I make this recipe regularly during the blood orange season. The blood orange season varies from year to year but is generally sometime between November and May.
Blood orange juice is the most wonderful colour of dark pink. Funnily enough, the juice doesn’t actually colour the cake pink, but if you use it for the glaze, it definitely does! Sometimes, the rosy hue of the syrup and flecks of orange rind are sometimes just visible when the cake is sliced – but it depends on the strength of the colour to begin with. On other occasions, the blood oranges keep themselves a secret!
Of course, this cake is absolutely delicious made with ordinary oranges as well. Although I hesitate to call any orange ordinary. I mean, seriously, did you ever really look at the individual segments up close? Oranges are little miracles of engineering.
How to Make Blood Orange Pound Cake
The cake takes very little time to put together. Just cream 1 cup of butter and 1¾ cups sugar in an electric mixer.
Add 4 beaten eggs and ¼ cup 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.
Put the mixture into prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
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 to a wire rack. Poke a few holes in the cake with a skewer and spoon the syrup over top. It’s a good idea to put a baking pan or some grease proof paper underneath to catch any drips.
Glazing Blood Orange Pound Cake
Once the cakes have cooled completely, you can glaze them if you like. As you can see, I like to use a combination of blood orange glaze and vanilla glaze.
Just mix a cup of confectioner’s sugar with enough blood orange juice (or water) to make a drizzle-able glaze. Although I think the cakes look gorgeous plain as well.
Double The Pleasure
This recipe makes 2 beautiful loaf cakes. I love having Blood Orange Pound Cake on hand for treats and snacking, but you can also make someone else’s day by sharing the second cake. It’s a great way to be neighbourly – or the cake makes a lovely hostess gift.
You can freeze the second loaf if you prefer. If you aren’t going to use it all at once when you thaw it, I suggest slicing it before freezing to make thawing a couple of slices at short notice easy. You know me, I always like to have treats on hand!
For an extra special dessert, serve a slice of the cake with some Easy No Churn Blood Orange Ice Cream.
Blood Orange Pound Cake Printable Recipe
Blood Orange Pound Cake
- 3 cups all purpose plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice, divided Ordinary orange juice will make this a plain Orange Pound Cake.
- ¾ cup buttermilk or plain pouring yogurt, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup butter, softened plus extra for greasing
- 2 cups sugar, divided
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- For the glaze:
- 1 cup icing sugar (also known as confectioner's sugar)
- 1 - 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed blood orange juice Ordinary orange juice will make this a plain Orange Pound Cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C or 155°C for a fan oven).
- Grease two 8½ x 4½ x 2½ loaf pans with a little butter.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Gently mix together ¼ cup of the orange juice, the buttermilk or pouring yogurt and vanilla in a pitcher or another bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and 1¾ cups of the sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the beaten eggs and the orange zest.
- Add the flour mixture and orange juice mixture 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.
- Carefully pour the batter into your two prepared pans, dividing the mixture evenly and gently smoothing the tops.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, gently mix the remaining ¼ cup of sugar with the remaining ½ cup of orange juice in a small saucepan.
- Heat the mixture gently, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Place a layer of wax or greaseproof paper on the table or counter top, with a layer of paper towels over it.
- Remove the cakes from their baking pans to a wire cooling rack. Place the rack on top of the paper and paper towels.
- Poke a few holes in the cakes with a skewer, and carefully spoon the syrup over top.
- Let the cakes cool completely before glazing.
- To make the glaze, 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.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cakes.