Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

Recently my youngest son, four year old Connell, has really been getting into helping out in the kitchen. In fact, he’s even starting to become more interested in playing with his toy kitchen and playing restaurant. So, each time I’m going to bake something, I let him come in and help me.

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Just recently I had a few blood oranges that needed to be used up before they went bad, so I decided Connell and I would make this blood orange olive oil cake. This is such a moist cake and it goes perfectly with a nice hot cup of tea. Usually the oranges naturally color the batter a pale pink-orange, but my blood oranges were a little more orange in color than red, so my cake kept an orange-yellow hue.

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This is a rather quick and simple cake to put together so it was the perfect choice to have Connell assist with. Needless to say, he was very proud as you can see from the picture. The glaze is even easy to put together since it’s just orange juice mixed with a bit of confectioner’s sugar. This will definitely be a cake I consider making each time I have some blood oranges that need to be used up. Especially since my husband, Bill, and my neighbor, Mary, both gave it a thumbs up.

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Serves: 8 to 10


For Cake:

  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 cup sugar
  •  Buttermilk or plain yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  •  cup extra virgin olive oil

For Glaze (or a honey-blood orange compote can be made. See notes):

1 cup of confectioners sugar

1 to 2 Tbsp blood orange juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Grate zest from 2 oranges and place in a bowl with sugar. Using your fingers, rub ingredients together until orange zest is evenly distributed in sugar.
  2. Supreme an orange: Cut off bottom and top so fruit is exposed and orange can stand upright on a cutting board. Cut away peel and pith, following curve of fruit with your knife. Cut orange segments out of their connective membranes and let them fall into a bowl. Repeat with another orange. Break up segments with your fingers to about 1/4-inch pieces.
  3. Halve remaining orange and squeeze juice into a measuring cup. You will have about 1/4 cup or so. Add buttermilk or yogurt to juice until you have 2/3 cup liquid altogether. Pour mixture into bowl with sugar and whisk well. Whisk in eggs.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk dry ingredients into wet ones. Switch to a spatula and fold in olive oil a little at a time. Fold in pieces of orange segments. Scrape batter into pan and smooth top.
  5. Bake cake for about 55 minutes, or until it is golden and a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then unmold and cool to room temperature right-side up. Serve with glaze or honey-blood orange compote, if desired.


Note: To make a honey-blood orange compote, supreme 3 more blood oranges according to directions in Step 2. Drizzle in 1 to 2 teaspoons honey. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir gently.



Recipe by Melissa Clark


2 thoughts on “Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake

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