Hi everyone! It’s Eva from Eva Bakes again. I’m so excited to bring you this recipe today! First of all, I need to tell you something. I am a bad foodie. I have heard such great things about blood oranges but never bought any. Maybe it was the odd name that kept me away, or maybe I just didn’t look hard enough in the grocery store. Whatever the reason, I am done making excuses now. I finally bought some blood oranges and made something with them.
I wanted my first recipe to use most of the fruit so I didn’t have to waste any of it. Let’s be clear – these beauties aren’t cheap. I think my grocery store was selling them for $1+ a piece, and imagine my disappointment when I cut into one and realized that it wasn’t actually a blood orange… it was a regular orange instead! This loaf cake features blood orange juice and zest and also contains blood orange juice in the syrup and glaze as well. Oh, and it’s topped with candied blood orange slices. How’s that for using blood oranges?
This cake is nothing short of delightful. The cake is extremely moist and flavorful (especially since it is infused with the blood orange syrup), and the glaze gives it an extra pop of sweetness. And the candied blood oranges take this to a whole new level.
I actually had to make this cake twice before I photographed it. I had a bunch of baking errors in the first batch. If you’re prone to baking mistakes, listen up so you don’t fall into the same traps that I did and end up with an ugly (but tasty) cake. First of all, make sure you allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. I was impatient and my cake fell apart. I also used a new loaf pan (a non-silicone one) and that was a big fail. The cake stuck to my pan, so I had a hot mess on my hands.
Second, when you are candying the orange slices, don’t leave them in the pan after they’re done (after 20 minutes). Use some tongs to pick them up and place them on a wire rack to dry. If you don’t, the orange slices will harden in your saucepan, and you will have a heck of a time trying to get the orange slices off the pan. I hurt my fingers pretty badly when I tried to pry the orange slices off. Ouch.
I altered the directions below to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes I did. If you follow them closely, you should come out with a gorgeous loaf cake. I am pretty ecstatic that my second attempt was much more successful and more photogenic than the first. I should have taken a picture of that ugly cake, but I ate it instead.
P.S. I normally don’t eat a lot of the desserts I make, but I practically ate the entire two loaves on my own!
- ¾ cup cake flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 TBSP granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 TBSP grated blood orange zest
- 2 TBSP freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 TBSP granulated sugar
- 3 TBSP freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- Candied orange slices
- 1 blood orange, preferably organic
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 TBSP freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a standard 9"x5" loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix together the sugar, eggs, orange zest and orange juice on medium speed until it is well mixed, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the melted butter. Then slowly add half of the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla until just incorporated. Then add the remaining dry ingredients until everything just comes together - do not over mix.
- Transfer the batter to your prepared loaf pan and bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan and then turn down the oven to 325 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes (note: if you skip this, your loaf will not hold together and you will have a big mess on your hands... this is speaking from experience!). Then remove the cake from a pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make the syrup: In a microwave safe bowl or in a glass measuring cup, microwave the sugar and orange juice for about 45 seconds or until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set the syrup aside until ready to assemble.
- Make the candied orange slices: Thoroughly wash your blood orange and dry completely. Using a paring knife, cut the orange in half (width-wise, so you're cutting across the "equator" of the fruit). Using a serrated knife, cut the orange into very thin slices. Make sure to remove any seeds.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the sugar and water on medium-high heat until it bubbles. Add the orange slices in a single layer so no slices overlap. Turn the heat to medium low and allow the oranges to simmer for 10 minutes. Flip them (tongs are helpful here) and allow them to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove the orange slices and place them on a wire rack set over a pan or parchment/waxed paper.
- Make the glaze: Mix the juice and powdered sugar together until it is thick but still thin enough to pour/spread. Add more juice or powdered sugar as needed.
- Assemble the cake: Once the cake has cooled completely, poke the top all over with a toothpick. Pour the syrup over the top of the cake. Spread the glaze on top of the cake with a spatula. Then arrange the candied orange slices on top. Allow the glaze to harden before serving.
- Cake should be stored in an airtight container and will keep at room temperature for about 4-5 days.