I made this Blood Orange Pound Cake at dawn, while my daughter slept. I picked her up at the airport last night. It’s funny, but baking definitely takes on a different vibe when there are children, no matter how old, in the house. There’s a renewed sense of purpose about it.
Blood oranges have finally arrived in the stores here. Along with Cara Cara oranges, kumquats, tangerines, clementines and all the rest. I can’t wait till after the holidays to start playing with them, here’s a sneak preview
You’ll notice I use orange extract in this recipe. I’ve come to really appreciate citrus extracts like lemon and orange. They’re all natural, and they smell just like fresh juice. I love how they bump up the citrus flavor in cakes, etc., where you can’t add enough fresh juice to create strong flavor without upsetting the delicate liquid to flour ratio. Make sure to get pure orange extract, not artificial flavoring.
Could blood oranges be more gorgeous?
The sun was already filtering through the curtains by the time the cake came out of the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup blood orange juice
- 3/8 cup buttermilk
- zest of 3 oranges
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
- blood orange juice to thin
- 1/4 tsp orange extract (optional)
- Set oven to 350F
- Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Measure the orange juice in a glass measuring cup and then fill to the 1/2 cup mark with buttermilk. Add the zest, extract and vanilla paste. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
- Alternately add the dry ingredients along with the wet, to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Don't over mix.
- Turn batter into a buttered and floured loaf pan. I lined the pan with a piece of parchment paper to make it easier for me to lift it out.
- Bake for about 55 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out to a rack.
- When the cake is mostly cooled, glaze with the Blood Orange Glaze.
- To make the glaze, mix the sugar with enough of the juice to create a nice glaze consistency. Add in the extract, if using. Spread or drizzle on the cooled cake. If your glaze is too thin, you will lose a lot of it to 'run off'. I like to make it on the thick side and spread it with a knife or spreader.
Blood oranges vary in terms of how ‘bloody’ their color is. The pretty pink of this glaze is due only to the juice of the orange, no coloring was added.
Make yourself a beautiful glass of blood orange juice to go with your cake!