Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Baking is not my first love.  Cooking is.  And there is a difference.  Baking is chemistry and cooking is alchemy :)  Since I never did well in the sciences in school, I gravitate toward cooking where the preparation of dishes need not be too exact.  In baking, it's a different story.  But I do like to bake when I find a recipe that really excites me.  And this one did.  My friend Linda passed it on to me and I made a few of these for Christmas presents this year.  This is one D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S cake!  Seriously.  It comes from the book In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite: 150 Recipes and Stories About the Food You Love, by Melissa Clark.  I didn't have blood oranges but good navel oranges work just as well.  I do hope you try this one.  Actually, next time I make it, I'm going to use lemons in place of the oranges.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

3 blood oranges
1 cup sugar
Buttermilk or plain yogurt
3 large egs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used light olive oil)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  I used a decorative Bundt pan and it looked real pretty.

Grate the zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with the sugar.  Using your fingers, rub the ingredients together until the orange zest is evenly distributed in the sugar.

Supreme an orange:  Cut off the bottom and top so the fruit is exposed and the orange can stand upright on a cutting board.  Cut away the peel and pith following the curve of the fruit with your knife.  Cut the orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl.  Repeat with another orange.  Break up the segments with your fingers.  Halve the remaining orange and squeeze the juice into a measuring cup.  You'll have about 1/4 cup or so.  

Add the buttermilk or yogurt to the juice until you have 2/3 cup of liquid together.  Pour the mixture into the bowl with the sugar and whisk well.  Whisk in the eggs.  

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ones.  Switch to a spatula and fold in the oil a little at a time.  Fold in the orange segments.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for about 50-55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool on a rack for 5 minutes then unmold and cool to room temperature, right side up.

Serve with whipped cream, powdered sugar or Honey-Orange Compote*, if desired.

*Honey-Orange Compote - supreme 3 more oranges.  Drizzle in 1-2 tablespoons honey.  Let sit for 5 mintes, then stir gently.

Buon Appetito!


  1. Your Blood Oranges look very pale. When we get them they are often a deep purple-red inside.
    Sweet cakes and dessert are off the menu in our household these days, because of Jane's diabetes, but I like LOOKING at your cake nonetheless!

  2. We are trying to be gluten free but when we cheat I will definitely had this recipe on the list. I love when a recipe calls for rubbing the zest with sugar. So heavenly!!! Such a beautiful and simple cake!! Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Oh man, that looks absolutely luscious! I agree that lemon would be tasty, too. I'm a baker and my husband is the cook. So this is more my speed. I might just have to try this recipe this weekend. Yum!

  4. Hi Mark, I did not use blood oranges in this cake as I they were not available in my market; but next time I see them in the store, I will buy a few and make this cake with them. I think it will be gorgeous...and delicious!

    Yes, Kelsey, please try this one when you are in "cheating mode". It's worth the cheat :) Rubbing the orange and sugar is indeed heavenly! And it smells devine :)

    Hi Beth, I do hope you try this recipe. It is so good and very easy and a unique cake. Let me know if you do!

  5. This looks really good Diane,thanks for the great instructions. I do like just about anything made with buttermilk.

  6. This looks delicious...where can you get blood oranges here in Texas?? One of my daughters loves them but I haven't been able to find any at HEB.

    Aside from that, I was wondering if you could help me out...long story short, our family is (FINALLY) moving back to the country (Spring Branch/Bulverde) at the beginning of February, and I'm looking forward to starting a herb & vegetable garden.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to take a moment to point me in the right direction on what I can grow, when I can grow it, when I need to plant, etc, etc? I've been googling but am still lost...

    I don't want to list my email, but if you go to my site, http://www.familyofseven.com, or I'm on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/familyof7 you can contact me from either place.

    Thanks for your time Diane! :-)

    1. Sorry, forgot to say that I'm not originally from TX...that's why I'm not familiar with gardening here. ;-)

  7. Hi Di
    I haven't checked your blog but I see you're still cooking and loving it.
    Love Ma