Blood Orange Cake Recipe

This blood orange cake recipe tastes almost identical to my orange roll recipe. The cake is not overly sweet, and it has the perfect amount of citrus in every bite. This is a versatile cake that can be made with different types of citrus. It’s especially good with blood oranges, which are only in season for a short period each winter.

blood orange cake recipe with dried blood orange slices

What’s in a Blood Orange Cake?

Blood orange cake consists of a fluffy and tender orange cake, blood orange simple syrup, and blood orange icing.

To break it down further, the cake consists of butter, a smidge of shortening, blood orange zest, sugar flour, salt, leavening, eggs, and milk.

The secret ingredient for a fluffy texture is the shortening. You only need a little to create a dreamy texture!

Also, this orange cake uses the reverse creaming method, contributing to its tenderness.

blood orange cake with dried blood oranges

3 Tips for Making This Cake Moist and Fluffy

First, use a good 9-inch cake pan that bakes evenly. Avoid dark-coated pans, as they cause cakes to brown and bake too quickly on the outside.

Second, don’t skip the shortening. While shortening doesn’t add flavor, shortening coats the gluten strands and prevents gluten formation.

In other words, shortening helps the cake crumb to stay tender and fluffy.

And third, cover the top of the cake in simple syrup before adding the icing. The simple syrup adds moisture to the cake and keeps the cake “fresh” for several days. It also adds more orange flavor!

two slices of blood orange cake on a plate

The Science Behind the Cake

Have you ever wondered what makes a cake light and fluffy or dense and compact?

Which cake-mixing method works best for the specific cake you want to make? Should you use the reverse creaming method, standard creaming, sponge, genoise, etc?

There are so many questions about cake, and we could spend months learning about the various kinds. And the same goes for any baking topic (tarts, cookies, brownies, etc).

Which is why I’m starting the Baker Street Baking Academy on March 1.

Bakers who join will learn how baking works, how to create drool-worthy desserts, and how to create beautiful desserts worthy of a patisserie.

Plus a lot of little details that you can’t get from reading a blog post.

There’s something special about being in a program with other bakers where you can bake with the teacher.

So, while you make this cake, consider your baking goals. Do you want to be the baking authority in your kitchen? If so, join The Society, where we learn in a safe and fun environment every month.

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Blood Orange Cake Recipe

single layer blood orange cake with dried blood oranges slices and blood orange icing. The cake is on a white platter with a soft blue linen underneat and wood platter.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cool Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: cake

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Blood Orange Cake

  • 142 g (10 Tbs) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 28 g vegetable shortening
  • Zest of 3 medium blood oranges (or naval)
  • 250 g sugar
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 118 ml (1/2 c) milk
  • 3 large eggs, room temp

For the Blood Orange Simple Syrup

  • 120 ml blood orange juice (1/2 c)
  • 100 g granulated sugar (1/2 c)

For the Blood Orange Icing

  • 180 g powdered sugar (1/2 c)
  • 35 Tbs blood orange juice
  • Blood orange zest (optional)
  • 23 more blood oranges for dried orange slices (optional)

Instructions

To Make the Blood Orange Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9 inch round pan, or use your favorite nonstick coating for cake pans.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, shortening, orange zest, and sugar on speed 4 (for a 10-speed mixer) for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. Next, add the flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix on low until combined well.
  4. Then, with the mixer on low, slowly add the milk and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed, ensuring that each one is fully mixed before adding the next egg.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth it out. Gently tap the pan a few times to release any large air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The cake is done when you gently touch the top, and it springs back. You can also test it with a skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done.
  8. Let the cake rest in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer it to a cooling rack.

To Make the Blood Orange Simple Syrup

  1. While the cake is still warm, place the cake on the cooling rack over a half-sheet pan.
  2. Combine the blood orange juice and granulated sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat for 90 seconds.
  3. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Dip a pastry brush into the syrup and brush over the cake until all syrup is gone. Pouring the syrup is less effective because it will drip off instead of going into the cake.
  4. Allow the cake to cool completely at this stage (about 1-2 hours).

To Make the Blood Orange Icing

  1. Combine blood orange juice and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.
  2. Place the cake on a cake plate or pedestal. Then, pour the icing over the cake and smooth the surface. Enjoy as is, or garnish with fresh or dried blood oranges.
  3. Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. 

To Make Dried Blood Oranges

  1. Slice oranges thinly and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees F for 2 hours, and allow to dry for a few more hours before using.
  2. Store dried orange slices in an airtight container for up to a month.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

slice of blood orange cake on a plate

5 Comments

  1. What about instructions on making the orange slices?

  2. This cake was visually and gastronomically spectacular. So much fun both to make and eat. Camille never disappoints ?






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