sugar and egg batter in the electric mixer, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Add mixtures alternately

Put the mixture into prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

batter in pans

While the cakes are baking, make a syrup from ½ cup orange juice and  ¼ cup sugar.

When the cakes are cooked, cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing them a wire rack placed on a sheet of waxed or greaseproof paper topped with paper towels. Poke a few holes in the cake with a skewer and spoon the syrup over top.

Blood Orange Pound Cake 1

Once the cakes have cooled completely, you can glaze them if you like.

Glazed Blood Orange Pound Cake

Blood Orange Pound Cake really is the perfect weekend cake. Not only do you have a lovely cake to snack on with your family all weekend long, but you can make someone else’s weekend by sharing the second one. Sounds like a plan to me.

Blood Orange Pound Cake
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup orange zest
  • 3 cups all purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and flour or line two 8½ x 4½ x 2½ loaf pans. If you are using the grease and flour method, you may find it helpful to line the bottom of the loaf pans with parchment paper.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the beaten eggs and the orange zest.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl.
  6. Gently mix together ¼ cup orange juice, the buttermilk and vanilla in a pitcher or another bowl.
  7. Add the flour and orange juice mixtures alternately to the butter, sugar and egg mixture in the electric mixer. I do this in about 2 additions each, beginning and ending with the flour.
  8. Carefully pour the batter into your two prepared pans, dividing the mixture evenly and gently smoothing the tops.
  9. Bake for 45 - 60 minutes until the tops of the cakes are beginning to turn golden brown, the cakes spring back when touched lightly, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and cool in the pans for ten minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, gently mix the remaining ¼ cup of sugar with the remaining ½ cup of orange juice in a small saucepan.
  11. Heat the mixture gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  12. Place a layer of wax or greaseproof paper on the table or counter top, with a layer of paper towels over it.
  13. Remove the cakes from their baking pans to a wire cooling rack, and place the rack on top of the paper and paper towels.
  14. Poke a few holes in the cakes with a skewer, and carefully spoon the syrup over top.
  15. Let the cakes cool completely.
  16. If you would like to glaze the cakes, put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add one to two teaspoons orange juice until a fairly thick, smooth and pourable consistency is reached.
  17. Drizzle the glaze over the cakes.
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Article by April Harris

April has written 1291 great articles for us.
April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.
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  1. Rattlebridge Farm -- Foodie Friday says:

    April, this really does sound like the perfect weekend cake. I love blood oranges–I can only imagine the sweet aroma. Thanks so much for coming to the party!

  2. I just stopped by to comment on the cake, but got caught up in your other recipes. I learned something about your crispy potatoes. Previously I had not parboiled them. I am going to try that technique to see if that will make them crisper. Thanks for that tip. Oh, and your cake looks good.

  3. Happy Friday April! Your pound cake sounds wonderful and I love making enough to share with friends. In my last neighborhood I always shared the result of whatever recipe I was making with several of my neighbors. It was a good way to share some of the calories as well as the abundance of food that I made for a household with just 2 people! I haven’t gotten back into baking again yet, but I’m looking forward to creating again soon.
    Hugs, Andrea

  4. I saved this recipe, as the orange makes a nice addition. Poking holes in the warm cake and gently spooning syrup over both cakes sounds wonderful. I bake mine in a tube pan, and that would work too. I like the idea of two loaf cakes, one can be saved for later.

  5. thanks for the comment. very interesting recipe, looks great!

  6. Any dessert that is orange flavored is at the top of my must try list…looks and sounds delicious, April. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great weekend…

  7. Your cake looks and sounds so delicious, thanks for this recipe!

  8. I love blood orange this pound cake looks delicious April

  9. Oh, April I love citrus cake too. I have never baked anything with blood oranges and I love them. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us on foodie friday… really wonderful.

  10. This pound cake sounds absolutely delicious! I just adore that color the blood oranges give to the icing. How lovely 🙂

  11. I cannot get enough pound cake – I love the stuff and in any flavor. Yours looks divine. Great job, April.

  12. Wow, these pound cakes looks so delicious. I love the hint of citrus in them.

  13. I must try this cake as blood oranges are in season all winter here in Florida! Thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe!

    • Thank you, Linda 🙂 How wonderful to have blood oranges in season for so long! We get about two months, sometimes three if we are lucky – of course they are all imported from Europe, the UK climate isn’t very citrus friendly!

  14. What a delicious way to use blood oranges April!

  15. April, this cake looks so moist and I must say those oranges make such a lovely color!

  16. This is a very nice recipe, I have never used blood oranges before. Can I replace egg, any suggestion please.

    • Thank you, Sadhna 🙂 I’m sorry, I have never made this recipe without eggs and they are a big part of the leavening. However I was searching some other websites and it seems you can make pound cake without eggs. If you Google ‘pound cake without eggs’ there are a number of recipes so you may be able to adapt my recipe. Good luck! Let me know how you get on!

  17. I love baking with blood oranges as well! They just add such a special flavor to baked goods. I’m going to have to try this before blood orange season is over!

  18. I’ve been loving blood oranges lately but I’ve never thought about putting them in a cake! YUM! This looks so good!

  19. April, this pound cake looks gorgeous and sounds amazing! I love the use of blood oranges in this. I just had some blood oranges on hand the other day and the next time I get some, I’ll have to keep this recipe in mind.

  20. This blood orange pound cake looks delicious April, I need to find some to try this one.

  21. This blood orange pound cake looks delicious April, I need to find some to try this one.

  22. Love this recipe! You’re totally right– blood orange has such a gorgeous color! I’m also a big fan of citrus in my baked goods. It makes them taste so light and delicious. Can’t wait to try this!

  23. Pound cake is my favorite dessert! I have never had blood orange pound cake. What a wonderful idea! Amazing photos. I love that you reduced the sugar.

  24. This pound cake looks absolutely gorgeous. I love that it’s moist! Oh and I have never tried making one with blood oranges. Thanks for the idea!

  25. If this is as tasty and moist as it looks and sounds, you have a winner on your hands!

  26. Even though I dislike winter, I love the winter citrus! The blood oranges ARE amazing! And a nice slice of cake on a winter day is just what I need!

  27. I also love to incorporate Blood Oranges into recipes. My father in law absolutely loves them. I can’t wait to pass this recipe on.

  28. Pound cake is such a good dessert, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy it. Love the color the blood oranges give to the cake.

  29. I love pound cakes and yours looks so delicious and inviting, April! Pinning and tweeting!

  30. Hi again, April. Blood oranges are my favourite since I was a child. Here in Valencia we have lots of orange tree fields and I love this type of recipes. Your pound cake looks fantastic. I’ll give it a try but butter less and sugarless. They’re forbidden for me. Olive oil is better for my health. Congrats!

  31. This looks so tasty. I would love to try some right now. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays 🙂 I will be featuring your cake later on the blog hop.

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