Blood Orange Pound Cake

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 orange pound cake

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.

Blood Orange Pound Cake


    dry ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
    wet ingredients
  • 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)


  1. Set oven to 350F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
  5. Alternately add the dry ingredients along with the wet, to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Don't over mix.
  6. 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.
  7. Bake for about 55 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out to a rack.
  9. When the cake is mostly cooled, glaze with the Blood Orange Glaze.
  10. 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!




  • Reply
    February 12, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Hi Sue, I love your recipes. I’m making this next week. Did you use an 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan? Do you recall how many slices you got? Thanks.

    • Reply
      February 12, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      This is an older post, and since I didn’t notate it, Suzie, I can’t be sure, but I think it was a standard 9×5 pan.

      • Reply
        February 16, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        So appreciate your reply, thanks. That’s what I’ll use.

        • Reply
          February 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm

          Suzie here again! I made the cake using regular oranges cause that’s what I had. Came out great! Two things: definitely use 8×4″ pan – I could see the batter was not enough for 9×5″ and used the smaller pan. Also, is it typical for a loaf cake to be higher in the center than the sides? I felt the slices from the sides were not quite as big as the ones in the middle. Just love your recipes!

  • Reply
    August 5, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Hello! I made this cake yesterday and everybody loved it! Where I live we don’t have blood oranges so I used the regular navel ones. The cake was tender, fragant and had a great flavor. Since this recipe calls only for 1/4 tsp of baking soda and baking powder I was kind of worried because other similar recipes call for much more, but it turned out perfectly. I will definitely prepare it again.

    • Reply
      August 5, 2013 at 9:06 am

      I’m glad you like it, Maria! I absolutely love this cake, and I think it would be great with any kind of citrus.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Hi Sue

    How do you measure 3/8 cup of buttermilk.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    December 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I think this would be delicious even without the frosting! It looks so moist!

  • Reply
    shannon weber
    December 21, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    to answer your question, and i believe this sums up my thoughts, no; this could NOT be any more gorgeous. i can smell this right now in my head, and it is delightful. pound cake is SO GOOD, but with citrus? even better.

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    December 21, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Nothing better than a pound cake. Love the pinky icing too!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    December 21, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Oh my, this sounds wonderful Sue. And yes you’re right, everything changes when your children are hone, no matter what their age is! I love preparing meals and culinary surprises for my grown children! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, oh, and it gets even more fun when the grandchildren start arriving!

  • Reply
    the gardener's cottage
    December 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    oh just the name stopped me in my tracks. this looks so yummmy!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      It was hard to get the camera to pick up that pretty pink, but the nice crumb of the cake came through pretty well, I think. I know you’re vegan Janet, I should try to come up with a vegan version…don’t know if it’s possible!

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    December 20, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    The pretty pink of this glaze is due only to the juice of the orange, no coloring was added. = WOW! It’s stunning!!

    And I am so glad you’re baking for your daughter and she’s home, the renewed sense of purpose thing :)

    And I have soooooo many citrus extracts Ive been given and a little goes a long way and am always needing recipes to use them in. Perfect!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      I really do mean it when I say I love the extracts. I have orange and lemon, do you have any different ones? I’d love a lime extract!

  • Reply
    Mary Younkin
    December 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Wow. Wow. Wow. I would LOVE to have a slice of this to wake up to in the morning!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      December 21, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      The glass of blood orange juice was almost as good as the cake, but together they made a really nice welcome home breakfast for daughter #2 :)

  • Reply
    December 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    you (and this) are awesome!

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